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PRODUCTION Ireland

€2.3 million boost to the IFB

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John O'Donoghue T.D., The Irish Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, has just granted a supplementary funding award of €2.3 million to the Irish Film Board, with the aim of continuing to increase film and TV production levels in the last quarter of 2006 and for the first half of 2007.

“I am pleased to allocate a further €2.3 million, which will bring the total allocation of funding to the Film Board to €19.4 million in 2006, an overall increase of 21% on the 2005 allocation”, said Minister O’Donoghue. “The government has also introduced significant improvements to the film tax incentive Section 481 this year. As a result of these improvements, we anticipate that film and television in Ireland will generate over €80 million in 2006 alone”. Last year, the extra €1.5m funding awarded by the Cultural Minister was invested in projects that had a combined Irish spending budget of €28m, delivering a leverage rate of 18:1. Those include the major TV series The Tudors, still shooting on location in Ardmore Studios, which has an Irish budget of €19m. The 10x60-minute series, scripted by Michael Hirst (Elizabeth), stars Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Myer in the lead role as King Henry VIII and Charles McDougall(Desperate Housewives) is directing the first two episodes.

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The Irish film industry has been boosted by the current success of Ken Loach’s Palme d’or-winning film The Wind That Shakes The Barley [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ken Loach
interview: Rebecca O’Brien
film profile
]
), the highest grossing independent Irish film at the local box office, which had Irish funds of nearly €4m, and continues to climb at the UK and Irish box office.

Another new Irish film was launched on Irish screens last weekend: David Gleeson’s The Front Line [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, co-produced with Germany, Sweden and the UK. The thriller, about a group of Dublin gangsters who cross paths with an African refugee (played by French-born Eriq Ebouaney from Kingdom of Heaven), was released by Buena Vista Ireland.

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