Ireland'sMinister for Arts, Sport & Tourism, John O'Donoghue,has given supplementary capital funding of $3m (Euros 2.3m) to the Irish FilmBoard. The additional money is intended to facilitate an increase in film andtelevision production in the last quarter of 2006 and the first half of 2007.The move is part of a $21m (Euros 16.4m) capital allocation to the arts sectorfrom the Department of Arts Sport & Tourism.

The FilmBoard money will be invested in film and television projects which the ministerexpects will generate production spend of more than $38.5m (Euros 30m) in theIrish economy in the next year.

"I ampleased to allocate a further $3m (Euros 2.3m), which will bring the totalallocation of funding to the Film Board to $24.9m (Euros 19.4m) in 2006, anoverall increase of 21% on the 2005 allocation. The government has alsointroduced significant improvements to Section 481 this year. As a result ofthese improvements, we anticipate that film and television in Ireland willgenerate over $102.7m (Euros 80m) in 2006 alone," said Minister O'Donoghue.

Late lastyear, in response to the low production levels being experienced by the filmindustry, the minister awarded $1.9m (Euros 1.5m) in supplementary funding tothe Irish Film Board with the aim of increasing production levels in Ireland,principally by offering an extra inducement to foreign producers.

The FilmBoard believes that that additional funding substantially increased film andtelevision production in Ireland this year, being invested in projects thathave had a combined Irish spend of $36m (Euros 28m), a leverage rate of 18:1.

'TheIrish film industry has received unwavering support from Minister O'Donoghue and the Irish Government, resulting in asubstantial increase in production levels, high employment and a significantreturn on government investment in this sector." said James Morris, chairman ofthe Irish Film Board.

"We lookforward to identifying major new film and television productions for supportthroughout the next year', added Irish Film Board CEO Simon Perry.

Featurefilms currently in production supported by the Board include: True North (world premiere Discoverysection in Toronto), Becoming Jane, Dot.Com, Shrooms, Tiger's Tale, Puffball, Garage and 32A. Two others are due to go intoproduction soon: Summer of the FlyingSaucer and Kings.