Thursday, February 10, 2011

White smoke in Galway

The new CEO for the Irish Film Board will be James Hickey, entertainment lawyer and agent/representative, former SPI lead on negotiations with RTE, and general all-round soul of affability.

James Hickey takes up the role on June 1st and will be working with the IFB in a part-time consultative capacity until then. Hickey and IFB Chairman James Morris both serve as external board directors of IMRO.

It will be interesting to see what character and direction Hickey's leadership of the agency will take. He will have to quickly learn how to say no to his many former clients who will be lobbing in funding applications, cap in hand.

I think it's good that the Board have not employed another producer as CEO and it's to be hoped that James will steer a fair course between looking after the public interest and putting it up to producers to get on with it and make their own deals.

His biggest challenges will be get real cultural value from the State's substantial contribution to the sector, and to encourage audiovisual businesses to become less dependent on State funding.

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