Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry., the national development agency for the film, television and animation industry, today welcomed a funding increase of €9 million announced by Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D., bringing the agency’s capital budget to €26.2 million for 2021 which represents an increase of 52% on 2020’s original budget allocation. The full budget including administration comes to €30.09 million. The agency also welcomed the extension of the Regional Uplift, which will help to increase production activity and create job opportunities within the sector across regional Ireland.
I’d like to take the opportunity to thank Minister Catherine Martin T.D. for her support during what has been such a challenging time for the Irish creative screen industries. As a result of the Government’s continued and consistent support, the industry has managed to get film and television production activity back up and running safely, with financial supports in place to introduce strict health and safety protocols on set.
The success of projects such as Normal People, Vivarium and Sea Fever during lockdown and the extraordinary reaction to Wolfwalkers at the Toronto International Film Festival recently, demonstrates how culturally important the screen industries are to Ireland. Irish audiences have leaned on the arts in recent months to get them through very difficult times.Dr. Annie Doona, Chair – Fis Éireann/Screen Ireland
We would like to thank Minister Catherine Martin T.D. for this funding which will enable Screen Ireland to further support feature film, TV drama and animation production, building resilience within the sector to withstand the challenges ahead. We also welcome the extension of the Regional Uplift in supporting regional production activity, skills development and job creation. Screen Ireland will continue to collaborate with industry and Government towards building industry recovery, with the additional support announced today.Désirée Finnegan, Chief Executive -Screen Ireland
This increased funding will ensure that Screen Ireland can continue to provide necessary supports to Irish film and television productions. Specific measures introduced by Screen Ireland, including funding to help offset some of the increased production costs directly associated with implementing the COVID-19 production guidelines, along with our the Production Continuity Fund, both of which have proved essential towards getting Irish live action production back up and running, getting the industry back to work and protecting livelihoods within the sector.
Today’s funding announcement is the highest funding award ever made to Screen Ireland, recognising the challenges the industry is facing, the success of the sector to date and the cultural and economic benefits the Irish creative screen industries bring to Ireland. According to the 2017 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.
Screen Ireland would also like to welcome the announcement of the development of a tax incentive for digital gaming. The Olsberg Report highlighted that the development of Ireland’s games sector was inhibited by the lack of access to reliable funding, which is available in neighbouring nations.
The success of the Irish creative screen industries have resulted in phenomenal growth for both the live action and animation sector, with the latter quadrupling in size in the past 10 years. Recent successes include Element Pictures’ record-breaking TV series Normal People; Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart’s animated feature film Wolfwalkers; Lorcan Finnegan’s Vivarium; Neasa Hardiman’s Sea Fever and David Freyne’s Dating Amber, all critically and commercially successful features released this year on VOD platforms. Ireland continues to bring high-quality shows to global audiences with series including Vikings: Valhalla, a new chapter in the Vikings Saga from MGM Television, filming in Wicklow’s Ashford Studios; and Foundation, an Apple Original drama series, filming in Limerick’s Troy Studios, which is the largest production ever to film on location in Ireland.