Cork International Film Festival (CIFF) is pleased to announce the addition of five new board members, ahead of our 66th Festival, 5-21 November. The new appointees bring a wealth of skills and experience to the organisation with backgrounds in film, television, diversity, inclusion, equality, law, business and finance.
Chair of the Board, Barney Whelan, commented: “We are honoured to announce the addition of five distinguished professionals to the Board of the Cork International Film Festival. Each brings unique business skills and experience to the work of the Board. Their contribution will enable the Festival to continue to grow and to achieve our diverse objectives of supporting filmmakers, engaging audiences, and effectively delivering Ireland’s first and largest film festival.”
Cian Blackwell is Chief Operating Officer and Deputy CEO of Irish Management Institute. He is also a non-executive director of the Irish Aviation Authority, and of Limor, a social media startup. He is a Chartered Accountant with over 25 years’ experience in finance, operations, risk and governance. He has previously worked as a management consultant with Accenture, as a partner with Grant Thornton and as Head of Internal Audit and Group Treasurer with Ryanair. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Law and a graduate diploma in Corporate Governance from University College Dublin, and a master’s degree in Risk Management from New York University Stern School of Business.
Cathy Cullen has worked in TV for over a decade and co-hosts the award-winning and critically-acclaimed film podcast, The Cinemile. She began her career in the programming department of TV3 in Dublin before emigrating to Sydney where she managed programming for multiple channels at Foxtel. She has spent the last six years in London leading on digital content and campaigns at Sky. Originally from Cork, she completed a BA in UCC before graduating from DCU with an MA in Film and Television. She is thrilled to combine her love of film and Cork City in joining the CIFF Board.
Dr Avril Hutch is Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) at University College Cork. With over 15 years’ experience in EDI, she has established and led the EDI Unit at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, where she developed and successfully implemented the RCSI EDI Strategic Plan 2018-22, including landmark programmes such as Women on Walls. Avril previously managed human rights and equality programmes on behalf of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) and UNICEF. She spent seven years working on Irish Aid and United Nations (UN) funded capacity development programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia.
Avril holds a PhD in History and was awarded the UCC Boston College and Washington College scholarship. Dr Hutch also completed a postgraduate diploma in human rights and equality, a diploma in humanitarian law, and a certificate in visual art practice. Avril served as Chair of the Athena SWAN National Committee 2020-21, is a member of the Higher Education Authority (HEA) National Committee for EDI and is also a board member of Women on Air.
Elaine Geraghty is currently Managing Director of Ardmore and Troy Studios, and formerly Chief Executive of Screen Producers Ireland. She has more than 30 years’ experience in the audiovisual and media sector. She has held a variety of senior management positions in the Communicorp Group, the Sunday Tribune and 98FM. As Chief Executive of Newstalk, Elaine developed the local Dublin radio station to become Ireland’s first independent national talk radio broadcaster. She was Chief Executive of ReachOut Ireland (formerly Inspire Ireland Foundation), an online youth mental health organisation that supports young people aged 12-25.
Emma Jane Joyce is an Investment Director with the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) where she leads on the design and implementation of the Fund’s unique Sustainability and Responsible Investment Strategy across the whole Fund, Global and Irish Portfolios, multiple investment structures and asset types and across the life-cycle of investments. She represents ISIF on a number of sustainability platforms including SIF Ireland and the CDP Ireland Network (past Chair). She has extensive investment experience and has held a variety of investment roles within the National Treasury Management Agency. She has recently completed the executive diploma in Corporate Governance at UCD Smurfit Graduate School of Business.
The new appointees join CIFF Board Directors Sean Angland, COO of HIQA; Frank Berry, award-winning filmmaker; Sharon Brooks, Barrister-at-Law; Nancy Hawkes, Head of Marketing at UCC; Scott Jevons, Employee Relations, IBEC; Patrick O’Neil, MD Wildcard Distribution; Dave MacArdle, Broadcaster, Red FM; and Barney Whelan, Chair.
Cork International Film Festival runs from the 5th to 21st November. Full programme and tickets now available at corkfilmfest.org or via the MyCIFF App.