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CANNES 2011 Market / Ireland

Ireland scores finance deals

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Ireland’s Windmill Lane Pictures has notched up a number of post-production finance deals with companies as diverse as Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp and Edward R. Pressman Film Corporation.

Selling here at the Cannes Market, EuropaCorp’s all-action sci-fi thriller Lockout is currently in visual effects (VFX) production at the Irish VFX studio. The film benefitted from the competitive tax break offered by the Irish government – up to 28% of Irish spend.

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Windmill became the Irish co-producer to manage the tax support mechanism. The company recently opened a new stand-alone feature film visual effects studio housing 45 staff in September.

Written and directed by Irish duo James Mather and Stephen St. Leger, Lockout stars Guy Pearce and was filmed in Belgrade, Serbia, but benefitted from all the visual effects being produced in Windmill’s new VFX studio in Ireland.

Also currently partnering up with Windmill is Samson Films, Mediabiz and Strada Films with Edward R. Pressman as executive producer, on the previously announced The Moth Diaries, directed by Mary Harron (American Psycho) and starring Lily Cole, Sarah Gadon, Sarah Bolger and Scott Speedman. The Canadian/Irish co-production was shot in Canada with post and VFX being completed in Ireland.

“As there is no minimum spend in Ireland as opposed to a minimum production spend of 25% in the UK for features under £20m, this means we have a greater flexibility of being able to come into project at a later stage as well as earlier. When producers are looking for the last piece of finance when pre-sales at the right level aren’t forthcoming, we can often help in closing the deal,” explains Michael Murphy, chief executive of Windmill Lane Entertainment.

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