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Potential of audiovisual industry must be realised - McLellan

16 November, 2011

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Arts, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, Sandra McLellan, has said the film and animation industry has the potential to create an extra 5,000 jobs and to be worth more than €1bn to the Irish economy in the next five years if appropriately managed.

Speaking in the Dáil today on the Irish Film Board (Amendment) Bill 2011 Deputy McLellan said:

“This industry has the potential to be a really good story for Ireland. Full time employment can double from 5,400 to over 10,000 in the next five years if we maximise efficiencies and the potential of the industry. This would see it worth more than €1bn to the economy here. We want to continue to see the Bravehearts and Saving Private Ryans being made here, and also the international TV productions such as the Tudors and Game of Thrones. So too, we want to see indigenous Irish productions like My Left Foot, The Wind that Shakes the Barley, and so on.

“Going forward it will be very important that we take a very thorough approach to how we manage this sector, how we measure relative success and relative failure. How we ensure accountability. How we review and how we improve. This point is not just applicable to those groups, organisations and companies receiving funding but to the sector as a whole, the state agencies and the IFB itself. While it won’t necessarily always be the main driver, we should not be afraid to measure return on investment.

“Last year we saw the fantastic potential of Irish animation with the Secret of Kells and Granny O’Grimm receiving international acclaim at the Academy Awards. What was particularly special at that time was the coverage of Ballyfermot College where some of the animators had honed their skills. This was a great day for those nominated but also for the industry here and for Ireland as a whole. I’m certain it provided inspiration for thousands of students at home. It presented a picture of endless possibilities, the possibility of a viable and sustainable career in this industry, and even more, the possibility of a successful and prosperous one." ENDS

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