Belfast

Michelle Hatfield 

Chair of Cinemagic

Having completed a BA (Hons) degree in Business Management and a postgraduate diploma in personnel management, Michelle has been working at a senior level in HR for over 17 years across a number of industries including telecoms, manufacturing, retail and over recent years in the aviation industry. In her current position as Director of HR and Corporate Responsibility at Belfast City Airport Michelle holds an executive position on the main Board alongside the other members of the executive team. As well as overseeing people management matters Michelle manages corporate responsibility at the airport.She is particularly proud of the airport's community engagement programme as well as launching the airports community fund back in 2009. To date the fund has donated over £250,000 to various projects across the city.

In 2012 Michelle was awarded the Institute of Director's Young Director of the Year award and in December 2013 won the IOD (NI) Leader in Corporate Responsibility. Alongside her team at the Belfast City Airport, Michelle has been successful in winning three major business awards including, Business in the Community's 'Community Impact Award', Employer of the Year 2013 in the workforce Training's annual awards and Business in the Community's Education Partner Award 2015. In October (2014) Michelle was recognised by the Institute of Directors for her exceptional achievements, hard-work and dedication to the role in the UK final of the annual Director of the year awards held in London. Michelle holds a number of Non-Executive Director positions outside of her role at George Best Belfast City Airport.

Brendan McGoran 

Brendan is the lead officer for the development and implementation of Belfast City Council's Creative Industries strategy within the context of the Local Economic Development Plan. He is responsible for an extensive portfolio of projects that form the Council's support structure for Belfast's Creative Sector under the themes of Creative Economy, Creative Talent and Creative Space. 

Projects under these themes include Investment and Intellectual property, Export Marketing, Dare to be Digital and Business Incubation. Following an Honours degree at the University of Ulster and 18 months at the University Of Wisconsin, Brendan worked in the corporate video field, developing productions for clients such as Coca~Cola and BASS Ireland. Brendan went on to join the Nerve Centre's DREAM project to develop a support structure for Northern Ireland's Digital Media sector and later the Creative sector as a whole. After four years, Brendan was employed as a producer once again, responsible for developing a wide portfolio of television and feature films aimed at the international children television market. Brendan joined Belfast City Council in January 2004.

Michael Lennox 

Michael grew up in Northern Ireland and is a graduate (the first from NI) of the National Film and Television School. He is a BAFTA winning and Oscar-nominated director for Northern Ireland made film 'Boogaloo and Graham'. Michael's short film catalogue has been screened worldwide and received award recognition. His short 'The Back of Beyond' was nominated for best short film at the European Film Awards and won awards at Locarno and the Royal Society of Television Awards.Michael has worked extensively with Cinemagic over the last thirteen years, having participated in festival filmmaking initiatives and competitions and in a facilitator/mentor capacity. Michael completed his first feature film 'A Patch of Fog' supported by Northern Ireland Screen and the BFI Film Fund, and has recently directed 'Endeavour' for ITV and Channel 4's hit comedy 'Derry Girls'.

Kate Smith 

Kate Smith has been at the forefront of news broadcasting in Ireland for over thirty years .She began her broadcasting career at Downtown Radio as a newsreader and news reporter. She later worked as a news anchor and reporter for RTE in Dublin before returning to Belfast to take up a post as a news reporter. She subsequently became the face of UTV News, fronting the main news and Current Affairs programmes for more than twenty years. Alongside her studio role Kate regularly contributed news and features reports specialising in showbiz reporting for many years. She has appeared as a news presenter in several feature films including Hidden Agenda, The Most Fertile Man in Ireland and Into the Sea. 

Kate Smith hosted her last edition of UTV Live in December 2006. Since her departure from UTV, she has held workshops in media education. She was appointed a board member of Northern Ireland Screen in December 2007. Kate is married to restaurateur Michael Deane and is his business partner and a shareholder in Deanes Restaurants in Belfast.

Before her broadcasting career, Kate Smith studied Sociology and Psychology at Queen's University, Belfast and took a postgraduate course in Sociology at University College Dublin. Her first journalism work was as an Agony Aunt for The Sunday Newspaper. Kate has worked with a number of charities, including as President of the William Keown Trust, the Prince's Trust, CLIC Sergeant Cancer Care and The Northern Ireland Childrens' Cancer Unit.

Geralyn Mulqueen

An accomplished and customer focused Criminal Defence Practitioner with an entrepreneurial and artistic flair and extensive professional experience from both the public and private sectors. Combines 10 years' experience at the Bar with 7 years private practice as a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, maintains ethical standards and a strong sense of accountability and fairness, and communicates ideas, and legal arguments concisely to diverse audiences. 

Skilled at developing policies, procedures, and training materials, cultivates trusted relationships with diverse stakeholders, and applies an analytical approach to solving problems solving and managing conflict. Trains and inspires teams to success, and is committed to continuing professional development.

Angus O'Neill

Angus O'Neill is a Senior Retail Manager based in Northern Ireland. He has worked for Most large retailers - Safeway, Morrison's, Asda/Walmart and currently works for Sainsburys leading teams of up to 1000 colleagues. During his career ran the busiest Supermarket in Europe and won a number of awards for people management and retail.

Angus has been a Chairman and Area Chairman for Round Table, Chaired a number of different organisations and currently is the Deputy Chairman of Grocery Aid Charity for Northern Ireland.

London

Ian Wall

Educated at the University of York where he studied English and Related Literatures, Ian went on to teach at Holland Park School in London Holland.

In 1986 he founded FILM EDUCATION at the instigation of David Puttnam. The organisation expanded from producing printed study materials to developing CD ROMS, running In Service training for teachers, producing television programmes for the BBC Learning Zone and Channel 4 Schools on film related topics as well as continuing to produce film related and generic print materials. Since 1995 working with the Film Education TV team Ian developed over 50 television programmes, both as producer and scriptwriter.

Ian has won two BAFTA's (children's interactive learning) as well as a 'Learning on Screen' award, all for interactive teaching resources.

He has served as a jury member for the BAFTA Children?s Awards and the BUFVC's Learning on Screen awards.

Ian speaks on issues relating to education, media literacy and film all over the world.

Jessica Malik – Film & Theatre Producer


Jessica is a film and theatre producer. She started her career producing theatre and produced the award winning play Guardians and sell out comedy Angry Young Man at the Edinburgh Festival in 2005. Angry Young Man transferred to London's West End in 2009 whilst Guardians continued on to Broadway in 2006. She returned to Edinburgh in 2011 with Hywel John's Rose and again in 2018 with the sell out award-winning show Angry Alan, written by Penelope Skinner.

Jessica's career in film started in marketing and international sales at Capitol Films and later at Exclusive Media Group. She has handled international sales for over 30 feature films including multiple Academy Award winning Robert Altman's Gosford Park, Paul McGuigan's Lucky Number Slevin, Peter Howitt's Sliding Doors, Matt Reeves US DVD chart topping Let Me In and James Watkins' Woman in Black.

Jessica Malik’s most recent feature film credits as Producer or Executive Producer include TIFF runner up winning Zaytoun, which had its UK debut at the London Film Festival and Estranged which premiered at FrightFest.  In recent years, Jessica has also produced various short films including The Escape, which premiered at Tribeca in New York. The Escape is the directorial debut of Academy and BAFTA award winning Visual Effects supervisor Paul J. Franklin (Inception, Interstellar). She also produced the viral satirical short piece entitled Leading Lady Parts in support of the Times Up and #MeToo campaigns.

Jessica divides her time between Rebel Park Productions and Popcorn Group. She has a number of films in development including award winning writer Alistair McDowall's A Pail of Air (with Creative England / BFI), Gonzalo Maza’s Oscar and Ruben (Popcorn Group), Penelope Skinner’s Angry Alan (Popcorn Group TV), Sarah Alderson's Hunting Lila (with the BFI) and Women in Temptation with Bedlam Productions. 

Iain Smith

Iain Smith, born and raised in Glasgow, is one of the UK’s most experienced film producers. He has served on the boards of the UK Film Council, Scottish Screen, the Joint board of Creative Scotland, the Children's Film and Television Foundation, and has been a Governor of the National Film and Television School, and Chair of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. He is currently Chair of the British Film Commission, the Film Industry Training Board, and the Film Skills Council and is a patron of the London Film School. He sits on the Advisory Board of the Scottish Screen and Media Academy, the Media Academy Wales, and is a board member of Creative Skillset and of the Production Guild of Great Britain. In 2005 he was awarded a BAFTA for Outstanding Achievement in Film, and was made an OBE in 2008. Iain Smith has produced many successful and award winning films around the world, including the Oscar winning “Mad Max: Fury Road”.

Gareth Ellis-Unwin 

Gareth Ellis-Unwin is the Head of Film for Creative Skillset, the industry-led skills body for the UK’s screen-based industries. He is leading on delivering the BFI’s action plan, Future Film Skills, and also manages the Film Investment Fund commonly known as the film levy.

Gareth was previously co-Founder and CEO of multi-award-winning Bedlam Productions, which was formed in 2000. He was producer of the critically acclaimed The King’s Speech, the highest grossing British independent film to date, which won four Academy Awards including Best Film and seven BAFTAs, including Best Film and Outstanding British Film.  His other credits as producer include Zaytoun, BAFTA-nominated British war film Kajaki: The True Story and Exam, which was also nominated for a BAFTA and won Spirit and Dinard awards. Most recently he completed Steel Country, starring Andrew Scott and Denise Gough, which is starting its festival campaign summer 2018. Gareth Ellis-Unwin will remain involved with Bedlam’s current projects as a non-executive director of the company.

Kate Wilson  

A graduate of UCLA, Kate trained as a film producer at Jodie Foster’s Egg Pictures, working with some of the industry’s most highly regarded producers, writers and directors. After two years at Egg Pictures, Kate was sponsored for her US work permit by both Jodie Foster and Paul Thomas Anderson.   

Back in London, Kate is a producer and strategic consultant for a range of film and arts projects. She works independently as a strategic consultant with clients across the film and arts sectors. Recent partnerships have included the Mayor of London, Amazon Studios, Curzon Artificial Eye, Riverside Studios, the East End Film Festival, Framestore, ScreenCraft, the Imperial War Museum, Ravensbourne, Timothy Taylor Gallery and Denville Hall.     

In addition to her work as a strategic consultant, Kate is producing a slate of films, events and artists’ moving image work for Fury Films.  She won Best Producer at Underwire Festival 2017 for Natasja Fourie’s short film 13, and Fury Films and Curzon Artificial Eye won Best Film Event of the Year at the Screen Awards 2017 for the Trafalgar Square premier of Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman. Most recently, Kate produced Lily Cole’s short film Balls further to a commission from the Bronte Parsonage Museum, the Foundling Museum and Rapid Response Unit and showing in those venues until December 2018.   

Kate has an MA in Text and Performance from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and she is a member of the Bar of England and Wales (called to the Bar in 2010).

LA

Ross King, MBE

Multi award winning Los Angeles based Ross King, MBE, is one of Britain’s most vibrant and versatile award winning performers having worked stage, screen and radio. His first stage performance was at the age of five, his first radio broadcast at 15, and his Television debut at 17.

In 2018 Ross received his MBE from her Majesty The Queen for services to broadcasting, the arts and charity.

Ross can be seen on ITV’s top rated morning shows “Good Morning Britain” & “Lorraine” as their US & Los Angeles Correspondent. He not only reports on all things in Show business, he covers breaking news from terrorist attacks to shootings and natural disasters. Ross has interviewed US Presidents and other world leaders.

For five years, Scottish born Ross was the Entertainment Anchor on KTLA/The CW Channel 5’s Prime News, winning four News Emmys and a Golden Mic award.

His relaxed and informal style has resulted in some of the best interviews with many of the world’s biggest stars including Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, George Clooney, Clint Eastwood, Brad Pitt, Denzel Washington, John Travolta, Halle Berry, Sean Connery, Gerard Butler, Take That, Miley Cyrus, even former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. Ross has also “sung and danced” with Diana Ross and Donald O’Connor. His interviews were recognized with an award from the Variety Club of Great Britain
Ross was chosen from thousands to host ITV’s “Young Krypton”, and since then, he has hosted 30 television series for BBC, ITV and SKY. Including BBC’s live daily chat and entertainment show “Pebble Mill”.

Ross’ film credits include “The Day After Tomorrow, “Half Past Dead”, ”Cruel Game”, ”Do It For Uncle Manny”, and “Trust Me”. He played himself in the movies “Young Hercules” and “Who’s Your Caddy”. He voiced the role of “Jinkins” in “Star Wars, Jedi Fighter 2” for Lucas Arts. He also hosted “This Morning” and Living TV specials on “Will and Grace“, “CSI”, “According to Jim” and “Charmed” for ITV.

On the London Stage, he played one of the lead roles in “Dick Whittington” directed by Gillian Lynne (Cats & Phantom of the Opera). He also played “Frank-n-Furter” in “The Rocky Horror Show”. He starred in, and hosted “Night of Stars” at London’s Palladium Theatre. He also created the role of “Wallace” in the musical, “Summer Holiday.” He other credits include“Charley’s Aunt”, “Joseph”, “Butterfly Children” and “Guys and Dolls”.

On Radio, Ross was Britain’s youngest daytime host on Scotland’s Radio Clyde, winning the Sony Award. He has hosted thousands of radio shows, including London’s Capital Radio and the Euro Chart for the UK. On BBC’s National Radio 5, he hosted the show “Fantasy Football” and received another Sony Award for coverage of the Olympics. On the UK’s national Talk Radio he hosted “OK to Talk” and “Ross King’s Sports Stars”. He co-hosted the American Weekly Top 40 countdown alongside Legendary DJ Rick Dees.

Ross is the voice of American Express..but sadly he can’t pay off your balance.

Ryan Rowe, screenwriter (Charlie’s Angels, Secret of the Wings)

A graduate of the UCLA Film School, Ryan has worked in film, television and animation for over two decades. His produced credits range from co-writing the indie cult comedy “Tapeheads,” to the first “Charlie’s Angels” movie to animated favorite “Secret of the Wings.” He has written for Tinker Bell and David Fincher and enjoys both.

Currently he is developing a new version of the UK kids show classic, “The Wombles.”

Lance O'Connor

Lance O'Connor graduated with a Masters in Film Production from the prestigious Royal College of Art in London. He has lived in Los Angeles for over 20 years and is a successful and well-established Producer working on films, TV and commercials for some of the biggest brands in the world. He has shot on every continent on the planet and has worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood. He has received numerous awards and accolades, including the PromaxBDA Award and several Gold and Silver Cannes Lions. He recently received an EMMY Award for his work with CNN. 

Ellis O’Connor

Ellis O’Connor co-founded and currently co-heads MSD Hospitality, the hospitality operations and asset management wing of MSD Capital L.P. – Real Estate. Significant assets under ownership and management include the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea; the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, and the Hualalai Resort both on the Big Island of Hawaii; and the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows in Santa Monica California. Additional third-party consulting includes the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina and the recently sold Four Seasons Bora Bora.

Prior to joining MSD Ellis served as the General Manager of the iconic Santa Monica landmark property. Prior to his post at the Fairmont Miramar he served as the opening General Manager of Ian Schrager’s Gramercy Park Hotel. Previously, he spent ten years with Peninsula Hotels, mostly in Beverly Hills, partly in New York, as Hotel Manager.

Ellis began his career with Cunard Hotels and Resorts in assorted junior and senior managerial roles with The Stafford Hotel in London and later transferred within the company to The Ritz London in similar capacity’s. During this time The Ritz was taken over by Mandarin Oriental which resulted in cross exposure with the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong and hence the introduction to The Peninsula Group which he later joined.

Holding an MBA from Pepperdine University in Malibu California and a degree in Hotel Catering and Hospitality Management from Thames Valley University in London, England, Ellis currently serves as Board Member for British American Business Council, Executive Board Member for Britweek, Founding Board Member for Cinemagic Los Angeles and is also a Past Chairman of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce and Santa Monica Tourism and Travel. Ellis is a member of the Santa Monica Chapter of YPOG.

Ellis is married with three children and two dogs and resides in Encino, California.

Dean Rossiter

Dean was born and raised in the small town of Thurles in Ireland. Dean first began to play music at a very young age, learning the guitar throughout his childhood. He studied music throughout all of his school days and made a living by playing in bands and working as a freelance guitarist for various different production companies. Upon finishing his school studies he went on to study music at university. He graduated with an honours degree in music from University College Cork in 2012. During his four years in university Dean specialised in composition, mainly for film and television. He also began to play a variety of other instruments during this time and can now play in excess of fifty different instruments from many different and diverse musical cultures. Upon graduating Dean was immediately asked to head up the music department for an international school in Switzerland where he taught composition and many other aspects of music theory and performance. In the summer of 2013 Dean decided to make the move to Santa Monica where he established his own studio for writing and producing film music as well as composing for a variety of other mediums as well.

Sharon Harroun Peirce
Non Profit Strategy and Marketing Consultant

I am currently a global advisor to the non-profit, World Merit. World Merit works with over 90,000 millennials throughout the world and in partnership with the United Nations to tackle the Sustainable Development Goals.

I have over twenty years of experience working with non-profit organizations, on both coasts of the United States and in Ireland and the United Kingdom, as founder or co-founder, chairman, board director and global advisor.

My background is in marketing, business development and public relations. For several years I had my own marketing agency. My degree is in education. I founded an English language teaching program for immigrants in Northern Virginia. From the early nineties until 2005 I was a board member, and then Chairman, of a youth program for Northern Ireland and received a State Department award for my contribution to peace building there.

I also did business development for Northern Ireland in the United States. I maintain strong connections with Northern Ireland, including a board role with Cinemagic, a non-profit company which helps young people develop careers in film. I was instrumental in building Cinemagic's programs in the United States, including collaborations with young people from lower income backgrounds in Los Angeles.

I was also the co-founder and managing board member of BritWeek, a creative industry non-profit program linking Britain and Los Angeles, and built that over a period of ten years into a high profile annual event commanding close to a billion media impressions per year.


Paul Fitzpatrick is an Irish Hotelier with over 30 years of experience in the industry. In 2001, his passion for architecture and design led him to establish, Fitzpatrick Lifestyle Hotels, a portfolio of cool, funky, and sophisticated boutique hotels. After having great success in Ireland with his award-winning boutique properties, Paul sold Fitzpatrick Lifestyle Hotels in 2016 and relocated to Los Angeles to focus on expanding the Fitzpatrick Lifestyle brand on the West Coast. Paul’s love for unique style and attention to detail sets him apart from the rest.