Record year for film and TV with 50% increase to €367m production spend


THIS YEAR will set records for the Irish film and independent TV production industry, according to the Audiovisual Federation, the group which represents the sector.

Launching its 2010 Review yesterday, the federation, part of the Irish Business and Employers Confederation, said estimated total production value for the sector increased by 50 per cent in 2010 to €367 million.

Full-year data for 2009 showed that total production value – the total budgets of film and television production in Ireland – stood at €243.3 million during the year, a 1.5 per cent decrease on the figure of €246.8 million for 2008.

However, Kevin Moriarty, managing director of Ardmore Studios and chairman of the Audiovisual Federation Database Committee, said the 2009 drop was due to the fact that improvements to the section 481 tax incentive scheme did not come into effect until March 2009. Most productions had not started until that point in the year.

Feature films saw a significant rise in production value, rising by 73 per cent from €58.6 million in 2009 to an estimated €101 million in 2010. The independent TV sector, which includes TV dramas, saw production value rise by more than 60 per cent from €127.1 million to €206 million in 2010.

RTÉ exceeded its statutory minimum spend in the sector in 2009 by 44 per cent, committing €57.1 million.

The Irish Film Board largely escaped budgetary cuts in last week’s budget. The board’s capital budget for 2011 will be €16 million, €0.5 million lower than 2010.

Mr Moriarty said certainty on the extension of section 481 past 2012 was essential to the industry because investment and production decisions were made years in advance.