Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin TD - together with Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, Tourism Ireland, the IDA, Enterprise Ireland and the Department of Foreign Affairs - will lead a trade mission in Los Angeles to promote the Irish screen industry and Ireland's cultural power ahead of the Academy Awards on Sunday 12 March.
This year marks a record-breaking 14 nominations for Irish stories and talent across the awards, including the nomination for Irish language film An Cailín Ciúin ("The Quiet Girl").
The trade mission - a key part of the government's St Patrick's Day programme - aims to build on the recent critical success for the Irish screen industry and the recognition of Irish talent on the world's stage. Minister Martin will seek to strengthen working relationships between the Irish screen sector and some of the world's largest film studios and production companies, as well as strengthening Ireland's reputation as a global tourist destination.
This week will see a number of meetings taking place with US studios and production companies including Sony and Disney, which includes representatives from Marvel, Searchlight and Lucasfilm. These meetings will update key industry partners on the continued growth and evolution of the sector in Ireland, discuss opportunities for increased collaboration, explore new opportunities for production as well as sectors in the industry, such as post-production and visual effects, and reinforce government support for the industry and Irish artists, contributing to the Global Ireland 2025 aim to double Ireland's global cultural footprint.
The minister will present a special award to An Cailín Cíúin at the Oscar Wilde event on Thursday 9 March. This will be hosted by the US-Ireland Alliance and promotes Irish film and culture in Los Angeles by honouring Irish and Irish-American screen talent.
Minister Martin will also visit Winston House, a recent recipient of Culture Ireland funding.
Statement By Minister Martin
Speaking about the trade mission, Minister Martin said, "The eyes of Hollywood and the world are on Ireland this Oscars weekend and this presents an important opportunity to showcase Ireland’s culture and creative talent to a global audience.
"This weekend is also important for Ireland and Irish people around the world. Some 14 Oscar nominations is incredible for a country the size of Ireland and I know the nominations are a source of national pride for young and old. It highlights the country's contribution to the arts and culture, provides opportunities to further promote Ireland as a tourism destination, and will inspire future generations of Irish creative talent and filmmakers.
"The Irish screen industry has seen unprecedented success over the past decade, across live-action TV production, animation production and visual effects, the result of sustained investment and a clear strategic focus on the development of the sector.
"Irish artists and arts have long been held in high regard in the US and, through Culture Ireland, my department supports artists to travel to present their work to American audiences and millions of diaspora annually. I look forward to visiting Winston House in LA which has received financial support for the participation of a selection of current and emerging Irish artists at their new Irish Friends Festival this month.
"I will also be promoting Ireland as a world-class tourist destination with the help of Tourism Ireland and will be taking part in meetings with representatives of various sporting bodies, along with St Patrick's Day events in San Diego and Los Angeles during the visit."
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