Music execs descend on Derry

Some of the world’s top music executives are to gather in Derry later this month to debate the future of the industry.

Global players responsible for music in advertising, television and film will come together to examine the sector and offer advice to emerging artists, producers, composers and record labels.

It is part of the CultureTECH festival running later this month in the North West.

Richard Williams, chief executive of Northern Ireland Screen which is hosting the event, said: “Digital technologies are changing both how we create and distribute content and there are several Northern Ireland companies at the forefront of this process.

“CultureTECH is an ideal opportunity for us to highlight the future of the industry as seen by key industry professionals and to showcase some of the companies that Northern Ireland Screen has been able to support in areas like interactive content and games.”

As part of its support for the CultureTECH event, Northern Ireland Screen will host workshops and presentations from key industry professionals including Julian March, director of online for ITV and five senior commissioners from Channel 4.

It will also showcase work from Northern Ireland companies 360 Production, Inlifesize, and TV Hacker and Billy Goat TV, among others.

Mark Nagurski, festival organiser, added: “The film and TV industries are exciting spaces at the moment, with both large-scale and start-up companies vying to define what the future will look like.

“You also have new forms of entertainment across areas like digital publishing.”

The CultureTECH festival takes place from August 29 to September 1 in Derry and features an industry conference, film screenings, games tournament and live music across the city.

Meanwhile, Belfast-based visual effects company Factory Pictures is targeting global business across the television, film and advertising industries with support from Invest Northern Ireland.

The company is aiming to become Northern Ireland’s leading provider of visual effects and digital animation and has secured valuable business with US and UK production houses since it was established in 2010.

The global market for visual effects is steadily growing and is predicted to be worth $100bn (€81bn) by the end of this year. Factory Pictures is investing more than €300,000 in a range of business development activities to capitalise on this potential.

Invest NI has offered more than €100,000 of support towards the investment, partly funded under its Jobs Fund and by the European Regional Development Fund.

Tracy Meharg, Invest NI’s executive director of business solutions, said: “Factory Pictures is an ambitious company operating within a growing niche of the film and television industries.

“Its expansion plans will help to position Northern Ireland as a viable destination for VFX and animation development and complement the current successes of our screen industries.”

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