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The Irish Film Board receives a €200 million investment from Project Ireland 2040


- The Investing in Our Culture, Language and Heritage 2018-2027 strategic plan will provide funding to Ireland's film and screen content sector over a ten-year period

The Irish Film Board receives a €200 million investment from Project Ireland 2040
James Hickey, chief executive of the Irish Film Board, soon to be rebranded Screen Ireland

The Irish Film Board, the Republic of Ireland's film agency and main funding body, has welcomed the publication of a strategic plan entitled Investing in Our Culture, Language and Heritage 2018-2027. This plan is part of Project Ireland 2040, a €116 billion governmental strategy that aims to steer Ireland's social, economic and cultural development over the next 22 years.

Following the announcement, the Irish government will provide about €1.2 billion in capital funding for the cultural and creative industries over a ten-year period, €200 million of which will be invested in audiovisual productions within that same period. This significant investment will help the board to fulfil its remit and strengthen its role as an essential contributor to the cultural and economic life of the republic. Moreover, as of 18 June 2018, the Irish Film Board will be renamed Screen Ireland in order to better reflect its wider scope of support across film, animation, television and other media content.

The €200 million investment's goals will include: co-production funding aimed at supporting the development and production of international features, such as Lenny Abrahamson's Room [+see also:
film review
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and John Crowley's Brooklyn [+see also:
film review
film profile
; development funding to increase the potential of Irish productions in the marketplace; production funding aimed at supporting new Irish TV dramas; regional production funding aimed at assisting with filming costs outside of County Dublin and County Wicklow; and additional regional training initiatives for film workers.

James Hickey, chief executive of the Irish Film Board, has enthusiastically welcomed the announcement made by Minister of Culture Josepha Madigan and Prime Minister Leo Varadkar: “We look forward to working with the department’s Creative Ireland programme in implementing Pillar 4 of its strategy, with Ireland growing and expanding as a centre of excellence for media production over the next ten years.” Dr Annie Doona, current chair and president of the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) national film school, added: “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 audiovisual territory. We also welcome the commencement date for the transition of 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 audiovisual sector, largely driven by a host of new internet platforms alongside the continued success of the traditional film and TV industry.”

This long-term investment is certainly good news for the Irish audiovisual sector, in which there are presently over 17,000 full-time jobs, and aims to build on its reputation as a high-level industry, capable of supporting international productions with skilled manpower, modern infrastructures and an attractive tax-credit policy.

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