Irish gov't cuts arts, culture and film spending by 5%

The Irish government has cut the budget of the Irish Film Board by 3% to €16 million ($21.2 million), a mild reduction given the state of the Irish economy and that fact that the government is slashing costs in a bid to secure a $95 billion international bailout.

The country’s 2011 budget, revealed on Tuesday, cut the total spend on arts, culture and film by 5% to $86.3 million.

But the section 481 investment tax relief for the film and TV productions, worth up to 28% of a film’s local spend, will remain in place.

IFB’s administration budget will be slashed by 12.3% to $3.2 million.

IFB chairman James Morris said: “The combination of ambitious creatively driven Irish projects and high-profile international productions all working in Ireland in the last year is set to continue into the year ahead on the basis of today’s budget.”

The past year was fruitful for the Irish production sector despite the country’s glacial economic conditions. Two local pics will world preem at Sundance next year. John Michael McDonagh’s “The Guard,” produced through Element Pictures and Reprisal Films and starring Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle, will open the world dramatic competition, while Ian Palmer’s docu “Knuckle” will also screen at the fest.

The country played host to a slew of projects including Steven Soderbergh’s “Haywire,” with Channing Tatum and Michael Fassbender, and Sean Penn starrer “This Must Be the Place.” TV series “Camelot,” produced by GK Films and Ecosse Films, is lensing. Next year, Rodrigo Garcia’s “Albert Nobbs,” starring Glenn Close, Mia Wasikowska, Gleeson and Aaron Johnson, will shoot in Dublin and Wicklow.

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