1 October 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network
£22m Return in NIS Financial Report
28 Jul 2010 :
Your Highness
Northern Ireland Screen‘s annual report for the year 2009 - 2010 has been published and shows a return of £22 million to the local economy through the group’s main production investment fund. One of the biggest success stories for the group was ‘Your Highness’ which brought in £11.78 million of this.

Despite the ongoing recession, in the past year Northern Ireland Screen’s main production investment fund returned £22 million to the local economy at a ratio of 5.5:1, on an investment of £3.9 million. ‘Your Highness’, a major feature film from Universal Pictures, which shot in the Paint Hall and various other locations around Northern Ireland brought in £11.78 million of this. The feature stars James Franco (Spiderman), Zooey Deschanel (Elf) and Danny McBride (The Hangover) and is currently in post production with a theatrical release date expected for spring 2011.

Furthermore Northern Ireland Screen secured two major network television commissions, namely ‘Mo‘ and ‘Christopher and His Kind’. ‘Mo’, which aired in January, was Channel 4’s highest rating single drama for eight years and landed Julie Walters (Mamma Mia!) her sixth BAFTA TV Award and three BAFTA TV Craft Awards for members of its production team. Mammoth Screen, the indie behind ‘Christopher and His Kind’ has set up shop in Northern Ireland as a result.

The publication of this year’s report coincides with the publication of an evaluation by KPMG of Northern Ireland Screen’s three year strategy Building on Success 2007-2010. The evaluation was extremely positive, citing “a very strong performance over the strategy period”, with the Northern Ireland Screen Fund exceeding its target, delivering an economic return of around £45 million into the Northern Ireland economy – a ratio of 4.6:1, against investment of £9.8m. The report also comes just as cameras start to roll on the set of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’, a television series which is said to be one of the largest ever to shoot in Europe.

In addition, the Irish Language Broadcast Fund (ILBF) was also the subject of an evaluation in 2009, when McClure Waters undertook the exercise on behalf of DCAL for the first four years of the fund (2005-2009). This evaluation was again positive, with all targets having been successfully reached and highlighting the significant economic and cultural impact of the ILBF on the Northern Ireland sector since its creation in 2005.

Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Screen said of the reports: “The economic, cultural and educational value of the screen industry and screen culture is beginning to shine through across the wide range of activities Northern Ireland Screen supports and encourages.

“Our highlight successes in attracting Universal Pictures and HBO to Northern Ireland strongly illustrate that, with vision and focus, the screen industries and the creative industries generally can play a pivotal role in the reimagining of our local economy.”

Northern Ireland Screen is primarily funded by Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI) and part financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland, Department of Culture Arts and Leisure (DCAL) and the UK Film Council (UKFC) and it is delegated by the Arts Council of NI (ACNI) to administer Lottery funding for film in Northern Ireland.

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