— lenny abrahamson (@lennyabrahamson) November 5, 2016
This is a huge sign of what can be expected from Irish filmmakers in the next few years. Already we knew that our animation sector was running rampant. There have been two Oscar nominations for Book of Kells and Song of the Sea. Now we are seeing the quality of our live action filmmakers catch up. Sing Street being a notable recent addition to the list – Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
The McDonaghs disbelief
Never mind the McDonaghs, if you remember this time last year John Michael McDonagh was quite uncomplimentary in regards to the size and ability of our industry. Though, you may look back at both brothers filmography and note that they almost exclusively use Irish Film Board money, Irish cast, Irish Crew and Irish locations.
This rankles a tad too much, since, despite continued government cutbacks to the funds available to the IFB, our small and medium sized films are making waves. Thankfully, the film board are pushing for funding to return to pre-recession levels. The number being thrown around is €20 million but nothing concrete has emerged.
How are Irish filmmakers doing?
Signs are boding well for the industry. Several new studios are currently in development. The push for Ardmore to not be sold continues – though I could write an entire article on why that would be a terrible terrible idea. And the continued use of our country for large Hollywood productions and tv series such as Vikings which is shot almost entirely in and around Ashford Co. Wicklow. So, you may ask …
What exactly happens next?
Well, in terms of quality I believe that the Irish industry will continue to improve. As a small nation with a growing population, the number of filmmakers, both prospective and actual, will continue to grow. Assuming the IFB get what they need, there’s no reason why small independent Irish features can not spread the world over.
Hollywood has a stranglehold on big blockbuster filmmaking right now. Ireland will soon, and has previously, loosened Hollywood’s grip. To those of us out there who love cinema, who love TV, get out there and support our filmmakers. It’s already an uphill struggle. Instead of going to see Bridget Jones baby momma or the latest Marvel flick, look up and consume Irish. We want to do it with our food, so why shouldn’t we look locally for our entertainment?