Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, the national development agency for the film, television and animation industry, welcomes a funding increase of €1 million announced by Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan, bringing the agency’s annual capital budget to €17.2 million for 2020.

In its budget submission Screen Producers Ireland, the representative body for more than 100 of Irish screen production companies, called again for Screen Ireland’s capital funding to be restored to pre-recession levels when it stood at €20m. The government has pledged €200m to Screen Ireland over 10 years from 2018 on, with an additional €2m being given in the last budget.

We welcome the Government’s consistent support for the Irish creative screen industries, recognising the cultural value of Irish storytelling on screen. We appreciate that at a time of economic uncertainty, Minister Madigan and the Government has recognised the potential of Ireland’s creative screen industries to deliver growth, generating investment in the economy and creating jobs across Ireland.

This additional funding together with the introduction of the regional uplift to Section 481 of 5%, announced last year, is an example of successful government policy, in terms of attracting new productions to regional areas. The uplift has allowed Screen Ireland to work with regional stakeholders to develop training opportunities and enhance skills, supporting production activity in these areas.

We look forward to working with Minister Madigan and her department to take advantage of the significant international opportunities for the industry, based on the Government’s Audio-visual Action Plan for the long-term development of the sector, enabling Ireland to become a global hub for film, television and animation production.  Last year, Screen Ireland established a new TV drama production fund aimed at supporting high-end episodic TV drama with the potential to sell internationally to audiences across the globe. New projects emerging from this fund include Normal People, The South Westerlies and a slate of pilot TV comedies in partnership with RTÉ.

Dr. Annie Doona, Chair – Fis Éireann/Screen Ireland

According to the recently published Olsberg SPI Report, Ireland’s film, television and animation sector currently supports nearly 12,000 full-time jobs equivalents, with a Gross Value Added for the creative screen industries of €694 million to the economy.

The Irish creative screen industries are continuing to go from strength to strength, having secured 30 Academy Award nominations in the last ten years. Recent successes include Lee Cronin’s Hole in the Ground starring Seana Kerslake, Extra Ordinary staring Maeve Higgins, Greta directed by Neil Jordan and The Favourite produced by Element Pictures. Major international projects which have filmed on location in Ireland include Fate: The Winx Saga, Vikings, Nightfliers, Into the Badlands, The Rhythm Section and The Green Knight.

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