Just as Los Angeles starts to celebrate luring back film and TV productions and related business thanks to the expanded California tax credits, Ireland has come along to spoil the party.

The Irish government is emerging as a competitor to Hollywood with its own improved credits for filming as well as its lush scenery, a growing digital technology scene and new studio facilities.

The final scene of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was shot in Ireland and proved a great calling card for the country to attract not only filming but companies as well.

In the last two months, four L.A. entertainment or creative companies have opened up European headquarters on the Emerald Isle: Activision Blizzard Inc., Riot Games, J2 Global Inc. and Daqri.

“We’re thrilled with the quality of technical expertise there,” said Gaia Dempsey, co-founder of downtown L.A. augmented-reality product maker Daqri, which has opened a research center in Dublin.

Meanwhile, IDA Ireland – a government organization tasked with increasing foreign investment in that country – just doubled its West Coast staff to 14 and assigned a team of five to Los Angeles, from where direct flights between Los Angeles International Airport and Dublin start next month on airline Aer Lingus.

“Our people on the ground are focusing on the L.A. tech and creative clusters,” said the IDA’s Barry O’Dowd. “Through their efforts, L.A. companies are becoming more aware of all the benefits Ireland has to offer.”

Last month the California Film Commission announced that 13 feature films were earmarked for the state’s expanded Film and Television Tax Credit Program, which is aimed at stopping runaway production and boosting local investment.

Coming Home

Having just made history by becoming the first cinematographer to win three Oscars in a row, Emmanuel Lubezki’s latest cinematic venture focuses on his home city of Los Angeles in a new Terrence Malick-directed film called “Knight of Cups,” which opened last week.

The film features Christian Bale as a Hollywood screenwriter but the real star might well be L.A.’s iconic locations.

Critic reviews of the film have been mixed but there’s nothing but praise for the job Mexico-born Lubezki has done capturing the cinematic qualities of the City of Angels.

Will it be good enough to land him a fourth trip to the Oscar podium, having already won Academy Awards for “Gravity,” “Birdman” and “The Revenant”?

The film’s producers Sarah Green and Nicolas Gonda certainly hope so.

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