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Irish industries see boost in employment, record level of foreign investment, reports IFB

IFB touts rising employment in audiovisual industries and growing production expenditure, despite IFB budget decline in tough economic conditions.

The Irish Film Board’s (IFB) €10.5m 2012 investment in more than 30 projects resulted in in €80m spend in the Irish economy, according to an end of year report from the organisation.

Employment levels in the audiovisual sector increased by 20% from 2008 levels to 6,500 full-time job equivalents and €118m was raised in foreign direct investment by Irish producers on IFB funded projects.

The IFB outlined that production activity increased with an estimated total expenditure across the entire sector of €180m, which represents an increase of approximately 30% on 2011 figures.

Bord Scannán na hÉireann / the Irish Film Board chief executive,  Mr. James Hickey said: “The IFB has achieved record levels of foreign direct investment in IFB funded projects this year and the film and television industry as a whole has seen an estimated 30% 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 extension and future enhancement of the Irish tax incentive by the Irish Government to 2020 for the film and television industry also demonstrates the commitment of the Irish government to the future of the Irish film and television sector and to the value of Irish creative talent and allows us to remain competitive.”

The constraints on Ireland’s economy have meant that IFB funding has decreased in successive years from €16.5m in 2010 to €13.5m in 2012 and €12m in 2013.

IFB-backed projects in 2012 included John Michael McDonagh’s Calvary, Neil Jordan’s Byzantium and Ruairi Robinson’s Last Days on Mars.

2013-backed projects include a feature film version of Joseph O’Connor’s novel Star of the Sea, which is in development with Parallel Films and Film4, Ten Dates for Mad Mary, to be directed by Darren Thornton with Element Films and Brown Bag Films’ first feature.

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