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Irish Film Board appoints Creative England executive to key role

EXCLUSIVE: Room and Brooklyn backers appoint two project managers to drive development and production.

The Irish Film Board has made two key hires in the shape of Creative England senior film executive Celine Haddad and development executive and script editor Dearbhla Regan who are both joining the funding body as project managers within the production and development team.

Haddad and Regan will work alongside Lesley McKimm, who was appointed last September, to manage the slate of IFB supported projects from development through to production and distribution.

The duo take over from outgoing project managers Keith Potter and Mary Callery.

At Creative England Haddad has worked on titles including God’s Own Country, Jawbone, Fly Away and Fanny Lye Delivered. She previously worked at Pathé, first as a creative executive and then as head of creative affairs.

Regan has worked as a development producer and script editor in film, TV drama and documentary. Her most recent script editor credits include My Name Is Emily, The Lodgers, The Legend Of Longwood and The Drummer And The Keeper.

IFB CEO James Hickey commented: “Celine and Dearbhla will bring a wealth of creative experience to the Irish Film Board’s production and development team. I am confident their experience will particularly benefit Irish writers, directors and producers working across film, TV drama and animation. I’m delighted to welcome them both to the team as we work together to invest in creative talent, build on the current success of the industry and achieve our key goals as outlined in the recent IFB five year strategic plan.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank outgoing project managers Keith Potter and Mary Callery for their hard work and dedication over the last four years, which has been a particularly successful period for the Irish film industry.”

High-profile projects backed by the IFB in recent years include Room, Brooklyn and The Lobster.

Haddad will leave Creative England (to work out of the IFB’s Dublin office) at the end of next month. The UK funding agency did not comment on whether she would be replaced.

The organisation’s shrinking film division is currently being steered by acting head of film Paul Ashton following the unexpected departure of Brek Taylor in January.

The department is currently in transition following the BFI’s decision to “refocus” its role, a move which is expected to reduce the agency’s production and development funding from the BFI. Creative England will continue to oversee popular micro-budget scheme iFeatures.

Readers' comments (5)

  • But who's now going to put the cat out and turn off the lights at Creative England ?

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  • Re-read the BFI 2022 strategy - they seem to be holding onto a lot more from BFI than some other agencies. Real question is, who will end up doing the BFI's really hard grassroots work for peanuts and a pat on the head? (And if BFI is indeed taking feature development back inhouse - then why didn't they want to take Haddad along with it?)

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  • I did re-read it! The Film Audience Network hubs will be doing the grassroots via Home, Watershed, etc courtesy of a low paid, under-resourced BFI plant/stooge/fluffer. As for Creative England, they get to keep iFeatures which i think was theirs anyway (!)and some fluffy Enterprise stuff which i'll bet isn't the Vision gig as BFI want keep that close. I'd say Haddad made a smart call there.

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  • Meanwhile do Film London get to keep their Microwave? Cinematics in Wales? No mention. £10m seems like a vast bag of loose change for just fluffy enterprise stuff. Creative England do appear to have engineered the work with the fewest political strings attached. Alas, those poor hub jobs will be thankless. Yes, a smart call by Haddad (presuming of course that the EU/Euro hold up). How will the BFI properly resource all that extra work going back in-house without more experienced London execs like Haddad to do it? One rather suspects that they won't, which surely spells doom, gloom and slim pickings for first-timers. Forget the salaried executives and agencies, it's always the talent that lose out in the end.

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  • interested how many of those projects were developed / led by celine haddad or just scavenged from the redundancy of richard holmes? says here gods own country was developed by ifeatures:
    jawbone is bbc, bet my maisonette they developed that themselves. fanny lye is a cannes directors 4th movie so couldn't have been through the emerging funding. i'd never heard of flyaway. sounds to me like workmates should be getting some proper credit for those films too. oh and every one of them has bfi money in it so i cant see why they wouldn't hire her properly

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