Ireland

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Overview and productions

Ireland continues to solidify its position as a leading destination for film and TV production, buoyed by attractive and diverse locations and an experienced, English-speaking crew. “What makes Ireland really special is the vicinity of what you can get to so quickly,” said Steven Davenport, head of international inward production for Screen Ireland. “Where Ardmore and Ashford (studios) are placed, you’ve got the Sally Gap, Wicklow, beaches, Dublin city with Georgian streets. If you look at where Troy is based (in Ireland’s mid-west), you’ve got the cliffs of Moher and the Georgian streets of Limerick city. You get these worlds on your doorstep, which is kind of your backlot.”

County Tipperary’s Cahir castle, which featured as a primary location for A24’s The Green Knight, recently won the EUFCN location award. “It was such a great film,” said Davenport. “To see that kind of independent movie coming to Ireland, I hope we’re going to see some more of them this year.” Screen Ireland’s latest production spend figures showed more than $550m (€500m) spent across features, documentary, animation and TV drama, representing a 40% increase on the previous record spend in 2019.

The western coastal county of Clare is hosting series three of Smother, produced by Treasure Entertainment and supported by the Wrap Fund for projects filmed in the west and northwest of Ireland. While this spring, production begins on the third season of Netflix hit Vikings: Valhalla, which returns to Ashford Studios on Ireland’s east coast and surrounding locations in County Wicklow.

Filming has recently completed on season two of Apple TV+ sci-fi Found­ation at Troy Studios. In terms of crew, the show has become the biggest-ever production shot in the Republic of Ireland, employing more than 500 at its peak.

Other recent productions include Universal’s Cocaine Bear, Elizabeth Banks’ drugs thriller inspired by true events that took place in 1980s Kentucky; and The Wonder, Sebastian Lelio’s period-set drama starring Florence Pugh, which has been acquired by Netflix. Set in the Irish midlands, the film is an adaptation of the acclaimed novel by Emma Donoghue. In addition, Disney’s Disenchanted filmed on location in County Wicklow, where the picturesque village of Ennis­kerry was transformed for the sequel to the 2007 hit, with Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey returning.

Meanwhile, Lorcan Finnegan’s Nocebo became Ireland’s first co-production with the Philippines. Starring Eva Green and Mark Strong, the psychological thriller tells of a fashion designer suffering from a mysterious illness.

The detective series Redemption, co-produced by UK-based Tall Story Pictures and Metropolitan Films, recently filmed on location in Dublin. “We wanted locations that didn’t feel like ‘tourist Dublin’ — residential, authentic — and not seen 101 times before, that would feel fresh and accessible to an audience,” says Catherine Oldfield, creative director at Tall Story Pictures. “The talent in Irish crews is amazing — creative, ambitious, collegiate. And the support from bodies like Screen Ireland, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and the city was exemplary.”  

Steven Davenport, inward production manager, Screen Ireland: steven.davenport@screenireland.ie

Infrastructure and crews

Ireland boasts experienced English-speaking crew and is increasing its training and studio capacity to meet growing demand. Ardmore Studios in County Wicklow has seven soundstages, the largest spanning 23,250 square feet, near both Dublin (14 miles) and many rural settings. Troy Studios, in the mid-west city of Limerick, has 380,000 square feet under one roof, including four soundstages totalling 100,000 square feet. Ashford Studios in County Wicklow (26 miles from Dublin) has three soundstages on 500 acres of backlot, the largest of which is 30,000 square feet. Other studio facilities include Telegael in County Galway, Kite Studios in County Wicklow and Popup Studios in Dublin.

 

Travel and logistics

 

Ireland is compact in size (just under 85,000 square kilometres) and easy to access. The capital Dublin is located next to sea and mountainscapes and within easy access of Ardmore and Ashford studios. Most locations in Ireland are accessible from Dublin within hours.

European status

Ireland is a member of the European Union but opted out of the Schengen Agreement. Its currency is the euro. 

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