The stunning scenery in both the Republic and the Northern Ireland mean that film buffs will already be familiar with both of these countries. The Republic of Ireland’s tax breaks for film production have also added an extra incentive for location managers for all genres of films.
The announcement this year that the forthcoming Universal Pictures production of Dracula is to be filmed in Northern Ireland will come as no surprise to those who are fans of this beautiful country. The countryside around Belfast and the Northern Irish coastline is already familiar with devotees of the Game of Thrones and Giants Causeway, as the setting. The new adaptation of Dracula, will be titled Dracula Untold and will star luminaries including, Dominic Cooper, Sarah Gadon and Luke Evans, among other familiar faces.
Dancing at Lughnasa
The highly successful 1998 film adaptation of Brian Friel’s play Dancing at Lughnasa was filmed in County Donegal. Although Meryl Streep and Brid Brennan won awards for their performances in the film, the unsung hero of the film was the evocative and beautiful landscape of County Donegal and the region around the little town of Glenties.
Ireland is used for its beautiful landscape in the 1970 film, Ryan’s Daughter. The film’s use of the dramatic scenery of the Dingle peninsula in the west of Ireland is often cited as one of the main reasons for the film’s success. Starring Robert Mitchum, Sarah Miles and John Mills, the film was financially successful even though the critics remained unconvinced by the stars’ respective performances. Essentially the storyline follows that of a love affair between a married young Irish girl and a British army officer during the turbulent political struggles of 1916.
Another film that’s set in both Northern Ireland and Donegal is the rather bizarre 2012 Grabbers. The film received acclaim at the renowned Sundance Film Festival and has continued to garner critical reviews. If you like humour, fantasy and aliens, then this is the film for you.
It’s not just productions for the older ones that are proving to bring a boost to the economy. The Jim Henson Company has just been given worldwide products rights for the children’s series, Driftwood Bay, produced and made by Belfast’s Sixteen South Television. This isn’t the first joint project between the two companies; watch out for the forthcoming pre school series, Pajanimals to be screened in 2014.
There are rumours in the film world that those who are fans of the James Bond franchise and wish to catch a glimpse of the actor Daniel Craig may have to travel to Ireland in the near future. John Logan, the screenwriter of Skyfall has just relocated to Ireland and has said that he wishes to ‘soak up the local colour’ and is interested in using the landscape of the country as a possible backdrop for the next Bond film. Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, added, ‘ I hope we will come here to film whether it’s Bond or another story.