Ireland's Minister for Arts,Sport and Tourism, John O'Donoghue has announced the appointment of the newmembers of the Irish Film Board, effective January 17, for a four-year term.

Joining existing out-goingmembers, director Alan Gilsenan and academic Margaret McCarthy MacIntyre, areJames Morris (Chair), Lesley McKimm, Kevin Moriarty, Tristan Orpen Lynch, andKirsten Sheridan.

Morris is a founder of theWindmill Lane post-production and recording facility in Dublin, The Mill inLondon, and Ireland's commercial broadcaster TV3, of which he is non-executivechairman. McKimm and Lynch are producers with considerable film and TV creditsthrough their own companies, respectively Comet Films and SuboticaEntertainment. Moriarty is managing director of Ardmore Studios and Sheridan isa screenwriter and director who co-wrote the Oscar and Golden Globe nominated InAmerica with her father Jim and sister Naomi.

Screen Producers Ireland(SPI), the representative body for film and TV producers, welcomed theannouncement of the appointees stating that it will invigorate the sector at animportant juncture in its development. It stated its particular satisfactionthat four of the new board members emanate from the production sector,commenting that this would bring a practical reality to the policies and workprogramme of the board, based on the individual direct experience in the sectorof these individuals.

According to Larry Bass, SPIChairman, the new board members join at a critical time for the Irish filmindustry, when it requires further support so Ireland can increase its share ofthe global film market.

In December O'Donoghueannounced an 18% increase in the Irish Film Board's budget for 2005. Theincrease, to Euros 14m, includes a 20% rise in the Board's capital resources -from Euros 10m to Euros 12m - for production, development, and training.O'Donoghue will lead a trade mission in February to meet US producers in NewYork and Los Angeles.