CALVARY starring Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges, The Guard) and written and directed by John Michael McDonagh (The Guard).
Bord Scannán na hÉireann / the Irish Film Board (IFB), the national development agency for the Irish film industry, have announced that its investment of €10.5 million into film, television and animation projects has resulted in record levels of foreign direct investment. Over the course of 2012, the agency invested in 30 film and television projects which led to €118m being raised in foreign direct investment by Irish producers on IFB funded projects. €80m of this was invested directly into the Irish economy through the purchase of local services and employment.
IFB funded film and television projects throughout 2012 include John Michael McDonagh’s CALVARY, Neil Jordan’s BYZANTIUM, Ruairi Robinson’s LAST DAYS ON MARS, the new HARDY BUCKS feature film, the international TV series’ VIKINGS, RIPPER STREET, QUIRKE and the animated feature SONG OF THE SEA. Leverage on IFB funding is estimated to be 1:11 with an investment of €11 being delivered from international sources for every €1 invested by the IFB.
Providing an overview of the key highlights of the feature film, independent drama, TV and animation industry in Ireland this year, the IFB outlined that production activity increased with an estimated total expenditure across the entire sector of €180m. This represents an increase of approximately 30% on 2011 figures. Employment levels within the overall audiovisual industry, which has a turnover of over €500 million, have also increased to over 6,500 full-time job equivalents. This represents a 20% increase in employment in the sector from over 5,000 in 2008. Feature film production remained high with large increases in the area of independent television production, primarily driven by international high-end drama and animation.
Commenting about the success of the year, Bord Scannán na hÉireann / the Irish Film Board Chief Executive, Mr. James Hickey said: ‘The IFB has achieved record levels of foreign direct investment in IFB funded projects this year and the film and television industry as a whole has seen an estimated 30% increase on 2011 levels of production. When you consider that this activity has happened against an extremely challenging economic and fiscal climate it is even more remarkable. The audio-visual industry is delivering significant return on investment in terms of direct contribution to the economy and employment. The export of IFB funded film and TV programmes and animation works also continues to boost tourism and present positive images of Ireland to audiences around the globe.
‘The launch of the ‘Irish Film 2013 Catalogue’, highlights the wide range of IFB funded film and television projects and a substantial investment in Irish film and television talent. 2013 will see the UK release of WHAT RICHARD DID featuring Jack Reyner and two debut films from Irish Oscar nominees, Steph Green (RUN & JUMP) and Ruairi Robinson (LAST DAYS ON MARS), as well as films from established directors Lenny Abrahamson and John Michael McDonagh. We look forward to building on this further throughout the next 12 months.
‘The extension and future enhancement of the Irish tax incentive by the Irish Government to 2020 for the film and television industry also demonstrates the commitment of the Irish government to the future of the Irish film and television sector and to the value of Irish creative talent and allows us to remain competitive.’
The Chief Executive also highlighted the success of initiatives such as the IFB hosted incoming trade mission for UK TV drama producers. This led to the shooting of a number of projects in Ireland which include VEXED, FOYLES WAR, MOONE BOY, LOVING MISS HATTO, ICE CREAM GIRLS and QUIRKE. Highlights from animation include the feature film project SONG OF THE SEA and the TV production ROY. Other initiatives include the international trade mission to Mumbai which involved meeting with Bollywood studios to promote Ireland as a location.
Looking to 2013, there are a number of exciting projects in the development pipeline with the IFB. A feature film version of Joseph O’Connor’s novel STAR OF THE SEA is in development with Parallel Films and Film4. Also in development is TEN DATES FOR MAD MARY to be directed by Darren Thornton with Element Films. The IFB is also currently developing Brown Bag Films’ first feature film which is expected to move towards production in 2013.
The agency is also aiming to build on the success in the area of television drama production by targeting European producers. A European TV trade mission with the producers of projects such as THE KILLING and BORGEN planned for March 2013 and will form part of the IFB EU presidency programme.
Concluding Mr. Hickey said: “2012 has been a very positive year for film, television drama and animation production activity in Ireland and we look forward to building on this success by continuing to invest in Irish talent throughout 2013.”
Other Highlights from the Year:
- · Four Oscar nominations for Irish films – ALBERT NOBBS received three nominations while the short film PENTECOST was nominated in the Best Short Film – Live Action category.
- · There were over 30 A-list festival selections for Irish feature films in 2012 for festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Tribeca, London, Toronto and SXSW.
- · The world’s largest event entirely focused on animation, the Annecy Animation Festival, paid tribute to Irish animation. JAM Media was named European Producer of the Year and Monster Distributes was named European Distributor of the year at Cartoon Tributes. JAM Media and Boulder Media both won awards at the Children’s BAFTA’s.
- · Three Irish documentaries were nominated for Grierson Awards while six Irish documentaries were selected for the prestigious International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam.
- · An unprecedented 19 Irish features were released in Irish cinemas.