Brooklyn and Vikings backer The Irish Film Board is to get $250m investment from the Irish Government over the next ten years to spend on film, TV and animation projects. This is a useful increase in funding for the vital national body and, on average at least, restores its annual coffers to near the pre-recession levels of around $22m (€18m) in 2008. In 2016 the IFB got around $12m, which rose to $18m last year.
The funding was announced as part of Project Ireland 2040, the Irish Government’s policy initiative to boost the local economy. The money will be spread across movie co-production and development, high-end TV dramas and training while a new Regional Production Fund will be set up to help stimulate location shoots beyond the traditional hub areas of Dublin and Wicklow. As part of the funding push, which has long-been lobbied for by local industry, the Room and The Lobster backer will also be rebranded as Screen Ireland, from June 2018.
Ireland benefits from a lucrative tax credit as well as sweeping panoramas and an impressive talent pool. The country’s locations and facilities have previously played home to big-budget productions including Disney’s The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, and TV series including Netflix’s upcoming Nightflyers and BBC drama Ripper Street.
IFB Chair, Annie Doona said, “This enhanced commitment to culture is crucial because it will allow us to build on Ireland’s international reputation as a hub for creativity for film and screen content and an attractive audio-visual territory. It will further consolidate our efforts to fully realise the ambitions of Pillar 4 of Creative Ireland in further establishing Ireland as a global centre of excellence for media production.
“We also welcome the commencement date of the transition of Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board into Screen Ireland. This transition represents more than a name change, as it seeks to represent the ever-evolving nature of the sector thanks to the international revolution within the audio-visual sector, largely driven by a host of new internet platforms alongside the continued success of the traditional film and TV industry. As Screen Ireland, we will remain steadfastly committed to supporting diverse Irish voices on film, as well as capitalising on the opportunities for growth currently experienced within the sector.”