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Breaking News: New Irish Film Board Announced By Minister Jimmy Denihan
12 Mar 2013 : By Kevin Cronin

Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts , Heritage and the Gaeltacht has announced the seven people who will make up the new board for Bord Scannán na hÉireann/Irish Film Board.

Mr Bill O'Herlihy is the Chairman designate. In line with the procedures for such appointments, his position is to be confirmed by the Oireachtas Committee on Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht at a date to be arranged. The other six members of the board are Mr Maurice Sweeney, Dr Annie Doona, Mr John Rice, Ms Kate O'Toole, Mr Seamus Deasy and Ms Katie Holly. A short biography of each member is below.

Minister Deenihan commented: 'I am delighted that these seven very talented individuals have accepted my invitation to become members of the board of Bord Scannán na hÉireann/Irish Film Board. They are joining Bord Scannán na hÉireann/Irish Film Board at a very important time for Ireland's film and audiovisual sector.

'Supporting and creating employment - across all sectors - is a priority for this Government. The film and audiovisual sector is playing its part, and it is vital that we grow the contribution that this sector can make to Ireland's ongoing recovery.

'Under the Chairmanship of Bill O'Herlihy, and together with the experienced staff in Bord Scannán na hÉireann/Irish Film Board, I believe that the new board can be a catalyst to help the agency grow and develop and to nurture the next generation of audiovisual talent in Ireland.'

James Hickey, Chief Executive, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board said: 'I very much welcome the appointment of the new IFB board members announced by the Minister Deenihan today. Together, they bring a wide diversity of talent and skills which will prove a great asset to the on-going work and strategic vision for BSÉ/IFB over the next four years.'

New board Members for Bord Scannán na hÉireann/Irish Film Board

Chairman Designate, Mr Bill O'Herlihy
Bill O'Herlihy is a television broadcaster working for RTÉ, best known for being the chief presenter of the station's soccer coverage. He has worked in broadcasting since the 1960s, and has been RTÉ's chief sports presenter for major events such as Olympic Games, FIFA World Cups, UEFA European Football Championships and European and World Track and Field Championships. Mr O'Herlihy won a Jacobs' Award for his presentation of Network 2's coverage of the 1990 FIFA World Cup, when Ireland reached the quarter-finals. Mr O'Herlihy is also a public relations executive.

Mr Maurice Sweeney (Documentary Filmmaker)
For the last ten years, Maurice Sweeney has been regarded as one of Ireland’s leading documentary filmmakers. Having worked on diverse films from drama documentaries Cromwell In Ireland to creative portraits of Irish writer Flann O Brien and crime writer John Connolly, Mr Sweeney has just finished his first major drama feature, Saving The Titanic, to wide critical acclaim. As a director, Mr Sweeney has won four IFTAS.

Dr Annie Doona (Academic)
Dr Annie Doona is President of Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT). The National Film School is part of IADT since it was launched in November 2003. It is a centre of excellence for education and training in film, animation, broadcasting and digital media.

Mr John Rice (Animator)
John Rice is a company director, co-founder and CEO of JAM Media, an award winning animation company which creates, develops and produces its own entertainment brands. Mr Rice began his animation career in feature film working at 20th Century Fox in the States working as an animator on films such as Anastasia and Titan AE. This was followed by a stint at MTV in New York where he spent two years as a character designer on a number of well-known projects. To date JAM's entertainment brands have been licensed to over 70 territories, translated into 23 languages and can be seen by over 120 million people.

Ms Kate O’Toole (Actress)

Kate O'Toole is an Irish actress. Among other films she has appeared in Dancing at Lughnasa, Eden, 32a, Hideaways, Man on the Train and John Huston's last film, The Dead. Her stage work includes Terry Johnson's Dead Funny with Rough Magic Theatre Co. (Irish Times Theatre Awards nomination for Best Actress), Edward Albee's Three Tall Women at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast (awarded Best Actress UK at the Arts Council/TMA Theatre Awards). She starred opposite Albert Finney in Ronald Harwood's Reflected Glory in London's West End where she has also performed leading roles in Vanbrugh's The Provok'd Wife, Molière's Don Juan and Summer and Smoke by Tennessee Williams. She has toured Ireland extensively in numerous productions with Druid Theatre Co. and with Field Day Theatre Co. and was last seen on stage as Mrs Leaf in The Picture of Dorian Gray at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. Television credits include Showtime's The Tudors, BBC sitcom Get Well Soon, RTE's Glenroe and most recently Titanic: Blood and Steel. She is board chairwoman of the Galway Film Fleadh. Her parents are the actors Siân Phillips and Peter O'Toole.

Mr Seamus Deasy (Cinematographer)
Award winning cinematographer, Seamus Deasy has been nominated for five Irish Film and Television Awards including Best Director of Photography (Film/TV Drama) for Neverland (2011), Best Director of Photography for A Film with Me in It (2008), Best Cinematography for The Mighty Celt (2005), Best Craft Achievement - Film for When the Sky Falls (2000) and Best Craft Contribution for The General (1998). Mr Deasy is the winner of the 2005 IFTA Award for Best Cinematography for The Tiger's Tail (2006).

Katie Holly (Producer)
Katie Holly is MD of Bl!nder Films where she has produced award-winning films which have screened at numerous international festival including Edinburgh, Seattle, Slamdance, Rotterdam, London, Toronto and sxsw. Her debut feature One Hundred Mornings received a Special Jury Award at the 2010 Slamdance Film Festival and an IFTA for best cinematography. Feature credits include Sensation, Come on Eileen, and Citadel. Ms Holly began her career at Treasure Entertainment in 2001 where she worked on films such as Man About Dog, The Mighty Celt and Shrooms.

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