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Northern Ireland Screen gets new board members

Friday, 21 December 2007

Culture Minister Edwin Poots MLA has announced the appointment of a new Vice-Chair and five new Board Members to the Northern Ireland Screen Commission.

Following open competition and with effect from 1 January 2008 for a period of four years, Richard (Rick) Hill has been appointed as Vice-Chair to the Commission and Tim McKane, Ruth McCance, James Penny, Anne Cormican and Kate Smith have been appointed as Board Members.

Mr Hill will also fill the position of Chair on an interim basis until a new Chair can be appointed.

Welcoming the new members Edwin Poots said: “I am very pleased to make these appointments. An enormous amount of progress has been made over recent years to develop the screen industry in Northern Ireland. The recent launch of Closing the Ring in Belfast highlights the significant work that is being done to attract international film makers to Northern Ireland.

“We have the talent, the expertise, the resources and a welcoming atmosphere that is sure to encourage more and more film makers to locate here. I am looking forward to working with the new Board to build on the progress that has been made.”

Mr Poots also expressed his sincere thanks to the outgoing Chair Colin Anderson OBE and those Board Members who have recently completed their terms of appointment for their contribution and commitment to the work of the Northern Ireland Screen Commission during their terms of appointment.

Notes to Editors:

Media enquiries should be addressed to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure Press Office. Tel (028) 9025 8901 or email . Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.

The following members of the Board have been re-appointed to serve a second term:

Mr Phillip Morrow
Ms Mairead Regan
Ms Maria McCann
Mr Terry Loane
Dr Roger Austin
Mr Peter Quinn

John McCann, Alastair McIlwain, Nik Powell, Gavin Boyd, Joe Mahon and Patrick Spence have recently completed their terms of appointment on the Board. Chair, Colin Anderson OBE, is also standing down.

Northern Ireland Screen’s mission is to accelerate the development of a dynamic and sustainable film and television industry in Northern Ireland by integrating industrial, educational and cultural policies and actions.

Northern Ireland Screen was established in 1997. It is primarily funded by Invest NI, the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure and the UK Film Council and it is delegated by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to administer Lottery funding for film in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland Screen has eight primary areas of activity, all of which are integrated in a unified approach to the development of the audiovisual industry – an industry with the potential to make a positive economic and cultural impact on Northern Ireland.

  • Film development and production funding; production logistics support.
  • Marketing to promote Northern Ireland as a base for production.
  • Company development support initiatives for local production companies.
  • Training for the industry.
  • Information services for producers and others.
  • Moving image education policy development.
  • Developing access to the audiovisual heritage of Northern Ireland.
  • Specialised film exhibition development.

The post of Vice-Chair will receive an honorarium of £3,500 per annum plus travel and subsistence expenses. The members’ positions are unpaid, with members receiving travel and subsistence expenses only.

The appointments process was carried out in accordance with the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments Code of Practice. A selection panel, which included an independent assessor, as required under the Commissioner’s Code, considered the suitability of all candidates. The final decision on the appointments rested with the Minister.

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for the political activity of appointees (if declared) to be published.

Biographical Details

Mr Richard (Rick) Hill

Mr Hill is a Minister in Garnerville Presbyterian Church in East Belfast and has a longstanding interest in broadcast media. He has acted as an adviser to the BBC Broadcasting Council, BBC Governors and the BBC Trust on digital content and delivery. As a member of the BBC Audience Council for Northern Ireland, Mr Hill provided advice on local and national television content. Rev Hill has declared no significant political interest.

Mr Tim McKane

Mr McKane is currently Chief Executive of Creative Services with Fire IMC, one of Northern Ireland’s leading integrated marketing companies. Over the last twenty years he has been responsible for creating some of the most memorable advertising campaigns in Northern Ireland and has won a number of awards. For five years he was a member of the Publicity Association of NI and held the position of Chairman in 1992. He also sits on the NI Committee of the Institute of Directors. Tim has declared no significant political interest.

Ms Ruth Helene McCance

Ms McCance has fifteen years experience in the British and European film and television industries. She is currently Head of Television at independent production company Ruby Films in London. Her career began as a press office intern at Cinemagic before training as a script editor with BBC Scotland. She lived and worked in Sweden for three years where she acted as an external assessor on Umeå University’s screenwriting programme. Ruth has recently joined the Green Party.

Mr James Michael Penny

Mr Penny is a solicitor with over eight years experience advising film and television production companies and broadcasters. He was Head of Business Affairs at ITV Productions in London and has extensive knowledge of film, television, and broadcasting. James has declared no significant political interest.

Ms Anne Therese Cormican

Ms Cormican worked for the BBC until recently. In a career spanning over 22 years, she joined as a graduate engineer before moving on to gain extensive experience in both operational and managerial roles in the film and television sector. She worked closely with internal producers, external production companies and NI Screen on a wide range of films, programmes and training courses. Anne has declared no significant political interest.

Ms Kate Smith

Ms Smith began her career as a newsreader and reporter with Downtown Radio. She worked for RTE in Dublin as a news reporter and then as anchor on the main evening news. Kate joined UTV in 1983 where she became a household name as presenter of UTV Live. She gained a lot of experience in the entertainment industry while representing UTV at premieres and Oscar ceremonies in LA. Since leaving UTV in 2006, she has delivered lectures and workshops on media education at the University of Ulster, Coleraine. She is also involved with a number of charities including the William Keown Trust, the Prince’s Trust and CLIC Sergeant Cancer Care. Kate has declared no significant political interest.