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Overview and productions

With diverse and attractive locations, strong financial incentives and experienced, English-speaking crew, Ireland has established itself as a leading centre of international film and TV production. Activity has doubled in recent years, so the ongoing focus is on building and expanding studio spaces and crew skills training.

After a slowdown during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic — filming resumed in the early autumn of 2020 — the industry is poised to become busier than ever, with several large international projects from players including Disney, Netflix and Apple shooting in the country in 2021.

Additionally, animation production — long a vibrant and strong part of the sector — now accounts for almost half of all production spend.

Following the easing of restrictions last autumn, returning completed productions included Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel, starring Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Jodie Comer, which shot in several locations including Cahir Castle in County Tipperary, for Disney.

Foundation, a large-scale sci-fi series for Apple TV+, shot at Limerick’s Troy Studios, while Netflix’s Vikings spinoff series Vikings: Valhalla is now filming in County Wicklow.

Disney is also shooting Disenchanted, starring Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey, in the picturesque County Wicklow village of Enniskerry, 18 miles from capital Dublin.

Local outfit Element Pictures has started production on Conversations With Friends, based on the novel by Normal People author Sally Rooney. Filming is scheduled to take place in Dublin and Belfast.

Screen Ireland received an $11m (€9m) increase in capital funding for 2021 — 52% up on 2020’s allocation — bringing the total capital budget to $32m (€26.2m). As well as the strong tax incentives, Ireland is greatly increasing studio capacity, with the expansion of many existing studios and several new facilities planned.

Infrastructure and crews

With English-speaking crews and an industry that has doubled production in the past six years, Ireland is well equipped to accommodate large-scale projects. All the existing major studios have expanded or are undergoing growth, while several new studios are also being planned. Ardmore Studios in County Wicklow has seven soundstages, the largest spanning 23,250 square feet, 14 miles from Dublin and close to rural settings. Troy Studios, in the mid-west city of Limerick, has undergone expansion with 350,000 square feet under one roof, including four soundstages totalling 100,000 square feet. Ashford Studios in County Wicklow, 26 miles from Dublin city centre, has three soundstages on 500 acres of rural backlot, the largest of which is 28,500 square feet. Further studios include Telegael in County Galway, Kite Studios in County Wicklow and Popup Studios in Dublin.

Facilities in development include Ashbourne Studios (170,000 square feet with 88,000 square feet of soundstages), Grange Castle Media Park (800,000 square feet with 12 soundstages) and Greystones Media Campus (790,000 square feet with 270,000 square feet of soundstages).  

First person to contact: Steven Davenport


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