Outlook: Sector was growing in line national average at end of 2019 but has been ravaged by Covid. Partial recovery in employment numbers is expected but sector is now dependent on almost full recovery of economic and social activity.

Vacancies: Artistic, literary & media associate professional vacancies were down apart from one area – Animation.  New employment permits were most frequently issued for Animators.

Kilkenny’s Cartoon Saloon are one such success story increasing their staff to 146 in 2019. They saw continued growth during the pandemic and have been further boosted by deals with Apple & Netflix which will result in more jobs later in the year.

One way in which the Government can help the creative arts sector grow through tax incentives. A recent report commissioned from PwC by Ardmore Studios and Troy Studios says a cap on the tax credit that can be claimed by productions made in the Republic  is actively hindering potential growth in this sector. Many countries have dropped their caps entirely.

Elaine Geraghty, chief executive of Ardmore Studios and Troy Studios said “The Government’s stated ambition is to increase the scale of the sector to a point where we will double employment to 24,000 people, delivering a gross value added of some €1.4 billion. To achieve this, the section 481 incentive needs to be adjusted to ensure Ireland remains as competitive globally as possible.”

Ireland has three “relatively large” studios in the State – Ardmore, Troy & Ashford Studios, but when these are being used, potential investment may be lost.

“The development of three new studio projects in Greystones, Ashbourne and Grangecastle will be “an important step” in expanding large studio space capacity for bigger productions, particularly those in the €150 million-€200 million bracket, the report notes.” The tax credit cap could harm their commercial viability if not dealt with.

 

Lastly, NUIG Student Anna Doyle asks ‘Why are there so few Irish women cast in films that are made here? She believes “casting practices in films shot here raise questions about equal opportunities for women in the film industry in Ireland. By allowing the double-standard of casting Irish men in roles written for Irish men (see Paul Mescal in Normal People and Jamie Dornan in Wild Mountain Thyme) while casting non-Irish women in Irish roles, we deny Irish actresses equal access to commercial and career opportunities.”

To read Solas’ National Skills Bulletin 2021 in full click here.

To read the full Irish Times article on Cartoon Saloon click here.

To read the full Irish Times article on the damage being done to Irish Film Industry by the Tax Credit Cap click here.

To read the full Irish Times article on the inequality of opportunity for Irish women to be cast in films made here click here.