Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Minister confident of more film business

Northern Ireland remains an ideal location for filmmakers despite the scrapping of a $4m (£2.6m) series, a Stormont minister has stated.

The revelation came just days after Stormont leaders pledged to bolster the blossoming film industry here.

The First and Deputy First Ministers said drawing movie-makers to Northern Ireland offered "huge potential" for the economy.

But the decision by film makers A-Frame Productions to pull the plug on shooting its historical drama Tell The World here could strike a blow to the local industry.

However, last night Investment Minister Arlene Foster remained optimistic Northern Ireland's "world-renowned" locations would continue to draw movie-makers.

"The Creative Industries is one of Invest NI's target sectors as it has significant potential to generate high value jobs and export sales even within a challenging economic environment," she said.

"It is a diverse and vibrant sector with locally-based, world-class companies operating across the full spectrum of industries, from film and TV to digital media including gaming, animation and music.

"In addition, with major production companies such as HBO and Universal choosing NI as a filming location, our unique and stunning landscape combined with quality production facilities at the Paint Hall and Titanic Studios are now world renowned."

The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure declined to comment.

The province's film and television industry has flourished in recent years, most notably given the impact of HBO hit series Game of Thrones.

The epic has generated up to £65m locally and showcased the province to a global audience.

Investment Minister Arlene Foster said it had secured the widest media exposure for Northern Ireland outside of the Troubles.

Films shot locally include horror Grabbers, Your Highness, Keith Lemon: The Film, City of Ember and Good Vibrations, a biopic of Belfast punk hero Terri Hooley.

This week, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness said they wanted Northern Ireland to continue to develop its reputation as a location for creative industries to invest.

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