The Western Region Audiovisual Producer’s Fund or WRAP Fund today announced a number of new projects which are expected to generate in excess of €16.8m across the West. The Fund also marked a significant year of growth with a number of high-profile productions. Set up to enhance the level of production across the film, television drama, animation and games sectors in the West of Ireland, the WRAP is now seeing a substantial €12 multiplier on every €1 invested.
Last October, Wild Mountain Thyme caused a stir as international acting talents Emily Blunt, Jamie Dornan and Christopher Walken descended on Co. Mayo. Meanwhile, in Lahinch, Co. Clare, television series Smother starring Dervla Kirwan and Seana Kerslake commenced shooting in March and is planned for broadcast on RTÉ One and inclusion in the BBC Studios catalogue for international sales once filming can be resumed. Previously announced projects The Winter Lake, Death Of A Ladies Man and animation Ooops! Back In The Deep End were also produced across the Region in the last twelve months.
New projects announced today include the animated series The Wee Littles from Co. Clare animation studio Magpie6 Media, Finnish director Klaus Haro’s My Sailor, My Love to shoot in Mayo and Galway, the Donegal set UK/Irish production God’s Creatures, as well as Epic Pictures backed horror The Ten Steps bound for Roscommon and Sligo.
The last twelve months have been a very busy time for the WRAP Fund with extensive high-quality production and development activity in every county in the Region. The recent releases of feature film Calm With Horses and international television drama Normal People showcase what the West has to offer productions in terms of locations, expertise and support. We have many more exciting productions in the pipeline. The impact of Covid-19 has been hard felt in the Region and we are relying on the Irish government to look favourably on the request of the Western AV Forum to extend the Regional Film Development Uplift. This would be a very positive measure to jumpstart production and send out the message that the West is open for business again once it is safe.Sarah Dillon, Development Manager – WRAP Fund
In tandem with its production investment, WRAP is announcing the recipients of a number of rounds of development investment to assist local producers to develop projects that can undertake production within the region in the future. Companies based in Clare, Galway, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo have all received support. These include:
- Tails At Animal Airport: an animated television series developed by Roscommon’s Studio Meala and written by Emma Hogan (Clare) with additional support from Screen Ireland.
- Swallows: a feature film developed by Clare production company Newgrange Pictures and written by John O’Donnell (Clare)
- Obituary: a television series developed by Galway production company Magamedia, written by Ray Lawlor (Mayo) and to be directed by Oonagh Kearney with additional support from Virgin Media and Screen Ireland
- Della & Jim: a feature film developed by Sligo production company Janey Pictures, written and to be directed by Marion Quinn with additional support from Screen Ireland
- Dad’s Red Dress: a television series developed by Mayo production company Lunar Pictures and written by Lindsay Jane Sedgwick with additional support from Creative Europe
- This Is The Country: a feature film developed by Mayo production company Little Rose Films with Feline Films, written and to be directed by Mark Noonan
- Tir Anann: a game developed by Galway Games Studio Tribal City Interactive with additional support from Creative Europe
- Eldritch House: a game developed by Galway Games Studio Doomcube Games
WRAP is the only fund in the Republic of Ireland to invest in the games sector. In addition, a company microloan was awarded to Studio Meala in Roscommon and WRAP backed three Co. Galway companies, Abú Media, Danú Media and Tua Films to develop Irish language television dramas for young people through a joint development scheme with TG4, Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry. and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. A new call for development investment applications is now open with a deadline of June 17th, 2020.
The Creative Economy is both an economic driver and a significant calling card for the west of Ireland at home and abroad. Our policy analysis, the development of the Atlantic Economic Corridor and a regional network of creative hubs in conjunction with GMIT complement the work of the WRAP Fund to sustain and grow the Creative Economy in the region into the future.Tomás Ó Síocháin, CEO – Western Development Commission
Like so many other industries, the audio-visual sector has experienced huge disruptions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. With all production activity now stalled, the WRAP Fund as part of the Western AV Forum has made a formal request to the Irish government to extend the additional 5% available through the Regional Film Development Uplift of the Irish tax credit Section 481 of the Taxes Consolidation Act provides for corporation tax relief for investment in films by companies up to 32% of eligible Irish expenditure.. Due to taper to 3% in 2021, the Regions have not benefited from the intended production increase and infrastructural development promised from the initiative. The Western AV Forum strongly advocate that an extension of the uplift would provide a much-needed degree of certainty, and will not only encourage current and future international productions to return and remain in the Regions for the duration of their productions but also critically support indigenous production activity and Irish producers who have been hardest hit by this crisis.
The WRAP Fund has already made a significant contribution to the creative economy of the West with in excess of €16.8m anticipated spend in the Region. This represents a substantial return for the eight local authorities and UnG supporting the Fund. Galway Film Centre is delighted to continue to work with the WDC and our local partners to carry this invaluable initiative forward and create more opportunities for local talent through 2020 and beyond.Alan Duggan, Manager – Galway Film Centre