Irish film is enjoying its most successful year yet – with nine Oscar nominations and a host of international box-office hits.
Seven of the Oscar-nominated films were funded by the Irish Film Board including ‘Room,’ directed by Lenny Abrahamson, that saw Brie Larson awarded Best Actress in a Leading Role.
Alongside the Oscar success, Ireland has attracted a number of big-budget productions. The closing scenes for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ were filmed on Ireland’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, Skellig Michael, and the crew are back again filming for the eighth Star-Wars edition.
The Irish government recently introduced changes to its tax incentives for film and TV production, allowing companies to claim back tax against expenditure of up to 70 million euros.
Experts said Ireland’s strength lies more in its talent pool than in its fiscal arrangements.
“The big competition at the moment, is about skills, and Ireland has a lot of the relevant skills to offer,” Barry O’Dowd, head of IDA-Ireland said. “Over the last number of years, we have seen a lot of the migration of companies out of centers like Los Angeles into Canada, and there is no reason why they can’t come to Europe.”
The country’s audio-visual sector is estimated to be worth over 550 million euros and employs over 6,000 people. A new production facility is set to open here later this year with the aim of attracting more business for strong industries like animation, special effects, and augmented reality.