Made in Ireland


Neil Jordan is one of a handful of Irish filmmakers of global repute, but even for such an established filmmaker the use of tax incentives and public body backing is still of vital importance in garnering a greenlight. Jordan's "Ondine" is an Irish tale through and through, with magic, love and enchantment in the mix.

The director took his self-penned script to Dublin-based producers James Flynn and Ben Browning with the intention of making it in his homeland. Jordan's script tells the story of Syracuse, a local fisherman played by Colin Farrell whose everyday life is transformed by a beautiful and mysterious woman whom he fishes from the sea and who his young daughter believes is a mermaid.

Determined to make a local picture, Jordan and his fellow producers set about raising about $12 million for the project, and accessed the Irish tax incentive scheme under the Irish government's Section 481. The movie ticked the boxes for qualifying expenditure and was able to employ the tax incentive available, which meant up to 28% of the movie's budget, or slightly more than $3 million, which was available to the production as it began shooting.

It also received what a spokesperson for production company Octagon Films said is "an invaluable amount of funding" from the Irish Film Board, as well as cash from Ireland's state broadcaster RTE. Postproduction was done out of Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin after the picture shot entirely on location in Country Cork, Ireland.