SXSW’s big screen will be graced on Friday 11th March at 6.15pm with another exciting movie –‘Sing Street’– which is fresh from its recent acclaimed outing at the Sundance Film Festival. This is on the back of Ireland’s nine nominations at the LA Oscars in February where two awards were received by Brie Larsen as Best Actress in ‘Room’ and Ben Cleary for the ‘Stutterer’ as Best Short Film (Live Action).
On Saturday 12th March at 6.45pm, Austin’s’ 6th Street will be closed to traffic and will host a pop-up Theatrical Spectacle by Macnas, a renowned street theatre troupe which hails from Galway, a vibrant university city in the west of Ireland. #IrelandOn6thSt
‘Sing Street’ tells the tale of Cosmo, a teenage boy who grew up in 1980’s Dublin. He is inclined to break free from his home which is darkened by a strained parental relationship, money troubles, a delinquent sibling and survival in a tough public school. Cosmo becomes a song writer and forms a band and shoots some pop videos. This requires him to beg, steal and borrow. Of course it leads to a family of his own! Writer/director John Carney’s life and love of music was the inspiration for the film. Other Irish movies at #SXSW include ‘I am a Serial Killer’ based upon a troubled teen’s desire to hunt down a supernatural killer while containing his own inner demons. It will be shown on Sunday 13th March at 8.15pm. Two shorts also featured will be ‘How Was Your Day?’ and ‘Geist’ an animated film. Both of these were award winners at the Academy Award accredited Foyle Film Festival and the Galway Film Fleadh.
Ireland’s film industry has entered an exciting patch as evidenced by the success of well-known TV dramas including ‘The Tudors’. Geist follows a proud Irish heritage in animation with Irish animators including Brown Bag Films, Cartoon Saloon and Jam Media. Notable successes have included Disney’s ‘Doc McStuffins’ from Brown Bag, ‘The Secret of Kells’ and ‘Song of the Sea’ from Cartoon Saloon and ‘Roy’ from Jam Media.
In Dublin the famed Ballyfermot Senior College of Further Education has been the alma mater of many of the successful Irish animators including John Rice the founder of Jam and Paul Young from Cartoon Saloon. Windmill Lane Studios, of U2 fame, under film pioneer James Morris has a leading audio-visual and special effects studio in the heart of Dublin close to Dublin’s Silicon Docks and neighbouring Facebook, Google, Airbnb, LinkedIn, Twitter and Indeed from Austin. Recently Windmill worked on the special effects for ‘Brooklyn’ which was Academy nominated for Best Picture and Best Actress for Saoirse Ronan.
Film studios in Ireland include Ardmore Studios, the home of ‘The Tudors’ and other recent productions including ‘Moone Boy’ and ‘Penny Dreadful’. Troy studios is currently under construction beside the University of Limerick campus and will be operational by mid 2016 with 3 studios in a former Dell 350,000sqft manufacturing site. Dell, which originates from Austin, continues to be a major investor in Ireland where it employs thousands in service activities including cloud computing. It carries out its manufacturing elsewhere but its site will be the spawn of a new film industry in the hometown of the Richard Harris Film Festival. Harris himself enjoyed numerous career successes including films like ‘The Field’ based upon the play of Irish playwright John B Keane.
The Irish landscape has been used in numerous movies including the recent ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ which had its final scenes filmed on Skellig Michael and which director JJ Abrams warmly embraced for Disney.
Ireland offers a very competitive Section 481 Tax Credit which has proven very attractive to film and television projects. It delivers a 32% credit towards eligible spend, including non EU talent, which on an international scale is immensely competitive. In addition Ireland has a maximum corporation tax rate of 12.5%.
Irish incentives are proving popular for many productions including television series like ‘Vikings’ and ‘Ripper Street’. Irish producers and co-production talent is proving itself on the world stage and Austin’s SXSW has lots to look forward to with ‘Sing Street’ gracing its big screens. Maybe it will be the sequel to ‘The Commitments’ from the famed Irish writer Roddy Doyle.
IDA Emerging Business team and myself will be on the ground for #SXSW this year and we would love to tell you more about these wonderfully creative activities in Ireland. #WhyIreland #IrelandOn6thSt
Head of Emerging Business, IDA Ireland