Spielberg ‘keenly interested’ in possible work in Ireland

Director tells Taoiseach he is ‘aware of potential’ during Hollywood meeting

Film director Steven Spielberg with actress Sally Field at the Irish premier of Lincoln in Dublin in January. Mr Spielberg told Taoiseach Enda Kenny last night that he was interested in possibly working in Ireland in the future. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Film director Steven Spielberg with actress Sally Field at the Irish premier of Lincoln in Dublin in January. Mr Spielberg told Taoiseach Enda Kenny last night that he was interested in possibly working in Ireland in the future. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Thu, Mar 21, 2013, 17:38

Taoiseach Enda Kenny dropped into Hollywood last night to speak with Steven Spielberg about the possibility of making more movies in Ireland.

While Mr Kenny reported that Mr Spielberg was "keenly interested" in making more films, he said the Oscar-winning director did not have any specific projects in mind at this time.

"He is genuinely aware of the potential of Ireland and is keenly interested," the Taoiseach said following their meeting at Universal Studios yesterday.

"I congratulated him on the success of Lincoln and we did discuss the possibility of future engagement and work in Ireland," he said.

"To do that, obviously, you have to have a tax regime that's acceptable but you also need to have infrastructure like space and studio space together with the creativity that he recognises in Ireland."

Mr Kenny pledged to examine the incentives available for film production in Ireland to ensure the country is best-placed to attract potential investment.

Mr Kenny also told reporters he was glad that US President Barack Obama had taken the first formal steps on the road to a possible EU-US trade agreement.

The Taoiseach raised the issue with the President at their meeting in the White House earlier this week.

Mr Kenny said closer trade ties between Eu rope and the US would have "huge potential" for Ireland in the form of new business and job opportunities. However, it could take years before a new deal is finally signed off.

The Obama administration yesterday notified the US Congress of its intent to enter into negotiations on a trade and investment agreement with the EU.

Mr Kenny said: "[This means] we can now proceed to get the mandate for negotiations to start during the course of the Irish presidency, which was always a priority of ours. And I am glad that the president reacted so swiftly in that matter."

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