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Minister Madigan publishes first Progress Report on the Implementation of the Audiovisual Action Plan

The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD today published the first Progress Report on the Audiovisual Action Plan.

The 10-year Government plan contains recommendations across eight policy areas to make Ireland a leader in the audiovisual sector and to drive increased investment and production across film, TV drama and animation. 

Key achievements since the plan’s launch in June 2018 include:

  • The extension of Section 481 Film tax relief until 2024, along with changes to improve the administration of the relief. 
  • The introduction of the Regional Film Development Uplift, which offers additional tax reliefs to incentivise film production in the regions.
  • Increased funding of feature films and TV drama – Funding for Screen Ireland has increased by 17% in the the 2019 and 2020 budgets to support increased investment in feature film and TV drama.

In 2019 Screen Ireland opened the TV Drama Production funding scheme which has provided opportunities for series such as Darklands, the upcoming series Normal People, written by Irish author Sally Rooney and directed by Oscar-nominated Irish director Lenny Abrahamson and the comedy/drama The South Westerlies which is currently in production.

  • Improved training and skills development – Screen Skills Ireland introduced new certified programmes including ‘Creative Leadership’ and ‘Advanced Producers’ (both in partnership with Technological University (TU) Dublin).
  • Improved marketing of Ireland’s audiovisual sector - Screen Ireland’s changed its name, widened its remit and announced plans to have a representative based in Los Angeles from 2020 to develop relationships with the world’s leading studios and production companies.           
  • Ireland signed the revised Council of Europe Convention on Cinematographic Co-production earlier this year, facilitating partnerships on co-productions with other European countries.
  • Development of audiovisual IP – In 2019 Enterprise Ireland hosted workshops on commercialising animation IP for the UK and EU and will host further event in 2020. 
  • The establishment of a high-level Steering Group of relevant Government Departments and State Bodies to drive implementation.

Minister Madigan commented,

This Government highly values the cultural, creative and economic potential of Ireland’s audiovisual industry. This report is proof that we’re making real progress towards making Ireland a global hub for TV drama, film and animation. I’m confident that we’re on our way to reaching the target of 24,000 audiovisual jobs and expanding the sector’s value to €1.4 billion.

We’ve achieved a lot in the last 16 months, including the extension of Section 481 along with its upskilling obligations.

This progress has only been possible thanks to the strong support of Government departments, in particular Finance, Education and Science, Communications, Climate Action and the Environment and Business, Enterprise and Innovation, State agencies and most importantly, the audiovisual industry stakeholders. They’ve embraced the changes and their continued support will be key to our continued success.

The full report is available here.