Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) has today (July 18th) announced that James Hickey will remain in the role of Chief Executive until 2019.

Hickey originally took the position as Chief Executive in June 2011 for a period of five years, having previously been a partner and Head of the Media and Entertainment law group of Ireland’s largest law firm Matheson.

Welcoming the approval of this contract extension IFB Board Chair Dr. Annie Doona said:

We are very happy that James has agreed to continue to lead Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board for the next three years. The IFB Board recently launched our Five-Year Strategic Plan – ‘Building on Success’ – detailing our ambitious vision and plans for the role of the IFB within the thriving Irish film, television and animation industry.  The continuation of leadership within the IFB is important to steer the agency into the next phase of its development and to ensure the goals of the IFB strategic plan are delivered. We believe that there is a huge opportunity for growth for the sector in the next five years and this is the moment to scale the industry to the next level.

Irish film and animation has experienced a period of unprecedented critical and commercial success over the last two years.  On the back of major global hits including Room, Brooklyn, Sing Street, Love & Friendship, Song of the Sea and The Lobster, Irish films have taken to date an impressive $145 million at the worldwide box office alone in 2015/16, with audience figures estimated in the region of 18 million admissions.  This does not include DVD, TV or the growing VOD market which will generate further audiences for Irish film. The wider audio-visual sector employs some 6,000 people in Ireland at present, generating over €0.5 billion to the economy. Three releases in the last 12 months have grossed more than $8m at the US box-office alone, with Love & Friendship and The Lobster still on release there.

Hickey is recognised internationally as a leading expert in the field of film and television production.  He previously represented many leading Irish film and television production companies as well as actors, writers, directors, composers and has extensive experience working in the field of media and entertainment law.  He was formerly Chairman of the Projects Arts Centre and the Abbey Theatre and has had a lifetime commitment to the Irish film industry.

The role of Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry, investing in talent, creativity and enterprise. The agency supports writers, directors and production companies across these sectors by providing investment loans for the development, production and distribution of film, television and animation projects.

The IFB also supports and promotes the Irish screen industries at major international markets and festivals, promotes inward investment, the use of Ireland as a location for international production and provides support for companies filming location in Ireland. The agency provides industry training across the sector through Screen Training Ireland.

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