WRAP Fund set to generate substantial spend across the west of Ireland

The Western Region Audiovisual Producer’s Fund, or WRAP Fund, announced today, finances a number of new projects which are expected to generate in excess of €16.8 million across the west of Ireland.

The fund also marked a significant year of growth with a number of high-profile productions.

Set up to enhance the level of production across the film, television drama, animation and games sectors in the west of Ireland, the WRAP Fund is now seeing a substantial €12 multiplier on every €1 invested.

Last October, Wild Mountain Thyme caused a stir as international acting talents Emily Blunt, Jamie Dornan and Christopher Walken descended on north Mayo. Meanwhile in Lahinch, Co. Clare, television series Smother, starring Dervla Kirwan and Seana Kerslake, commenced shooting in March and is planned for broadcast on RTÉ One and inclusion in the BBC Studios catalogue for international sales once filming can be resumed.

Previously announced projects The Winter Lake, Death Of A Ladies Man and animation Ooops! Back In The Deep End were also produced across the region in the last 12 months.

New projects announced today include the animated series The Wee Littles from Co. Clare animation studio Magpie6 Media, Finnish director Klaus Haro’s My Sailor, My Love, which is to shoot in Mayo and Galway, the Donegal-set UK/Irish production God’s Creatures as well as Epic Pictures-backed horror The Ten Steps, bound for Roscommon and Sligo.

Sarah Dillon, development manager of the WRAP Fund, commented: “The last 12 months have been a very busy time for the WRAP Fund, with extensive high-quality production and development activity in every county in the region. The recent releases of feature film Calm With Horses and international television drama Normal People showcase what the west has to offer productions in terms of locations, expertise and support.

“We have many more exciting productions in the pipeline. The impact of Covid-19 has been hard felt in the region and we are relying on the Irish government to look favourably on the request of the Western AV Forum to extend the Regional Film Development Uplift. This would be a very positive measure to jumpstart production and send out the message that the west is open for business again once it is safe.”

In tandem with its production investment, WRAP is announcing the recipients of a number of rounds of development investment to assist local producers to develop projects that can undertake production within the region in the future. Companies based in Clare, Galway, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo have all received support. These include:

- Tails At Animal Airport: an animated television series developed by Roscommon’s Studio Meala and written by Emma Hogan (Clare) with additional support from Screen Ireland

- Swallows: a feature film developed by Clare production company Newgrange Pictures and written by John O’Donnell (Clare)

- Obituary: a television series developed by Galway production company Magamedia, written by Ray Lawlor (Mayo) and to be directed by Oonagh Kearney with additional support from Virgin Media and Screen Ireland

- Della & Jim: a feature film developed by Sligo production company Janey Pictures, written and to be directed by Marion Quinn with additional support from Screen Ireland

- Dad’s Red Dress: a television series developed by Mayo production company Lunar Pictures and written by Lindsay Jane Sedgwick with additional support from Creative Europe

- This Is The Country: a feature film developed by Mayo production company Little Rose Films with Feline Films, written and to be directed by Mark Noonan

- Tir Anann: a game developed by Galway Games Studio Tribal City Interactive with additional support from Creative Europe

- Eldritch House: a game developed by Galway Games Studio Doomcube Games

Tomás Ó Síocháin, CEO of Western Development Commission, said: “The creative economy is both an economic driver and a significant calling card for the west of Ireland at home and abroad. Our policy analysis, the development of the Atlantic Economic Corridor and a regional network of creative hubs in conjunction with GMIT complement the work of the WRAP Fund to sustain and grow the creative economy in the region into the future.”

Alan Duggan of the Galway Film Centre added: “The WRAP Fund has already made a significant contribution to the creative economy of the west, with in excess of a €16.8m anticipated spend in the region. This represents a substantial return for the eight local authorities and UnG supporting the fund.

“Galway Film Centre is delighted to continue to work with the WDC and our local partners to carry this invaluable initiative forward and create more opportunities for local talent through 2020 and beyond.”

*Pictured above, Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan in a scene from Wild Mountain Thyme.