As set out in the Government’s ‘Global Ireland 2025’ initiative, which launched last year, film is a high-impact way of promoting Ireland on the global stage. Screen Ireland is the national development agency for Irish film making and the Irish film, television and animation industry. Its statutory remit is to assist and encourage the making of film in the State and the development of a film industry in Ireland. Screen Ireland supports writers, directors and production companies across these sectors by providing investment loans for the development, production and distribution of film, television and animation projects. It has a vision for a vibrant, creative and sustainable Irish film, television and animation industry, with diverse voices, talent and opportunities which speaks to and connects Irish film culture with audiences at home and abroad.
Screen Ireland also works in conjunction with the enterprise agencies to support the development of the film sector to make a substantial contribution to inward investment. It promotes Ireland as a location for international production by providing advice and support for international companies seeking to locate production activity to Ireland, organising inward and outward trade missions on an annual basis and working in partnership with EU counterparts on co-productions.
Government policy also supports the sector through Section 481 tax relief, international film co-production treaties, an annual international programme of Irish film festivals, and through engaging high-profile talent to project a positive image of Ireland and reflect Ireland as a creative place.
In April 2018, I joined with the Taoiseach and Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, in launching my Department’s capital investment plan: 'Investing in our Culture, Language and Heritage 2018 – 2027’. This plan incorporated an amount of €200m to be invested in media production and the audiovisual industry over the next 10 years and represented a first step in the Government’s ambitions to enable Ireland to become a global hub for the production of film, TV drama and animation. The investment will be delivered through Screen Ireland.
The Audiovisual Action Plan under Pillar 4 of the Creative Ireland programme is designed to deliver on ambitions to make Ireland a leader in the audiovisual sector. It is underpinned by the Olsberg SPI with Nordicity Report which has set recommendations that will assist in attracting greater inward investment. A number of important recommendations that will have benefits in terms of attracting international productions have already been delivered upon, including the announcement in the budget speech in October last that the Section 481 tax relief for the film industry would be extended beyond its 2020 deadline to 2024; the additional funding I secured for Screen Ireland in Budget 2019; and the signing of the revised European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production in May 2019 following the efforts of my Department and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.