Investors put €100m in Irish films and TV productions last year, taking advantage of enhanced tax incentives for the industry, The Sunday Business Post reports.
The investment under Section 481 cost the exchequer €40.9m in revenue foregone but 46 TV series and 18 films received investment under the scheme during 2009. The number of productions was the highest since 1995.
Under the new regime introduced in 2008 to boost the industry, 100% of a movie’s budget can be offset against tax – up from 80% previously. The amount an individual could invest was also increased substantially.
Merlin & co are bringing their financial wizardry to Wicklow and it spells tens of millions for the Irish film industry, The Sunday Times reports.
Camelot, a US-funded TV series based on the legendary Knights of the Round Table, is set to be filmed at Ardmore Studios in Wicklow with speculation that it will be an even bigger money-spinner than the Tudors, which brought €20m to Ireland last year alone.
Camelot is projected to run over five seasons, providing a welcome boost for thespians, hoteliers and travel companies.
Michael Hirst, the man who wrote The Tudors, has already penned the first four episodes of Camelot and has been commissioned to work on The Borgias, another TV series to be directed by Neil Jordan and starring Jeremy Irons. He said film-makers were attracted to Ireland by experienced crew and actors, the scenery and tax breaks.
“The landscape is perfect for the Arthurian setting. You get a real sense of the Dark Ages in Ireland,” he told the newspaper.
Perhaps he was talking about the economy.