Irish film and TV funding body Screen Ireland will appoint a permanent representative based in Los Angeles next year, the Vikings and Brooklyn backer has announced.
The expansion was confirmed as part of a two day trade mission in partnership with Enterprise Ireland in Los Angeles, led by the Irish Prime Minister, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Varadkar also opened a new Irish consulate in Los Angeles as part of its ‘Global Ireland’ strategy, to double the country’s impact internationally by 2025.
As part of the trade mission, Varadkar met with senior executives from Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros, Skydance Media, Hulu, Endeavour and Fox Searchlight. Meetings included Bob Iger and Reed Hastings.
The trade mission was attended by Ireland’s leading production companies, animation studios, post-production and VFX houses, including Element Pictures (The Favourite), Cartoon Saloon (The Breadwinner), Brown Bag (Vampirina), Wild Atlantic Pictures (Fate: The Winx Saga), World 2000 (Vikings). Also on the business trip was newly appointed Screen Ireland Chief Executive Désirée Finnegan.
The Taoiseach reinforced the Irish Government’s commitment to Section 481, which has been a critical component of growth of the industry in Ireland; along with the newly introduced regional uplift incentive of 5%, which will incentivize film production in the regions.
Disney has a long-standing production partnership with Irish company Brown Bag across animation shows including Doc McStuffins, Henry Hugglemonster (created by Irish writer Niamh Sharkey) and more recently, the TV show Vampirina. Disney also filmed the last two installments of the Star Wars franchise on Skellig Michael and along the Wild Atlantic Way from Kerry to Donegal.
Netflix recently filmed Fate: The Winx Saga in Ireland and are currently in production with Cartoon Saloon on the new animated feature film My Father’s Dragon directed by Nora Twomey. Netflix’s Martin Scorsese mob pic The Irishman completed post-production at Screen Scene in Dublin.
Fox Searchlight recently renewed its first look deal with Element Pictures.
The Taoiseach also viewed exclusive preview clips of the series, Normal People produced by Element Pictures for BBC 3 and Hulu; and met with Lorenzo De Maio, Partner, Endeavor Content, Beatrice Springhorn, Head of Hulu Originals, and Element Pictures to discuss the U.S. release and international of the series. Normal People is the first large scale indigenous TV drama that Screen Ireland has supported from its newly established TV Drama production fund.
Commenting on the trade mission Varadkar said, “Our ambition is to extend and deepen our relationship with the creative industries in Los Angeles. So I am really glad to announce that Screen Ireland has decided to re-establish its presence in Los Angeles, and will be working in close co-operation with our new Consulate. Screen Ireland wants to double the size of the sector in the coming years and we want to help them achieve that goal.”