Irish animators eye major commissions at Toulouse showcase

Producers have been invited to bloc-pitch as Ireland's cartoon boom continues

Irish animators eye major commissions at Toulouse showcase

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12 of the largest Irish animation firms and studios have been invited en bloc to pitch to global producers for major new TV and feature production contracts at next month’s annual Cartoon Forum in the French city of Toulouse.

It’s the first time that companies from one particular country have been invited to do so.The fast-growing and award-winning sector already employs over 1,600 people here and is confident of securing three major contracts in Toulouse.

The fast-growing and award-winning sector already employs over 1,600 people here and is confident of securing three major contracts in Toulouse.

John Phelan, Independent Chairman of the Animation Ireland, joined Vincent Wall on Breakfast Business - he says that these commissions are likely to be worth between €4m and €8m and that they could create between 150 and 200 jobs.

He believes that the success of Irish animators in recent years lies in our storytelling traditions and an ability to embrace new technologies:

"The technology to be able to create things at a volume that makes it affordable is something that a lot of people haven't done very well overseas. The Irish have naturally taken to it," Mr Phelan told Newstalk.

While Section 481 offers healthy tax incentives to investors who want to invest in productions - Animation Ireland believes that more funding is needed to aid the development of Irish productions.

Mr Phelan pointed out that the film board's development funding for 2016 has already all been issued, "It's good that the film board are doing all that good stuff, we'd like to support them and to get more. What we would love to see is now can you create more good stuff in a sector that's doing well. Why cut it - why not bring more into the sector?" he concluded.