Belfast Telegraph

Film industry 'could boost economy'

The Irish economy is expected to get a 200 million euro boost from the film and television industry, it emerged.

Culture Minister Mary Hanafin visited the set of a feature film in Killiney, where she said the country was more competitive than ever as a destination for international film makers.

Neverland, which stars Bafta winner Rhys Ifans, Oscar nominee Bob Hoskins and Golden Globe nominee Anna Friel, is filming for 11 weeks around Blessington Lakes and in and around the Dublin area.

About 180 crew and hundreds of extras will be employed during the filming of the two-part prequel to the Peter Pan story.

Ms Hanafin said: "Major international productions such as Neverland provide an economic boost to Ireland, with significant employment across a huge variety of sectors, with creative input from actors and production crew right through to electrical, make up and transport. Having such skilled crews for these productions helps keep Ireland very much in the forefront of global film-makers' decision making."

Despite the economic downturn production activity has continued to grow throughout 2010, including US feature film Knockout, starring Ewan McGregor and Michael Fassbender, popular TV series Primeval and the multi million US drama Camelot.

The Irish Film Board said the works are estimated to bring 200 million euro in to the country through spending on local goods, employment and services.

Ms Hanafin said incoming productions translate into increased international investment, employment and promote Ireland as a tourist destination.

"Film and television production in Ireland enables us to showcase the talented people that we have in our creative industries as well as the natural beauty of the varied scenery throughout the country, including the magical scenery being filmed here in Killiney," said Ms Hanafin.

"Added to that all international productions will feel the warmth of the Irish welcome from people throughout the country, while they go about their hectic work schedule."

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