The Irish Film Board won an 18.5% increase in its 2006 budget, which it invests in culturally Irish films, often matched with coin from the Northern Ireland Film & TV Commission. The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland has a sound-and-vision fund that boasts an even more stringent cultural remit.
Foreign pics shooting in Ireland can access the Section 481 tax break, so long as they they employ an Irish co-producer.
The value of S481 was previously worth about 12% of budgets up to $18 million; now it can deliver about 18% for films costing up to $42 million.
Changes were designed to counter the U.K.’s move to a system of tax credits targeted exclusively at production within Blighty. Previously any film shooting in Ireland set up as a U.K. co-production could simultaneously tap Irish and U.K. breaks, but no longer.
- Irish Film Board: Web: filmboard.ie; Contact: Simon Perry
- Hells Kitchen Intl./Element Films: Web: elementfilms.ie; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Contacts: Andrew Lowe and Ed Guiney
- Octagon Films/World 2000: Web: world2000. ie; Email: email@example.com; Contacts: James Flynn and Morgan O’Sullivan
- Samson Films; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Contact: David Collins
“True North” is an Irish-German-U.K. co-production that looks like a Scottish movie. Written and directed by Steve Hudson, it tells the story of a Scottish trawler trying to stave off bankruptcy by smuggling illegal immigrants into Britain.
Financing came from the IFB and Section 481 in Ireland; Scottish Screen, BBC Films and Scion Films in the U.K.; and German orgs the FFA, the NRW film fund and pubcaster ZDF/Arte.
Shooting took place in Ireland and Germany, with two days in Scotland. Juggling the geographical split turned into, as Scottish producer Eddie Dick put it, a 3-D jigsaw.