Finance Dublin
Finance Jobs
Sunday, 14th April 2024
    Home             Archive             Publications             Our Services             Finance Jobs             Events             Surveys & Awards             
Irish film financing industry develops Back  
The growth of film financing under Section 481 has led to the emergence of a pool of expertise in film financing that, while initially focused on Ireland based productions, is now being exported for international projects.

On page 6, we report on the activities of the telemedia group at Bank of Ireland Corporate, which has helped co-finance a number of high profile projects, including The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons, which recently premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
Al Pacino stars in 'The Merchant of Venice', which was released on December 3.

Meanwhile, following former Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy’s decision to extend Section 481 in Budget 2004 until 2008, film financing of domestic films has continued apace. Irish institutions such as Anglo Irish Bank, AIB and Bank of Ireland are active in the film financing sector.

According to Elaine Gill, film financing manager at Anglo Irish Bank, the current regime for film funding in Ireland is adequate, but, she said, Finance Minister Brian Cowen could greatly improve the attractiveness of film investment as well as the benefits to producers in his first Budget if he increased the relief allowable to 100 per cent of the funds invested from the current 80 per cent.

Gill, whose bank currently facilitates the bulk of the industry’s financing in Ireland, said, ‘it’s not the best relief out there but it is good. It works well. It’s a mature market in that there are a number of investors who understand the market and will participate. It keeps us competitive but a lot more could be done. England, for example, is much more competitive.’ This year so far, Anglo Irish alone has raised €50 million for around 22 film and TV projects.

‘But there are two things that I would like to see changed. At present, you only get relief on 80 per cent of your investment. This should be increased to 100 per cent. This wouldn’t increase the amount made by the investor greatly, although it would increase the attractiveness of investment, but it could increase the amount the producer gets per investor by up to €2,500, which is a lot,’ she said.

‘Also, at the moment there is a cap on the amount raised to be invested in films of €15 million. I think they should do away with this cap and then more of the bigger American films would come here. The question is, of course, whether or not there is the appetite in the market here for much bigger investment, but it should be left to the market to decide,’ she added.

However, there is little hope that Minister Cowen will extend any of the tax breaks currently applying to the film industry following last year’s 11th hour rowback on the expiry of Section 481.

Under the present regime, the maximum relief allowed on an investment is 80 per cent and the highest investment permitted is €31,750. After various costs and the film production company’s cut is taken out, the investor can make a maximum of just over €2,000.

Digg.com Del.icio.us Stumbleupon.com Reddit.com Yahoo.com

Home | About Us | Privacy Statement | Contact
©2024 Fintel Publications Ltd. All rights reserved.