Creative Corridor - Hollywood comes to Wicklow

All eyes were on Wicklow as Hollywood movie stars and Oscar winning directors and producers came together to help launch the ‘South Eastern Creative Corridor’. The launch, which took place on the set of new movie I Kill Giants in Clermont, Wicklow County Campus, marked the first step in the programme which aims to create a vibrant, viable, and growing creative Audio Visual industry cluster in the region.

The Local Enterprise Office (LEO) in Wicklow, in collaboration with Kilkenny, Carlow, Wexford and Tipperary Local Enterprise Offices succeeded in winning funding under the LEO Competitive Fund to implement the ‘South Eastern Creative Corridor’ programme. The overall objective of the programme is to encourage and support entrepreneurs and established SMEs who can sell services or products to the film industry or are operating in the film sector, to grow their businesses, internationalise and create new jobs in the region. The participating companies will be supported through an extensive networking, mentoring and training programme including opportunities to access finance for their business plans.

The programme was launched by Oscar winning director Anders Walter and double Oscar winning producer Kim Magnusson along with young Hollywood superstars, Madison Wolfe, Rory Jackson and Sydney Wade. Other special guests on the day included Bryan Doyle Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council, Michael Brougham from Enterprise Ireland, Sheelagh Daly LEO Wicklow, Breege Cosgrave LEO Wexford, Ita Horan LEO Tipperary, Fiona Deegan LEO Kilkenny, Anna Byrne LEO Carlow, Vibeke Delahunt, Wicklow Film Commission and Lorraine Bowen from The Entrepreneurs Academy who is operating the programme on behalf of the LEOs.

Lending her Department’s support to the South Eastern Creative Corridor programme, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Minister, Mary Mitchell O’Connor said: “All of the regions in Ireland have core individual attributes that position them to be key contributors to Ireland’s economic growth and employment creation. Our focus for the regions is to harness the huge potential and particular opportunities through a collaborative approach to innovative projects that will result in more jobs. With the help of the 5 LEOs in the region, the South Eastern Creative Corridor programme will build on the unique strengths of the film industry in this region.”

The vision for the programme encompasses a broad range of activities categorised as ‘Creative Industry’ that are related to audio visual production. Expressions of interest are being invited via the creative corridor website from enterprises / start-ups that wish to participate in the programme. One of the most exciting elements of the programme is the opportunity for applicants to avail of the €100,000 investment fund.

Commenting on the programme Tom Banville, Head of Enterprise with the lead partner, LEO Wexford, stated “This is exciting for us and everyone involved and we are delighted to get started. We believe that the project has real potential to add value to the region, in addition to the LEO Grant Aid of €100,000, we also aim to create 40 new jobs in the region and get a minimum of 40 companies with strong growth potential to participate in the LEO mentoring programme by 2017. We are hoping to attract the best in the industry and look forward to the journey ahead, and to realizing our overall vision of creating an internationally recognized film industry cluster in the region.”

An official information event for the South Eastern Creative Corridor will take place on the 3rd November in Rathnew at the Wicklow County Campus where the best in the industry will come together to kick off what is set to be an action packed programme.

For further information see

Partner LEOs in the South Eastern Creative Corridor programme are:

  • LEO Wicklow (lead partner). Contact: Sheelagh Daly Mob: 087 289 9574
  • LEO Carlow, LEO Kilkenny, LEO Wexford, LEO Tipperary

About I Kill Giants

Principal photography has begun in Dublin and surrounding areas on Anders Walter’s new fantasy drama I Kill Giants.

Hollywood star Zoe Saldana plays psychologist Mrs. Mollé, who is tasked with helping a young girl (played by True Detective‘s Madison Wolfe) battle both real and imagined monsters as she tries to process the fact that her mother is dying from cancer. The pair are joined by Green Room‘s Imogen Poots.

The film is the first feature from Helium director Walter, and is adapted by Joe Kelly from his own graphic novel. That book won a Gaiman Award in 2013 and the International Manga Award in 2012. It was also named to the Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens in 2010 by the Young Adult Library Services Association. Director Walter and producer Kim Magnusson won an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for Helium in 2014.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone director Chris Columbus is producing through his 1492 Pictures/Ocean Blue Ent, with Man of Action Entertainment, Umedia, and XYZ Films. Parallel Films’ Johanna Hagan is the Irish-based Executive producer on the film. Louise Kiely was involved on the Irish casting front, with Kevin Byrne of TeamFX on special effects. Wicklow Film Commission have also been assisting in the shoot.

Following filming in Ireland the production will decamp to Belgium for the second half of principal photography.

About The Entrepreneurs Academy

The Entrepreneurs Academy, formerly QED Training, was set up by Joanne Hession almost 20 years ago. Joanne is a portfolio entrepreneur and recognised leader in training and business development in Ireland. Since it began The Entrepreneurs Academy has trained and supported the start and growth of thousands of small businesses each year.

The Academy’s training varies from one day business training Boot Camps to 6 month full-time training programmes, while also training staff and bigger businesses on SME strategies. The Academy is more than a training company, it is a nationwide movement on track to change the face of small business in Ireland.

About the LEO Competitive Fund

The purpose of the €5million LEO Competitive Fund is to support LEOs to collaborate within their national network to fund initiatives focused on clearly defined opportunities, weaknesses or business challenges impacting micro-enterprise locally, regionally and nationally in order to grow and sustain employment and scale micro-enterprise. Priority has been given to new approaches that build on, and strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem throughout the country. A prerequisite for proposals was the need to demonstrate innovative solutions to fostering and creating employment. In-line with the national remit of LEOs, the specific objectives of this fund are:

  • To strengthen microenterprise locally, regionally and nationally in order to create jobs, grow enterprise and support the progression of LEO clients to Enterprise Ireland.  
  • To foster increased collaboration, networking and a joined up approach to national, regional and local micro-enterprise capability building, growth and job creation.
  • To achieve additionally in terms of job creation and enterprise growth through connecting the LEO network regionally and nationally.
  • To generate new actions that will support the Government’s National Action Plan for Jobs, Action Plan for Jobs Regional and the National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship in Ireland.