Screen Ireland has announced that it will appoint a representative based in Los Angeles in 2020. The announcement was confirmed as part of a two day trade mission in partnership with Enterprise Ireland in Los Angeles, led by the Irish Prime Minister, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Mr Varadkar also opened a new Irish consulate in Los Angeles as part of its  ‘Global Ireland’ strategy, to double Ireland’s impact internationally  by 2025.

As part of the trade mission, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar met with senior executives from some of the world’s leading studios and content companies including Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros, Skydance Media, Hulu, Endeavour and Fox Searchlight.

The trade mission was attended by Ireland’s leading production companies, animation studios, post-production and VFX houses, including Element Pictures (The Favourite, Normal People), Cartoon Saloon (The Breadwinner, Song of the Sea), Brown Bag (Vampirina, Doc McStuffins), Wild Atlantic Pictures (Fate: The Winx Saga), World 2000 (Vikings) all of whom had a series of meetings with their Los Angeles-based production partners.

On the trade mission, the Taoiseach reinforced the Irish Government’s commitment to Section 481, which has been a critical component of growth of the industry in Ireland; along with the newly introduced regional uplift incentive of 5%, which will incentivise film production in the regions. He also emphasised the Government’s continued commitment to investing in the development and training of Irish creative talent, with the ultimate  goal of making Ireland a global centre of excellence for the audio-visual industry and a key EU production hub.

Mr Varadkar met with Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Bob Iger to strengthen Ireland’s relationship with the studio. Disney has a long standing production partnership with Irish company Brown Bag across a wide number of award-winning animation shows including Doc McStuffins, Henry Hugglemonster (created by Irish writer Niamh Sharkey) and more recently, the TV show Vampirina. Disney also filmed the last two instalments of the Star Wars franchise on Skellig Michael and along the Wild Atlantic Way from Kerry to Donegal.

Mr. Varadkar also met with Netflix co-founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Reed Hastings at Netflix headquarters in Los Angeles, to underline the Irish government’s support for the creative screen industries and grow the company’s pipeline of production with Ireland, as well as increasing Netflix’s acquisitions of Irish titles.

Netflix recently filmed Fate: The Winx Saga in Ireland and are currently in production with Cartoon Saloon on the new animated feature film My Father’s Dragon directed by Nora Twomey. Netflix’s new film from Martin Scorsese The Irishman starring Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino also completed post-production at Screen Scene in Dublin. The Irishman has premiered to rave reviews at the New York Film Festival this weekend.

Mr Varadkar met with studio and production executives across Warner Bros, film and television, to further develop production opportunities with the studio and promote Irish creative talent. He also met with Matthew Greenfield at Fox Searchlight who have announced their renewal of their first look deal with Element Pictures.

The Taoiseach also viewed exclusive preview clips of the series, Normal People produced by Element Pictures for BBC 3 and Hulu; and met with Lorenzo De Maio, Partner, Endeavor Content, Beatrice Springhorn, Head of Hulu Originals, and Element Pictures to discuss the US release and international of the series. Normal People is the first large scale indigenous TV drama that Screen Ireland has supported from its newly established TV Drama production fund.

Our ambition is to extend and deepen our relationship with the creative industries in Los Angeles. So I am really glad to announce that Screen Ireland has decided to re-establish its presence in Los Angeles, and will be working in close co-operation with our new Consulate. Screen Ireland wants to double the size of the sector in the coming years and we want to help them achieve that goal.

Leo Varadkar T.D., Taoiseach

Screen Ireland welcomes the Government’s decision to open a consulate in Los Angeles, as part of their strategic plan for expanding Ireland’s global footprint. This reinforces the ambition for Ireland to become a global centre of excellence for the creative screen industries.

Irish production companies, with support from Screen Ireland, have built strong working relationships with the world’s leading studios and production companies creating award winning film, television and animation content. There is significant potential for employment and turnover growth in the sector and strengthening our base in Los Angeles will support that mission.

Désirée Finnegan, Chief Executive – Screen ireland

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