Ireland's Arts ministerJohn O'Donoghue has proposed the appointment of an Irish film ambassador.
O'Donoghue made theproposal while on a trade mission to Los Angeles to meet with senior executivesat Warner Brothers, Sony, Universal, Paramount, Disney and 20th Century Fox.
Speaking at a dinnerattended by Colin Farrell and other luminaries O'Donoghue said,"Attracting major film productions to Ireland is like attracting a majorindustry. This needs personal relationships so we have to look very seriously atplacing a film ambassador in Hollywood."
The minister is also saidto be looking to raise the existing cap on tax incentive investment in any onefilm, currently standing at Euros 15m. "If you want to make a high budgetfilm [in Ireland], the size of the cap could be the breaking point."O'Donoghue also met with Nicholas Clay, CEO of Avica, the Santa Monica-baseddigital cinema technology business that established its European headquartersin Ireland last year. Clay is reported in the Irish press as saying that Avicaintends to convert all of Ireland's cinemas to digital exhibition, withdistributors paying the costs.
Today, O'Donoghue and NewYork production outfit Classic Media are expected officially to announce theimminent shooting in Ireland of a re-make of children's classic Lassie.