Screen Ireland, the funding body behind films including Room, Brooklyn and The Lobster, has appointed former Warner Bros exec Désirée Finnegan as its new Chief Executive. This follows the departure of James Hickey.
Finnegan was most recently Senior Vice President, Theatrical Marketing & Publicity EMEA at Warner Bros. Pictures, where she worked on campaigns for films including Dunkirk, Ready Player One, The Lego Movie, The Dark Knight Trilogy and the Harry Potter franchise
Screen Ireland currently has capital funding of over €16M and the Irish government has committed to spending €200M over the ten year period to 2027. Finnegan is expected to take up the role in August 2019 with Hickey remaining in position until this time.
Screen Ireland Chair Dr. Annie Doona said, “Désirée brings a wealth and depth of experience to the role of Chief Executive at Screen Ireland. She is an experienced leader who brings huge energy to her work and has a strong commitment to the screen industries. Her wide knowledge of the international film industry will benefit the Irish industry and we are delighted to welcome her back to Ireland to lead the agency into the next phase of growth. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank outgoing Chief Executive James Hickey for his hard work and dedication to Screen Ireland over the last eight years. During this time production activity levels across the film, television and animation industry have doubled and the sector has experienced huge success with award winning and critically acclaimed films including Room, Brooklyn, The Lobster, Sing Street, The Young Offenders, Song of the Sea, The Breadwinner, Black ’47 and Hole in the Ground, amongst many others.”
Finnegan added, “I am delighted to be returning home to take up the post of Chief Executive of Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland and for the opportunity to continue building on the critical and commercial success of the Irish film, television and animation industry. My passion for supporting great storytellers and those with creative vision has played an important role throughout my career and I am sincerely looking forward to working with the incredible wealth of Irish creative talent, both in front of and behind the camera. It is an honour to be given the opportunity to work with the dedicated team at Screen Ireland supporting Irish artistic culture at home and abroad, further developing the indigenous industry and continuing inward production investment at a time of significant opportunity. I look forward to working with the Board of Screen Ireland, led by Dr. Annie Doona and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, to support creativity, job creation and turnover growth in the industry.”