Ireland ups coin for film and TV biz

Funding for Irish Film Board to rise by 15%

LONDON — The Irish government is to up funding to the Irish Film Board by 15% in 2007, bringing the agency’s capital funding for film and television to Euros 17 million ($21.7 million), it announced Thursday.

“We look forward to being in a strong position next year to continue to support the development and produc-tion of Irish films,” said IFB chairman James Morris.

He noted that projects produced with funding from IFB in 2006 had combined budgets of just over Euros 120 million ($153 million), which in turn had generated more than Euros 80 million ($102 million) in Irish spend.

According to the IFB, the value of the Irish film and television industry has increased to an estimated Euros 157.7 million ($201 million) in 2006 from Euros 96.9 million ($124 million) in 2005.

“The increased current allocation will facilitate the board in marketing Ireland as a film location and in par-ticular will assist the work of the newly opened office in Los Angeles in raising the profile of the Irish audiovisual industry abroad,” commented Ireland’s Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism John O’Donoghue.

Irish films supported by the IFB this year include Lenny Abrahamson’s “Garage,” about a small-town misfit, John Boorman’s doppelganger drama “The Tiger’s Tail” and Niall Heery’s “Small Engine Repair,” about an aspiring country singer.

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