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Film and TV production in Ireland expanded to value of €388m in 2010

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Film and TV production in Ireland expanded to value of €388m in 2010 Empty Film and TV production in Ireland expanded to value of €388m in 2010

Post by Admin on Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:19 pm

Film and TV production in Ireland expanded to value of €388m in 2010
Among the many feature films that were shot in Ireland last year was Albert Nobbs, starring Mia Wasikowska and Glenn Close and co-produced by Parallel Films.Among the many feature films that were shot in Ireland last year was Albert Nobbs, starring Mia Wasikowska and Glenn Close and co-produced by Parallel Films.


THE CAMERAS rolled in Ireland to the tune of €388 million last year as the Irish film and television industry enjoyed record growth.

The shooting of major feature films starring Glenn Close, Sean Penn and Michael Fassbender, coupled with competitive tax breaks for television drama, helped to secure a €145 million increase in the value of productions completed in Ireland.

The figures are contained in a new report by Ibec’s Audiovisual Federation.

Feature film production doubled to almost €117 million, while independent television productions accounted for €241.5 million of the higher-than-forecast output.

Kevin Moriarty, managing director of Ardmore Studios, who chaired the committee that produced the report, attributed the industry’s success to the Government’s support for the section 481 film tax relief scheme.

The report calculates the return from section 481 to the exchequer last year was €70.3 million. This outweighed some €61.7 million in tax forgone, resulting in a net benefit of €8.6 million.

Unlike similar film tax breaks in other countries, section 481 also applies to television production, an advantage that has helped Ireland to attract major productions in recent years.

“We have the slight edge on that,” said Mr Moriarty.

However, the decision of US channel Starz to cancel Camelot after just one series would dent the 2011 figures for television production, he said. It had been hoped that Camelot would be a long-term replacement at Ardmore Studios for the Henry VIII drama The Tudors , which ended production in 2010.

“Unfortunately, he kept killing off his wives and they ran out of wives,” Mr Moriarty said.

“The timing of the Camelot cancellation was such that we were unable to find a replacement in time. So while there will be a blip in the figures for this year, next year it will be business as usual.”

The value of animation production fell last year, from €58 million to just under €30 million. However, this was largely due to timing issues and the sector is expected to bounce back in 2012.

The industry’s expenditure on Irish goods and services came to €205 million, most of which was from the television sector, the report states. This is the highest ever recorded figure. The number of Irish employees in the industry increased from 14,198 in 2009 to 15,111 last year, out of a total of 26,537, while there was the equivalent of 1,695 full-time jobs.

“Unlike a lot of other sectors in the economy, we are actively generating employment,” Mr Moriarty said.

Feature film productions shooting in Ireland last year included Albert Nobbs , starring Close and Mia Wasikowska, Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire featuring Irish actor Fassbender, and This Must Be the Place, which stars Penn.

Irish Film Board chief executive James Hickey said the screening of four Irish films at the Toronto Film Festival this month had given the industry “a tremendous profile”.

A contingent of British-based television producers also visited Ireland last week to discuss future productions. “We are very excited about the level of television drama production that will happen in 2012,” Mr Hickey said.

Forthcoming Attractions In Production


Number of productions


Value of productions


Film-related jobs in Ireland

Titanic: Blood and Steel

This 12-part series directed by Ciaran Donnelly and featuring Derek Jacobi, Neve Campbell (pictured above) and Chris Noth is now filming in Dublin and Wicklow. The plot will concentrate on the design and construction of the RMS Titanic and the socio-political climate of Edwardian Belfast, where financial pressures led to fatal compromises. It is intended that the series will be broadcast to coincide with the centenary of the ship’s sinking.


This Neil Jordan film about a mother-and-daughter vampire duo has gone into pre-production at Ardmore Studios. Written by Moira Buffini and starring Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton, Byzantium is notable for the fact that it is co-produced by Parallel Films. Established by Alan Moloney in 1993, Parallel Films is enjoying a fertile period, with credits including the movies Albert Nobbs and Haywire.

Good Vibrations

Shooting in both Belfast and the Republic, Good Vibrations is the biopic of record shop and label owner Terri Hooley (Richard Dormer), who is often described as “Belfast’s godfather of punk”. Directed by husband and wife team Glenn Leyburn and Lisa Barros D’Sa, it is co-financed by the Irish Film Board, BBC Films and Northern Ireland Screen, among others. It also stars Jodie Whittaker and Dylan Moran.

Ek Tha Tiger

This Bollywood blockbuster is currently shooting in Dublin to the delight of Tourism Ireland, which says it will boost awareness of Ireland among India’s growing middle classes as a potential holiday destination. Ek Tha Tiger, which means Once There Was a Tiger, features Bollywood stars Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif and tells the story of a Trinity College scientist suspected of selling missile technology secrets to Pakistan.

What Richard Did

This new Element Pictures feature directed by Lenny Abrahamson stars Lars Mikkelsen (the Danish actor who played Troels Hartmann in TV crime drama The Killing, pictured right). Filming in Dublin and Wicklow, What Richard Did is loosely adapted by Malcolm Campbell from Kevin Powers’ novel Bad Day at Blackrock and follows a group of privileged Dublin teenagers over the course of the summer after they leave school.

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