Minister Humphreys highlights growth potential of animation sector on visit to Oscar nominees Cartoon Saloon
Friday, 23rd January 2015—The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, has today said recent improvements made to the Section 481 Film Tax Relief offer significant potential for further growth in the Irish animation sector in 2015. Minister Humphreys was speaking as she visited the Oscar-nominated animation studio, Cartoon Saloon, in Kilkenny.
Cartoon Saloon last week secured an Academy Award nomination for its film ‘Song of the Sea’ in the ‘Best Animated Feature Film’ category. It is the second Oscar nomination for the Kilkenny-based company; it previously received a nomination for ‘The Secret of Kells’.
Speaking today Minister Humphreys said:
“The Irish animation sector is highly dynamic and has significant growth potential in the years ahead. It accounts for about a third of all jobs in the audio-visual sector here and production activity is consistently increasing year on year.
“Cartoon Saloon is an excellent example of the huge amount of talent that exists within the Irish animation industry. Since its foundation in 1999, Cartoon Saloon has grown into a multi-award winning animation studio, which works with the biggest names in the international industry, including Disney, the BBC and Cartoon Network. Cartoon Saloon expects to double its workforce in the year ahead, as its starts work on its new feature film, The Breadwinner.
“Through the Irish Film Board, which is funded by my Department, the Government provides direct financial support for the animation sector. Since 2006, the IFB has provided almost €11 million in funding for the sector; this includes €4 million on animated feature films and €7 million on animated TV content.
“Improvements to the Film Tax Relief Scheme – Section 481 – were introduced in this year’s Budget, which will have a positive impact on the animation sector. Last year, 15 animation projects were approved for funding under Section 481, with a total Irish spend of €39 million. I am very optimistic that these figures can be surpassed in 2015.
“The Government also supports training in the animation industry, which by its very nature requires highly specialised skills. Screen Training Ireland, the training arm of the IFB, has trained almost 1,500 professionals in the animation sector in the last couple of years.
“Irish animation companies, such as Cartoon Saloon, are having a big impact on the global animation scene. The Government is committed to supporting the sector through direct funding and through tax incentives. I wish Cartoon Saloon all the very best with its Oscar bid in less than a month’s time, when no doubt the entire country will be rooting for the Kilkenny company.”