LONDON — The Irish Film Board has been awarded an 18% increase in its 2008 budget to Euros 23.2 million ($33.7 million).
The Irish government has also confirmed it will renew the Section 481 tax incentive for film and TV production.
But with foreign production in Ireland falling to an all-time low, lobbyists including the IFB are campaigning for this tax break to be enhanced. The government is expected to make a decision on that next spring.
“This extremely welcome uplift in the IFB’s funding will enable us to respond to pressing needs in Irish filmmaking,” said IFD chief executive Simon Perry.
“We aim to provide more support for the sustained development of Irish stories with international reach, well-funded schemes for the production of short films to reveal new Irish talent and to invest in new production at a level that will stimulate the making of bigger-budget films with potential to compete in the world market.”
But IFB chairman James Morris pointed out that Irish tax incentives have fallen behind “our main overseas competitors” — principally the U.K., which introduced a new system of tax credits earlier this year.
“In this area we welcome the minister of finance’s decision to renew Section 481 and hope that, in the coming weeks, he will consider favorably the IFB’s proposed amendments.”
According to the IFB, film and TV projects financed by the org contributed about Euros 92 million ($135 million) to the Irish economy in 2007. Notable Irish successes around the world include “Once,” which won the audience prize at Sundance and grossed $10 million via Fox Searchlight in North America.