Record year for Irish production as five movies are being showcased at prestigious Sundance festival
Last year was a record year for Irish film, TV and animation with spending on production rising to a record €195m.
Outlining its performance last year and its priorities for 2015, the Irish Film Board (IFB) reported that production activity for the independent film, television drama and animation sector is now at record levels for the third year running.
The €195m spent on producing Irish film, TV and animation is an increase of 6.5% on 2013, and 37% on 2012.
The IFB has invested just under €10m, generating production expenditure of over €42m in relation to IFB funded projects last year.
The news of a record year for Irish film, TV and animation comes as five films and co-productions are being showcased at the Sundance Film Festival next week.
Hotly tipped Glassland is one of just 12 films chosen for the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the prestigious competition.
Written and directed by Kerryman Gerard Barrett, it was produced with support from the IFB.
It stars Transformers and What Richard Did actor Jack Reynor as a young taxi driver on the fringes of the criminal underworld.
In a desperate bid to save his mother, played by Toni Collette, from addiction and unite his broken family, he is forced to take a job which will push him further into its underbelly.
The Irish animated feature film Song of the Sea is currently racking up rave reviews on its release in the US and the short film Coda in contention for the Academy Awards nominations.
Chief executive of the IFB James Hickey said that despite financial constraints, Irish directors, actors and writers were bringing value to the State, both culturally and economically.
“Last year was another strong year for the Irish film, television and animation industry with production activity levels breaking records for the third year running.
“Despite budget restrictions, Irish producers, writers, directors and actors have approached these new productions in a creative manner bringing Irish stories to the big and small screen.
“Irish films, documentaries and animation deliver a value to the State from a cultural, as well as an economic, perspective which is immeasurable,” Mr Hickey said.
He also welcomed the recent investment in and success of Irish TV drama and said he would be working to see if this sector could be further boosted in the coming year.
“The development of TV drama is important for the sustainability of a strong film industry such as what we see in countries such as the UK, France and Denmark.
“The future growth of film, TV drama and animation production activity could be further increased with more investment from the broadcasters,” he said
The chairman of the IFB, Bill O’Herlihy, said that a new five-year strategy for the industry would be announced later this year which will set out the objectives the agency has for the industry both at home and abroad.
“As the economy turns to growth we believe that the Irish film industry can play a central role in developing talent, creating jobs, attracting investment and helping to sell Ireland abroad.
“We are currently consulting with our stakeholders and will publish a new strategic plan in the first half of this year which will bring momentum to the sector and ensure that Irish film, television and animation plays an important role representing Irish culture, telling Irish stories, creating Irish jobs and promoting Irish talent on the international stage in the years to come,” he said.
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