The Fleadh Forum

with keynote speaker James Schmaus

Thursday July 11th | Galmont Hotel | 1:30p.m. – 5p.m.

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Celebrating its 10th year, The Fleadh Forum is an annual platform to explore and share ideas about what is happening in the audiovisual industry, delivering a unique opportunity for filmmakers and industry professionals to come together and exchange news and views.

Presented by the Galway Film Fair and the WRAP Fund, with the support of the Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, the Galway Film Centre and Screen Skills Ireland, with Creative Europe, The Fleadh Forum will unveil a new format this year. In addition to the keynote address from Writer/Director/Producer James Schamus, the new look Fleadh Forum will present a series of short, direct presentations (8-12 mins) from a carefully curated panel of  industry experts.

In addition to these presentations, the keynote speaker for this year is prolific screenwriter, director and producer, Mr. James Schamus.  An award-winning screenwriter (The Ice Storm), producer (Brokeback Mountain), and former CEO of Focus Features (Dallas Buyers Club, Lost in Translation, Milk, The Pianist), he made his feature directorial debut, with an adaptation of Philip Roth’s Indignation which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and the Berlin Film Festival. Schamus’ New York-based production company, Symbolic Exchange, produced Kitty Green’s acclaimed feature documentary Casting JonBenet which had its world premiere at Sundance, and Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s A Prayer Before Dawn which premiered in Cannes 2017 and was released by A24. Recent projects include Rhys Ernst’s trans comedy Adam, The Tomorrow Man, starring John Lithgow and Blythe Danner Andrew Ahn’s sophomore feature Driveways. Schamus is also Professor of Professional Practice in Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where he teaches film history and theory.

Mark O’Halloran’s writing credits include the multi award winning films Adam & PaulGarage, the television series Prosperity and Viva a Spanish language feature. He has also written Citizen Lane and the soon to be released, Rialto.  For the stage he has written the plays Trade and most recently contributed text to the award-winning theatre production Lippy. He has also written a libretto for the award winner opera, Mary Motorhead. He has also co-written the upcoming Beckett’s Room, with Dead Centre that premieres at this year’s Dublin International Theatre Festival. Mark is also works as an actor, most recently appearing in Shane Meadow’s Channel 4 drama The Virtues. He also played in Adam & Paul, Dublin Oldschool, the forthcoming Sky TV series, The DevilsCellar Door and History’s Future. Mark also works as a script editor and teacher.

After 30 years at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Michele Maheux has branched out on her own. With nearly 40 years of operating experience in the motion picture industry, the past 23 as Executive Director/COO of TIFF, Maheux now provides coaching and consulting services to C-Suite individuals in the arts, culture, film, and various non-profit industries. In her decades working at TIFF, and previously in the Exhibition & Distribution industry, she has amassed considerable experience in assessing film projects for their potential to reach audiences and find successful avenues for dissemination.

Brenda Romero is a BAFTA award-winning game designer, artist and Fulbright recipient who entered the game industry in 1981. She has worked on over 50 games, including seminal titles in the Wizardry, Ghost Recon and Dungeons & Dragons franchises. Away from the machine, her analog series of games, The Mechanic is the Message, has drawn national and international acclaim. Most recently, in 2018, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award (the Bizkaia award) at the Fun and Serious Games Festival in Bilbao, Spain, and the inaugural Grace Hopper Award presented by Science Foundation Ireland at the Women in Tech conference.

Andy Mayson is the Co-CEO of Altitude Film Entertainment and formed the Group with Will Clarke in 2012, producing Big Game (starring Samuel L. Jackson) and Executive Producing films such as Whitney, Kill Your Friends, The Girl With All the Gifts, 47 Meters Down, Ghost Stories and Maradona. Altitude also has its own international sales company, having represented over 50 titles thus far, as well as its own UK distribution entity, releasing over 30 titles to date, including Oscar winners 20 Feet From Stardom, Amy and Moonlight.

Gavin Kelly is founding partner and creative director at Piranha Bar Dublin. He directs animation, visual effects and live action, frequently on the same project. He has 25 years of experience using cutting edge tools to create compelling characters, impressive worlds and stories. After a degree in Fine Art, Gavin went on to absorb the emerging fundamentals of computer graphics at post-production companies in Dublin as compositor, designer and animator. In 2002 he co-founded Piranha Bar, a new studio that used creativity to unleash the power of the latest technology in animation, VFX and editing. Through his creative leadership at Piranha Bar, Gavin has built a dream team of talent and expertise driven by a passion for great content and creative technology. The studio has grown into a celebrated and award winning commercials and content production company specialising in high-end animation and visually driven live action for global audiences.

Mason Speta joined NEON’s acquisitions team in July 2018. In her time at NEON thus far, she has most enjoyed screening hidden gems at festivals and working on the releases for Parasite and Border. In her spare time, she haunts NYC repertory theaters and brunches with other young women in film. Prior to joining the team at NEON, she spent a year at ICM Partners, becoming versed in independent feature casting and financing. Mason graduated from Columbia University in 2017, where she studied film and business, and helped lead the fencing team to two back-to-back NCAA championships. 2018 was a record-breaking year for NEON, with the release of Craig Gillespie’s runaway hit I, Tonyastarring Margot Robbie and the Academy Award winner for best supporting actress, Allison Janney, as well as Tim Wardle’s Three Identical Strangers, winner of the Sundance Special Jury Award for Storytelling, which has surpassed $13m at the box office. Three years after inception, the US distribution company continues to push the boundaries and take creative risks on bold content.

Booking Info

The Fleadh Forum will take place in the Galmont Hotel 13.30 – 17.00 on Thursday 11th July 2019.  A limited number of tickets are still available from HEREEarly booking is advised as tickets will be limited.


 The Galway Film Fair and the WRAP Fund are proud to present The Fleadh Forum with support from FísÉireann/Screen Ireland, the Galway Film Centre, and Screen Skills Ireland, with Creative Europe and in association with EAVE, ACE and Screen Leaders.


About the Partners

Fís Éireann / Screen Ireland 

As the national development agency for the Irish Screen industries, Screen Ireland’s mission is to support and promote Irish film, television and animation through fostering Irish artistic vision and our diverse creative and production talent, growing audiences, and attracting filmmakers and investment into the country.


Galway Film Centre

Founded in 1989, the Galway Film Centre is a non-profit, members based organisation dedicated to the development of film as an artistic medium in the West of Ireland. To this end, we support filmmakers, community and youth groups through education and training, equipment provision and information. In 2014 Galway was awarded the prestigious title of UNESCO City of Film as a result of a bid led by Galway Film Centre in partnership with both local authorities and over 50 local companies involved in the audiovisual sector.


Galway Film Fair @ the Galway Film Fleadh

The Galway Film Fair, Ireland’s largest and longest-running Film Market. The Marketplace at the Galway Film Fair (11th– 14thJuly 2019) takes place during the Galway Film Fleadh (9th – 14thJuly 2019) and co-ordinates pre-scheduled meetings between filmmakers with projects in development and/or completed films and invited Film Financiers, Distributors, Sales Agents, Broadcasters, Film Funds and Major Producers. It is a unique opportunity to meet with the world’s leading financiers in an intimate and informal atmosphere, allowing new talent to be discovered and long term partnerships to be


Screen Skills Ireland

Screen Skills Ireland is the leading agency with responsibility for investing in people and skills development for the screen sectors in Ireland. Now part of Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, Screen Skills Ireland was established in 1995 to provide continuing training and career development opportunities for professionals working in the screen sectors. Screen Skills Ireland designs, develops and delivers industry-focused skills development initiatives for the screen sector in Ireland, encompassing film, TV, animation, games and VFX, for all roles from new entrants to company    


The Western Region Audiovisual Producers Fund (WRAP Fund) is a regional fund committed to strategic investment that encourages regional production and development activity in the West of Ireland across the film, television drama, animation and gaming sectors. The Fund of €2,000,000 is available from 2017 – 2020. Recent productions include ‘Oops 2: Back In The Deep End!’, ‘Calm With Horses’, ‘The Winter Lake’ and ‘Death of A Ladies Man’.  The WRAP Fund is an initiative of the Western Development Commission and Galway Film Centre with the support of the local authorities of Clare, Donegal, Galway City, Galway County, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo and Udurás naGaeltachta.




Creative Europe

Creative Europe is the European Commission’s Framework programme for support of the culture and audiovisual sectors. Following on from the previous Culture Programme and MEDIA programmes, Creative Europe, with a budget of €1.46 billion, will support Europe’s cultural and creative sectors.



European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs, EAVE, is a professional training, project development and networking organization for audiovisual producers.



ACE Producers is an exclusive network of experiences independent film producers from Europe and beyond. Membership of the network is based on professionalism, mutual trust, collaborative working and openness to new ideas. A fundamental aim of ACE Producers is to encourage and enable co-productions.


Screen Leaders

Screen Leaders is the strategic company development programme for the screen industries that can transform businesses. Designed for company leaders working in film, television, animation, games, post-production, VFX, facilities, sales, distribution and exhibition, it’s funded by the Creative Europe Programme and Screen Skills Ireland.