Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA) Sets Up IFTA London

3:46 PM PST 08/31/2011 by Stuart Kemp
Donald Bowers/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company
Michelle Williams, left, and Jim Sheridan

Jim Sheridan, Ken Loach and Dearbhla Walsh attend soiree to herald fresh networking opportunities.

LONDON – The Irish are coming.

The Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA) is setting up IFTA London, aiming to birth a creative network between the Irish and U.K. film and television industries.

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And to launch the fresh network, the Irish did what they do best: IFTA hosted an evening reception at the British Academy of Film And Television Arts’ London HQ on Piccadilly.

IFTA Chief Executive Áine Moriarty told the gathered luminaries from both sides of the Irish Sea that there is “a great spirit of partnership, business and cultural links, between Ireland and the U.K.” making the two “more than just neighbors.”

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“The IFTA London initiative aims to help build a new network for the film & television communities,” Moriarty said.

The IFTA London soiree had the backing of the Irish Film Board also whose chief executive James Hickey said the new umbrella network would be “a great opportunity for Irish talent to come together with key industry people from Ireland and the U.K. to network and develop strong working relationships."

Guests at the reception included directors Jim Sheridan, Ken Loach and Emmy winning Irish director Dearbhla Walsh.

As part of the IFTA London initiative, the Irish Academy also unveiled details of its planned roll-out of events in the British capital which will include a Jim Sheridan season to include a masterclass and retrospective of the Oscar nominated director’s work.

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