THE Irish Film & TV UK (IFTUK) organisation has announced Michael Hayden as its new Festival Director.
A former BFI London Film Festival programmer, Hayden also lectures on the Film Studies, Programming and Curation MA course at the National Film & Television School.
He is a former Programme Director of the Cork International Film Festival and Head of Programming at the Irish Film Institute.
Regarding his new appointment, he said: “In such a fascinating and productive era for Irish cinema and television, it is both a thrill and an honour to have the opportunity to offer filmmakers and their work a valuable platform in the UK.
“As IFTUK’s activities develop, we hope to increase the importance of that platform and dutifully serve both the talented Irish creators and keen, curious audiences in the UK,” he added.
IFTUK, which was formerly Irish Film London until a rebrand earlier this year, has also appointed two new board members to its ranks.
Joining the board as Director of Production and Broadcasting is BBC Radio 4 broadcaster, writer and documentary filmmaker, Peter Curran.
Curran, whose great-grandfather was an Irish cinema pioneer - building and operating movie theatres from 1913 across the North of Ireland - has produced and directed many UK projects on Irish history, language and culture for the BBC and The Imperial War Museum.
He is also co-host of the acclaimed podcast Bunk Bed.
“I am delighted to serve the expanding mission of IFTUK at this flourishing time for Irish cinema and television, as they broaden horizons and reach new audiences,” he said of his new posting.
Also joining IFTUK as Director of Television is veteran global TV executive, Tara Gaule.
Gaule has over 25 years of experience in TV distribution sales, selling scripted, non-scripted and kid’s content to international broadcasters.
She said this week: “I am pleased to bring my television expertise and contacts to the impressive IFTUK Board.
“Their values are totally in line with my own passion for bringing great stories onto our screens, whether big or small.”
Commenting on their recent appointments, IFTUK’s Chair, Carey Fitzgerald said: “Michael’s festival programming and curating expertise will ensure an exciting and diverse mix of content for our three annual festivals.
“With our plans to delve deeper into television, we are thrilled to welcome someone of Tara’s standing.
“And Peter brings a wealth of production and broadcasting experience, all of which perfectly complements the qualities of the Board.”
IFTUK’s flagship Irish Film Festival, London - a BIFA-qualifying Festival for the first time this year - will be held from November 15-19 at the Vue West End, Vue Piccadilly and the London Irish Centre venues.
The jury for IFTUK’s 2023 Irish Film Awards will be headed up by Festival Director Michael Hayden.
It will also include Colm Bairéad and Cleona Ní Chrualaoí, the Director and Producer of The Quiet Girl, Anna Rodgers and Shaun Dunne, Director and Producer of How to Tell a Secret, Kelly Campbell, Director of An Encounter, and IFTUK board members Peter Curran, Steven Greenfield and Tara Gaule.
Ros Hubbard will be on hand to present the annual Ros Hubbard Best Newcomer Award and there will also be an Audience Award launched at the 2023 event.
The full Irish Film Festival, London programme is due to be announced in the coming weeks.