Ireland pledges $188 mil for film


LONDON -- Ireland's arts, sports and tourism minister John O'Donoghue said Wednesday that the government aims to pump €145 million ($188 million) into the film industry over the next seven years.

O'Donoghue's subsidy pledge came as part of the Irish government's national development plan, which spans 2007 to 2013 and works out to about €20.7 million ($26.8 million) annually, the Irish Film Board said.

"Increased funding will be made available to the Irish Film Board to enable the IFB to continue its role of developing and supporting the Irish film sector, marketing Ireland as a film location through the newly opened office in Los Angeles and raising the profile of the Irish audiovisual industry abroad," O'Donoghue said in a statement.

The minister also announced that his department will "undertake a review of future strategy development options for the film sector with a view to reshaping the structure of the state support mechanism for the sector to make it more responsive to current conditions in the market place."

IFB chairman James Morris said the government's decision to provide direct funding, coupled with the country's tax relief plan Section 481, "is a positive platform for Irish filmmakers to increase the number and quality of Irish films and to compete successfully at home and abroad."