Tuesday, 22 June 2021
Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
71. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the work her Department is carrying out to encourage foreign production companies to hire a percentage of Irish actors when working in Ireland; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33215/21]
The Government’s longstanding ambition is to enable Ireland to become a global hub for the production of film, TV drama and animation. This is supported by the initiatives outlined in the Audiovisual Action Plan, launched in June 2018 under the Creative Ireland Programme.
The aim is to grow the audiovisual sector in Ireland to such an extent that sufficient employment opportunities are made available to allow our cast and crew to work consistently work across different productions. In Ireland, a key attraction to foreign production companies is the calibre of our talented workforce in the audiovisual sector and the positive reputation they enjoy internationally. Looking at the recent announcement of the Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTAs) 2021 Nominations for the Irish Academy Awards, I was struck by how much our Irish acting talent is being showcased, both here in Ireland and across the world through myriad roles in film and television. It is truly heartening to see Irish talent on the global stage, both in front of, and behind the cameras.
Government policy supports the film and television sector to create an attractive environment for film production. Key to this is support for skills and training initiatives in the sector. Ireland also supports the sector though its international film co-production treaties and by offering a competitive section 481 tax credit. This is a tax credit calculated by reference to expenditure on cast and crew working in Ireland, and on goods and services sourced in Ireland. As members of the European Union, we must of course be mindful of our responsibilities to avoid discrimination on the grounds of nationality but we are unabashedly proud of our talented Irish workforce and the reach of our talent across the global industry is testament to this.
My Department funds Screen Ireland, the national development agency for the screen sector investing in Talent, Creativity and Enterprise. Screen Ireland’s role is to support and promote Irish film, television and animation through fostering Irish artistic vision and our diverse creative and production talent, growing audiences, and attracting filmmakers and investment into the country.
Not all projects taking place in Ireland will have Screen Ireland funding but I can assure the deputy that Screen Ireland and particularly its training division Screen Skills Ireland place a strong emphasis on the promotion and development of Irish talent.