By Ryan Kennedy
THE IRISH film industry has received a massive boost in the form of a â‚¬2 million funding increase.
For the third year running the Irish Film Board has been awarded extra finance, and the additional cash injection will go towards the Irish Film Boardâ€™s international production fund.Â Industry sources expect it to generate an inward investment of over â‚¬30 million.
In previous years the Irish Film Boardâ€™s annual grant of â‚¬20 million has been hugely successful in attracting international interests to Ireland, with shooting for films such as Becoming Jane and My Boy Jack – starring Sex and the Cityâ€™s Kim Cattrall – both prominently featuring Ireland in location filming.
Last year alone saw seven major international production opportunities come to Ireland, which provided employment for over 700 Irish production staff, 14 Irish actors, 3000 Irish extras and four Irish directors.
It is estimated that investment by the Irish Film Board will secure a ten-fold generation in cash flow, but Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Seamus Brennan believes that although the Irish film industry had shown prominent growth in recent years, there is still a wealth of capability that remains unnoticed by the international market â€“ which must be brought to attention.
He said:Â â€œThere is now more than ever greater global competition in securing film and TV productions. Ireland now holds its own thanks to our talent pool and incentives package. However, Ireland needs to be more ambitious.
â€œI am strongly of the view that there is still a large amount of untapped talent and opportunity in Ireland, especially given our rich history of great storytellers and wonderful storytelling ability.â€