KILLING EVE star Fiona Shaw has been announced as the newest patron to join the Irish Film London (IFL) organisation.
The Cork-born actor, who is currently gracing our screens as MI6 boss Carolyn Martens in the third series of the thriller written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, joins IFL in its tenth anniversary year.
Founded in 2011, IFL has spent the past decade championing Irish film, TV and animation across Britain and has grown into the largest international Irish film festival in the world.
Shaw, who also starred in the hit comedy Fleabag - also written by Waller-Bridge - said of her homeland: “Ireland is having a moment.”
She explained: “It is leapfrogging from being a struggling country to being an empowered country, so it is a very good moment to be part of that.”
Of her new role for IFL, she said: “I’m very proud to become part of something that got this foothold in this vast metropolis.
“It is not just an Irish film festival; it is an Irish film festival in London.”
The actor joins an impressive list of IFL patrons which includes Hollywood star Colin Farrell, acclaimed young actor Moe Dunford, Oscar-nominated director Lenny Abrahamson and one of the world’s leading casting directors, Ros Hubbard.
The IFL, which usually organises three film festivals in Britain each year, including a three-day festival as part of the annual Mayor of London’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations, has faced cancellations due to the coronavirus that have forced it to make changes to its usual practices.
When the Covid-19 outbreak hit in March it saw them forced to move their planned St Patrick’s Film Festival online – with the organisation managing to pull together an impressive line-up of new features, old favourites and original Irish shorts for a digital audience.
That online offering continues today, with fresh films, podcasts and other attractions added regularly to the IFL web screening presence, now named Irish Film From Home.
With the lockdown set to continue for the foreseeable, IFL is working on ambitious plans to emerge from the Covid-19 crisis stronger and better.
IFL founder Kelly O’Connor explained: “These difficult times have upturned everyone’s lives. They have created uncertainty for the entire film industry and for festivals like ours.
"But, as our online Irish Film From Home initiative shows, we’re not going to let anything stop us supporting the Irish film industry or giving our supporters some great film content during the lockdown."
As well as welcoming Shaw as their new patron, IFL has also appointed a new Director to the Board and brought on new consultants to bolster its sponsorship and partnerships arm.
Dr Lara Ramdin joins the Board as Director for Sponsorship & Partnerships.
IFL has also made two fundraising appointments, namely Daniel Kemp of Make Films, who joins as a corporate sponsorship consultant, focused on building new partnerships to support IFL’s main festival, and Kishan Devani, who joins the team as a fundraising consultant focused on developing a new donorship and patronage scheme.
Ms O’Connor said: “With these new members strengthening our team, we are celebrating our tenth anniversary by ensuring Irish Film London continues to be a strong voice for Irish film and Irish filmmakers in London and around the UK.”
For more details or to sign up for free access to Irish Film From Home click here.