Thursday 23 July 2009

Perry Puzzled by Proposed Cuts

The CEO of the Irish Film Board, Simon Perry, has spoken to The Hollywood Reporter about the recent proposal to scrap the board and merge it with Enterprise Ireland.

"Does the Irish government really want Ireland to be the only country in the developed world making no films at all?" he asked. "It's hard to imagine."

Perry said there has been exponential growth in the Irish media sector during the past 20 years, with employment rising from a few hundred to more than 6,000.

"Closure of the Irish Film Board would mean that the production of Irish films will stop completely, with the loss not just of the 17 public-sector jobs within the agency but of potentially thousands of private-sector jobs associated with Irish filmmaking," Perry said.

The board chief noted a recent survey that found nearly 50% of tourists decide to visit the country after seeing Ireland depicted in films. ...

"At a time when the Irish government is deeply concerned by the daily toll of job losses in the private sector, we are very puzzled by the recommendation," he said. "We suspect that the authors of the report may not be aware of the recent growth in Ireland's audiovisual sector."


Sarah said...

It's hard to imagine that they would seriously consider axing the film board - absorbing it into Enterprise Ireland is only going to end up being another expense. The Film Board already has a brand, an identity, relationships with relevant bodies and organisations internationally and a working process up and running. I would think that re-inventing that whole wheel added to the cost of losses in employment and therefore spending in the sector while the change over is happening will cost more than keeping it as it is. It's a false economy.

Maura McHugh said...

I agree with you totally, Sarah. It's the proposal of a group that's only fixated on how to create an imaginary figure of savings.

As you say, even making these changes is going to cost a ton of cash, while the impact on the industry in terms of loss of jobs and reduced production will be tremendous.

I suspect the IFB should be able to offer a strong case to the government for its continued existence.