Country Focus: Ireland
Irish President to get IFTA honour
by Naman Ramachandran
- The Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) has announced that President Michael Daniel Higgins is to receive an Honorary Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Irish film and television industry, to be presented at the IFTA Awards ceremony on 5 April. Higgins was Ireland’s first Minister for the Arts (1993-1997).
Irish Film Board chief executive James Hickey said, “President Higgins showed extraordinary vision when he introduced groundbreaking changes to the Irish film industry as the first Irish Minister for Culture in 1993. These changes included the re-establishment of the Irish Film Board as an independent agency to invest in and develop Irish creative filmmaking talent. They also included major enhancements to the film and television tax incentive and a minimum spend requirement from RTE on independent TV production, all of which empowered the independent film, TV and animation production sector. This three-pronged strategy enabled Irish film talent to flourish over the last 20 years and the development of a creative industry that Ireland can now be rightly proud of.”
IFTA chief executive Aine Moriarty said, “This industry has worked hard and grown from strength to strength, delivering world-class standards of screen production, and the Academy is proud to pay tribute to President Higgins, who has shown the Irish industry unwavering support over many years as a creative artist in his own right, as the Minister for Arts, a dynamic leader and as President of Ireland.”