22 February 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
Irish Film & Television Industry Takes In More Than €100m In 2012
20 Dec 2012 : By Eva Hall
James Hickey addressed the media today for the IFB announcement
Over €100m in direct foreign investment was raised by the Irish film and television industry in 2012, the Irish Film Board has announced.

In total, the IFB invested in 30 film and television projects this year, resulting in a total of €118m being raised. €80m of this went directly to cast and crew working in the Irish film and television industry.

Two international co-productions in particular, ‘Vikings’ and ‘Ripper Street’, accounted for nearly €30m revenue between them. ‘Vikings’, co-produced by Ireland’s World 2000 and Canada’s Take 5 Productions, brought in €20m revenue. The nine-part series filmed on location in Ballyhenry studio in Wicklow over 18 weeks.

‘Ripper Street’ meanwhile, co-produced by Ireland’s Element Pictures and the UK’s Tiger Aspect Productions and Lookout Point for the BBC, raked in €8m this summer. The eight-part series filmed in Dublin for 19 weeks.

James Hickey, CEO of the IFB, said: “The film and television industry as a whole has seen an estimated 30 per cent increase on 2011 levels of production. When you consider that this activity has happened against an extremely challenging economic and fiscal climate it is even more remarkable. The audio-visual industry is delivering significant return on investment in terms of direct contribution to the economy and employment.”

Speaking at the launch of the Irish Film 2013 Catalogue, which displays all IFB-funded projects due for release in 2013, Mr Hickey also revealed the IFB budget for 2013 is set at €12m; a 10 per cent decrease of the 2012 budget.

Despite the drop in funds, Mr Hickey remains hopeful that the IFB and the film industry as a whole will continue to nurture film talent in Ireland: “There’s a whole new group of talented Irish filmmakers coming up. It’s a competitive world out there, we have to compete”.

The CEO also said the Irish film tax incentive, known widely as Section 481, was “vitally important” to attracting international co-productions to Irish shores. The Irish government extended Section 481 to the year 2020 in Budget 2013, announced earlier this month.

Presently, over 6,500 crew members are in full time employment in the Irish film and television industry, however this number increases significantly when an international co-production is in town.

‘Vikings’ for example employed over 500 cast and crew members this year, while over one thousand extras were employed for ‘Ripper Street’ last summer.

The IFB also announced its production highlights for 2013, most notably Lenny Abrahamson’s ‘Frank’, which was originally scheduled for a September 2012 shoot but has been pushed back until January 2013. Michael Fassbender and Domhnall Gleeson are confirmed to star in the feature from the ‘What Richard Did’ director.

Another highpoint for the IFB is Brown Bag Films’ first animated feature film, which is currently in pre-production. The Oscar-nominated animation studio has had previous success with ‘Give Up Yer Aul Sins’ and ‘Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty’.

Mr Hickey also revealed that the agency is currently in development talks with RTÉ regarding a partnership on feature films and television productions. Other European countries, such as Denmark, have already adopted this relationship, while Irish filmmakers have been calling out for a similar partnership. Just this month, writer and director Kirsten Sheridan told IFTN: “I think it's something that actually has to happen on a broad, cultural, government department sense.”

Mr Hickey added: “2012 has been a very positive year for film, television drama and animation production activity in Ireland and we look forward to building on this success by continuing to invest in Irish talent throughout 2013.”

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