I am very proud that a film that was funded by Northern Ireland Screen, filmed in the North of Ireland and written, produced and directed by someone from this country has achieved such an accolade. I sent my congratulations to Terry George and his daughter Oorlagh on hearing of their remarkable achievement. I also met them on their return to Belfast and again at Parliament Buildings to convey my appreciation of their work and the positive contribution that it has made to our film industry. I am also aware that the First Minister and deputy First Minister hosted a reception on Thursday 8 March for Terry and Oorlagh to pay tribute to their Oscar success. I fully supported that well-deserved recognition, as, I am sure, did Conall McDevitt and other Members.
I join the Minister in sending my congratulations and those of my party to those who have brought such great success to our shores. Given that we spend only a fraction per capita on the promotion of film of that which would be spent in any other jurisdiction in these islands, what specific targets can the Minister point to in the Programme for Government and how much extra money has she secured in the forthcoming Budget to ensure that the success of ‘The Shore’ can be built on in future years?
I anticipate a report from NI Screen that will lead to a continuation of its robust and aggressive marketing to the global screen industry, and I am confident that our growing reputation for film and television production in the North will increase. We have secured a range of television productions that have been very successful, and I am waiting for the result of Northern Ireland Screen’s negotiations to secure a number of additional significant productions in the new year. I will be happy to bring that information forward.
Yes, absolutely. The Department and the Executive are keen to capitalise on the success of the Georges at the Oscars, previous successes such as ‘Game of Thrones’, other television and film productions and the ongoing interest in the creative industries and to make sure that we take advantage of the Oscar success and bring other productions to our shores.
Go raibh maith agat, a LeasCheann Comhairle. Gabhaim buíochas leis an Aire as an fhreagra a thug sí dúinn. The Minister covered some of the specifics of building on the Oscar success of ‘The Shore’, which was filmed in a beautiful part of Ireland. Will she outline some of the specifics of her plans to build on that success?
As I said, we are waiting for the results of NI Screen’s negotiations for television and film production here. We are also looking at other possibilities through the creative industries, and we are having discussions with counterparts from the Irish Government. I also plan to talk to colleagues from England, Scotland and Wales about support for film and television production.