Oscars success - And the winner is...

Lost in Hollywood’s Oscar excitement — are award-winners unable to complete a speech without crying? — is the role Ireland played in the success of The Favourite. The project had funding from the Irish Film Board — now rebranded as Screen Ireland — and tax relief on the post-production work that was done in Dublin.

Film-makers, writers, actors and critics doubtless take every opportunity to argue at length about the artistic strengths and weaknesses of our movie industry.

There can, though, be no doubting its importance to the country’s economy. In 2017, the latest year for which statistics are available, the film, television and animation sector was providing — directly and indirectly — jobs for almost 12,000 people. That number increases to almost 17,000 if the entire audiovisual sector — including advertising production, video games and radio — is included. Production companies – offered some of the world’s best locations along with first-class artistic and technical talent — spent more than €292m on local employment, goods and services.

Let’s hear some Oscar-volume applause, then, not only for The Favourite but also for Screen Ireland and the government ministers who, when the pressure is on to cut spending in sectors that might be ranked as luxuries, have stuck to their long-term commitment to the country’s film culture.

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