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Future is bright: Irish screen industry has doubled in value

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Optimistic: Dr Annie Doona (left) and Désirée Finnegan, CEO of Screen Ireland. Photo: Naoise Culhane

Optimistic: Dr Annie Doona (left) and Désirée Finnegan, CEO of Screen Ireland. Photo: Naoise Culhane

Optimistic: Dr Annie Doona (left) and Désirée Finnegan, CEO of Screen Ireland. Photo: Naoise Culhane

The Irish company responsible for developing the film, television and animation industry says that more than 40 key productions will be released onto the international market this year.

Screen Ireland says the industry's contribution to the economy has more than doubled, from €164m in 2010 to €357m in 2019.

The country's biggest-ever production will start this year with 'Foundation', an Apple TV+ original drama, due to start shooting at Troy studios in Limerick.

Based on Isaac Asimov's science fiction novel trilogy, it will create more than 500 production jobs.

Among the key releases in 2020 will be the long-awaited TV series based on Sally Rooney's best-seller 'Normal People', which has been produced by Oscar-nominee Lenny Abrahamson of Element Pictures. Starring newcomers Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal as young protagonists Marianne and Connell, and featuring some key scenes filmed around Trinity College, the 12-part series will air on BBC and Hulu.

A major driving force in the industry's growth is the Irish animation sector, which has increased fourfold in the past 10 years, surging to €180m in 2019.

Also due for release this year is a new feature film 'Wolfwalkers', which stars Sean Bean and features a uniquely Irish tale about demonic wolves.

Made by Academy Award nominees Cartoon Saloon, the Kilkenny animation company signed a lucrative deal last year with Apple TV+ to screen the feature-length production on its new streaming service.

Screen Ireland chair Dr Annie Doona said the entire sector has more than doubled in the last decade.

"Our indigenous industry is growing and we are active participants in the global growth story with all the major streaming giants now amongst our production partners," she said. Dr Doona cited the ongoing commitment to Section 481 tax incentives as being "critical to this success".

Irish Independent