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Minister Catherine Martin and Minister Jack Chambers launch Screen Ireland’s new National Talent Academy for VFX
03 Jul 2024 : News Desk
Ministers' attend launch of VFX Academy.
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin (TD), Minister for Finance Jack Chambers (TD), and Academy Award-winning VFX artist Richard Baneham (Avatar: The Way of Water) joined Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland and VFX Ireland last night for the launch of a new National Talent Academy for VFX.

The VFX sector in Ireland is one of the fastest growing sectors in the Irish screen industry. The sector’s work includes a host of some of the biggest films and television series in the world, from Marvel Studios’ Wanda Vision and Spiderman – No Way Home to FX’s Shogun for Disney Plus.

The National Talent Academy for VFX will expand Screen Ireland’s National Talent Academy network, joining established Academies for Film & Television, Animation, and three Crew Hubs based in the East, West and South of the country.

Screen Ireland has also opened its Animation and VFX Pathways programme for applications this week – a fund designed to provide work opportunities on productions for those from diverse and under-represented communities. 

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin (TD) said: “I have been very proud to showcase the strength and potential of the Irish VFX sector, both on trade missions to the US with Ireland’s international partners, as well as at home. Screen Ireland’s National Talent Academy network is an initiative I have supported from the beginning, and I’m delighted to see it continue to expand to include VFX, one of the industry’s fastest-growing sectors.”

Minister for Finance Jack Chambers (TD) said: “Visual effects are the blend of two talents for which Ireland is recognised worldwide - our vibrant creative culture and cutting-edge technological ability. I am delighted to welcome the launch of the new national talent academy for VFX, to support the development of new Irish talent as this industry continues to expand. Added to the supports provided through the section 481 Film Tax Credit, the recently-introduced Digital Games Tax Credit and through Screen Ireland, this new Academy again demonstrates the Government’s commitment to supporting employment and skills development in our creative industries.”

Désirée Finnegan, Chief Executive of Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, said: “Ireland’s creative and tech VFX industry has an excellent international reputation, demonstrating world-class technical skill and storytelling artistry in its work.  The quality of award-winning Irish VFX to date has demonstrated a significant opportunity for future growth as VFX has become integral to so many film and TV series. Screen Ireland is dedicated to supporting the future of this sector in Ireland and its potential to generate significant employment and skills development opportunities nationwide through the National Talent Academy for VFX.”

Charting Ireland’s VFX Future, a VFX Ireland report

The Academy's launch coincides with the release of a comprehensive report detailing the current state and future needs of the VFX sector in Ireland, offering solutions for VFX studios, colleges and training providers in establishing a strong talent pipeline for the industry. The new National Talent Academy for VFX will engage with industry heavily to address sectoral skills gaps in the roll out of its work plan over the next 12 months.

Charting Ireland’s VFX Future, compiled by VFX Ireland and commissioned by Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, finds that the Irish visual effects (VFX) sector, which currently employs over 300 professionals, is experiencing high levels of expansion, with a 326% increase in revenue in the past five years. However, this rapid growth has resulted in a VFX skills gap in Ireland, particularly in relation to the link between third level education and qualifications and the skillset required by the industry.

The new VFX Academy, managed by Cultural & Creative Industries Skillnet, will address current skills gaps in the VFX sector as it continues to expand, creating opportunities that will allow Irish creatives to upskill, and maintaining a strong diversity, equity and inclusion basis.

The Academy has published its first two courses – Houdini 101, which will allow VFX artists to upskill on the latest industry software package Houdini; and a Lead with Ease programme to meet the need for leadership training in the VFX sector. These courses are part-time, 10-12 week programmes that will be delivered online to ensure accessibility for participants across the country.

Click here to read the Charting Ireland’s VFX Future report.





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