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Irish Film Board launches Production Catalogue 2017 and Reflects on 2016
12 Jan 2017 : Katie McNeice
At the IFB Production Catalogue launch this morning, the highlights of the previous year were discussed in addition to a presentation on IFB supporting productions set to reach audiences in 2017.

With Irish films achieving record global box office figures, and production activity surpassing the €250 million mark for the first time, the industry is continuing to go from strength to strength.

Irish audiences can look forward to a wide range of new Irish films featuring a host of Irish talent including Sarah Bolger, Catherine Walker, Pat Shortt, Cillian Murphy, Andrew Scott, Ann Skelly, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor from Irish directors Mark O’Rowe, Nora Twomey, Rebecca Daly, Aoife McArdle, Aisling Walsh, Stephen Burke and others.

Building on Success
As set out in its five-year Strategic Plan launched last July, ‘Building on Success’, the IFB has ambitious plans to maintain the momentum currently being enjoyed in the thriving Irish film, television and animation industries, and to support the industry in its ambitions to scale to the next level

In 2017, the IFB will work with industry and all of its stakeholders to build on the recent period of unprecedented critical and commercial success at home and abroad for Irish film and to sustain growth for the sector. With a view to driving sustainable development, particular priority will be given to the following initiatives this year:

  • Increased investment in Irish creative talent working in film, animation and TV drama
  • Growing and developing sustainable career paths for Irish creative talent through our renewed short films schemes, our micro-budget film funding and a new Catalyst scheme
  • Supporting increased regional production activity so that the benefits of film and TV production are spread throughout every part of Ireland in terms of job creation and local spend
  • An international marketing campaign targeted at attracting international productions to film in Ireland
  • Working closely with industry stakeholders, particularly RTE, TG4 and the BAI, to further develop talent working within the sector
  • Continued investment in training, concentrated on bringing new creative, entrepreneurial and technical talent and skills into the sector, supporting the development of sustainable career paths for existing industry personnel. 

Dr Annie Donna, IFB Chair:
“We have an exciting opportunity to continue to grow the film, TV and animation sectors, ensuring that we have high quality work coming from Ireland which is being watched and enjoyed by local and international audiences.

“Recent growth in production activity for the sector can be directly attributed to investment from the IFB and substantial changes made to the Irish tax incentive for film and television by the Irish Government, demonstrating a strong return on Government support.

“We are delighted to be working with the Creative Ireland programme, which is placing creativity at the centre of public policy. We intend to support the continued development of Ireland as a centre of excellence for the film, animation and television sector as is identified by Creative Ireland as one of its five central pillars. We look forward to working with Minister Humphreys on the recently commissioned audio-visual report on the value of the sector so that we can strategically plan around building necessary policy for the industry.”

James Hickey, IFB Chief Executive:
“The slate of productions we are launching today is exciting and impressive, showcasing diverse themes and genres by both experienced and new creative talent. The quality and quantity of the work demonstrates our long-term commitment to investing in talent and developing sustainable career paths for Irish storytelling on screen. Together with our ambition to spread production activity across the country and to strengthen our relationship with industry stakeholders, we aim to create a broader range of opportunities for writers, directors, producers and all the creative talent working across the film, animation and TV drama industries.”

Continued Audience Engagement
In 2015/2016 Irish films did incredible business internationally with a record breaking US$170 million in the last 18 months. 2016 was another strong year for the domestic box office for Irish films. ‘Room’ grossed a healthy €1.3 million while local sleeper hit
‘The Young Offenders’ grossed over €1.2 million. ‘Brooklyn’ finished its successful Irish run at over €3.1 million and ‘A Date for Mad Mary’ hit its zeitgeist with €220,000. 

Irish audiences also took to their heart IFB projects on television such as ‘Older than Ireland’, ‘Atlantic’ and ‘Strange Occurrences in an Irish Village’—which proves that Irish audiences want to see Irish stories.  2016 also saw a significant number of projects being picked up by Amazon and Netflix both by way of acquisitions and commissions.

Record Breaking Production Activity
Ireland experienced a record breaking €250 million* production spend in 2016 in film, animation and TV drama.  With the international demand for film, TV and animation growing exponentially worldwide there is significant potential for further growth. Building on the success of international films which chose Ireland as a film location in the last year, such as ‘Star Wars Episode VIII’, ‘The Professor and the Madman’ and ‘The Man Who Invented Christmas’, this year the IFB will embark on an international advertising campaign to promote Ireland as a location for production. The campaign will be backed by a greater focus on the North American marketplace.

There will be a focus on spreading production activity across the country with a particular focus on the regions and building regional hubs. The IFB welcomes Troy Studios in Limerick as a wonderful addition to the infrastructural offering and we will work with IDA and Enterprise Ireland in order to increase the infrastructural capacity.”

People Development and Training
Our talent – both in front of and behind the camera is our biggest asset.  The IFB, through Screen Training Ireland, will continue to invest in people, skills and building industry capacity.

We are building the skills required to grow the sector and in particular to grow regional partnerships. In 2017, we will create more sustainable career paths for all talent and in particular we aim to grow our partnership with Solas and the Enterprise and Training Boards to create new career traineeships in live-action, animation and visual effects. We will continue to invest in storytelling, entrepreneurship, digital production and technical and craft skills.

Coming to market in 2017 

  • Launched today, Irish Film 2017 sets out all the IFB supported projects coming to the market 2017, including: Stephen Burke’s MAZE starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and Barry Ward;
  • Amination works including Nora Twomey’s animated featureThe Breadwinner which has Angelina Jolie as Executive Producer,
  • Good Favour directed by Rebecca Daly, which looks at the experience of a young man who joins a devout Christian community in a remote existence in central Europe;
  • The Belly of the Whale, starring Pat Shortt and directed by Morgan Bushe;
  • Children’s animated television works Jam Media’s Becca’s Brunch, Salty Dog’s Brewster the Rooster and Brown Bag’s Gilbert & Sadie;
  • Two Catalyst projects The Drummer and the Keeper by Nick Kelly and Kissing Candice by Aoife McArdle;
  • Lance Daly’s Black ’47, a revenge thriller set in an Ireland devastated by the Great Famine of 1847;
  • Mark O’Rowe’s directorial debut Delinquent Season starring Cillian Murphy and Andrew Scott;
  • Song of Granite, directed by Pat Collins which is a lyrical portrayal of great traditional Irish singer Joe Heaney; 
  • Genre feature film The Third Wave directed and written by David Freyne;
  • Halal Daddy, a cultural clash comedy drama filmed in Sligo and starring Colm Meaney and Sarah Bolger;
  • Aithri/Penance, starring Peter Coonan as a priest who is unequivocal about the need for violence to force Britain out of Ireland;
  • Michael Inside, a story of a young teenager who spends three months in prison;
  • Genre film The Lodgers, directed by Brian O’Malley, which looks at the life of Anglo-Irish twins Rachel and Edward;
  • A number of documentaries including Blinder films: Grace Jones: The Musical Of My Life, Outside the Factory by Feargal Ward and Elián by Ross McDonnell.

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