Key People





Grainne Humphreys has worked in film programming for over twenty years, she started her career working with young audiences with the Junior Dublin Film Festival in 1994. In 1995, she joined the IFI as Education Officer and expanded her role to include programming seasons on Andy Warhol, Agnes Varda  and Harold Pinter.  She was became Assistant Director in 2001 and programmed both the Stranger Than Fiction Documentary Festival and the Dublin French Film Festival from 2002- 2007. Among other project,  she co-edited Ireland into Film, a series of publication on a number of key Irish films. She has served as a jury member on a number of international film festival and has coordinated a number of Irish film seaons at international events. She is a Board Member of the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris and has been Festival Director of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival since 2007. 

Jackie Ryan - General Manager

I joined the festival in 2012 from a varied arts management career across film, theatre and visual arts.  I have a passion for the twinning of financial acumen with the magic of the artistic programme, and the festival is a rich testing ground for that!  We unite great film-makers with hugely appreciative audiences, and it is a real privilege to strategically plan that with Festival Director Grainne Humphreys and the team.  In my down time I study ACCA accountancy, teach Arts Marketing on the MA in Arts Management in UCD and tend a small but wonderfully stubborn garden.

My previous roles include:  Education Officer at the National Gallery of Ireland (1993-8), General Manager of TEAM Theatre (1998-2002), General Manager of Draoicht - incorporating Fingal’s Spreacha - International Festival for Children (2003-8), and CEO of Graphic Studio Dublin (2008-12).

Kamil Chechlacz - Marketing Manager

I have been working with the festival in various roles since 2010. I am sort of a internet, arts, media and science fanatic, spending countless hours watching TED talks as well as constantly looking for the next big thing, whatever it might be. "Let's try something new" is probably the phrase that I use the most, and I know that it can be a bit "head wrecking" sometimes, but in fairness this is why I work in the arts, to be able to explore and play, have fun in what we are doing and engage and interact with our audiences. I am proud to be part of a team that is bringing such an exciting Film Festival to Dublin, my home town for the last 11 years.

Michelle Sheila MacDonagh - Festival Administrator

I am a recent graduate of the History of Art and Architecture at Trinity College Dublin. Previously, I have worked in a variety of roles ranging from tour guiding at the National Gallery of Ireland to front of house at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, although I am happy to throw my hand to almost anything! I’m a visual arts enthusiast and am delighted to be a part of the JDIFF team 2015. As a Dubliner, I love seeing the city embrace the Film Festival each year and I look forward to seeing all the amazing things in store this March!

Liam Ryan - Industry & Production Manager

I have been likened to Morgan Freeman in the Shawhshank Redemption, I’ve been here longer than everyone else and I’ve been known to locate certain things from time to time.  But like Liam Neeson in Taken I’ve no money. But what I do have is a particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over 13 years working with the Festival alongside numerous film and TV projects. I have worked very closely on the Industry programme in previous years and am delighted to be now working across this role alongside the festival shorts programme and production management. I am prone to excessive excitement upon discovery of an available 3-phase socket and I’ve never met a risk assessment I didn’t like.  Can be frequently heard to say that I would “rather be looking at it than for it”, often found behind a sound desk playing with the faders.

Aisling O’Farrell - Industry & Production Assistant

I graduated from DCU in 2013 & started out as a volunteer & intern with the festival. Since then I worked with Tribeca Film Institute & TFF '14 in New York and in network television production also whilst there. I'm delighted to be returning to Dublin and the festival as Industry and Production assistant this year. 

Sarah Ahern - Audience Development Officer

I have been working in arts since I graduated from NCAD, Visual Communications in 2010. From there I've worked in Film Production, Theatre, Design & Advertising both in Ireland and in Canada. I've started with the festival as season ticket holder, a volunteer, a venue manager and now an Audience Development Officer. A huge part of what I love about working with JDIFF is how it engages its artform with such diverse communities through it's programme and events, with Dublin as its hub. It celebrates the film lover and the film maker. If you have a cultual project or an audience you'd like to grow, please get in touch.

Bairbre Quinn - Accounts Officer

Bairbre joined the JDIFF team in December 2012 as the Accounts Officer.  In a previous incarnation, she worked as an A/D on films, before moving into Film Production Accounts.

Anthony Doyle - Print Transport Manager

I am a graduate of the University of Oregon with a degree in Romance Languages and Literature. Since graduating I taught English abroad before falling into the world of film festivals last spring. Since then I’ve worked Print Transport for the Seattle and Chicago International Film Festivals before heading across the sea to join the team here. It’s thrilling to be working for this young and vibrant festival and I can’t wait to see what amazing things the festival and the city of Dublin have in store for us this spring!

Alistair Daniel - Catalogue Editor

I’m delighted to be back for my fourth year as Catalogue Editor for JDIFF. After working in publishing (on film, media and cultural studies titles) for several years I set myself adrift as a freelance copywriter and editor, and in recent years I’ve washed up on the shores of numerous festivals, including the Dublin Writers Festival, Kilkenny Arts Festival and Wexford Opera, writing, editing, proofreading, and project managing the festival programmes and catalogues. In my spare time I’m a published short story writer, a teacher of creative writing for the Open University, and I’ve just completed my first novel.

Paul Donnelly - Volunteers Manager

The Prodigal Employee returns home - Back after graduating as rookie from last years festival (having been a volunteer since 2009), Paul took a gamble on a new career path in festival circuit and played host to Volunteers Manager with both the Dublin Dance Festival & Tiger Dublin Fringe. Having survived those ordeals, his interest and passion in The Arts has only gone full blown like his ever decreasing hairline.  One things for certain this 'mother to the volunteers' collection's of dickie-bows, swatches & converse has blossomed for this years festival.  Its 'Showtime!

Flaminia Iacoviello - Hospitality Assistant

I was born in Rome, I grew up in the north of Italy, I got a Master Degree in Film in Paris and travelled the world in my spare time. I would say I am not good at settling but for a long while now I have been feeling Dublin like home. After a career as Travel Writer for Lonely Planet I started working in Film Production as Production Coordinator and AP. The first thing I saw arriving to Dublin in a cloudy day of February was a huge crowd waiting for Al Pacino outside the Savoy Cinema. This was my first encounter with the JDIFF. Three years later I am delighted to be part of this creative and enthusiastic team.

Gillian Temple - Festival Publicist

I first became involved with the festival as a volunteer in 2010 while still an undergrad in college. From there I continued to be involved in subsequent years, in different roles, including Venue Manager and Production Assistant. Upon graduating from UCD with an MA in Film Studies I embarked on a freelance career with various theatres, festivals and arts organisations. In late 2012 I was delighted to join the team at Kate Bowe PR and am thrilled to be back once again working with JDIFF as Festival Publicist. I am very much looking forward to helping share the word on this years’ exciting line up of films, events and guests.

Amy Carroll - Press Assistant

I am a graduate of Trinity College Dublin with a BA in English Literature and Film Studies. While studying, I gained experience in arts festivals, interning with the Dublin Fringe Festival and working in film production and post-production. Last year I co-directed a feature film as part of my MSc in Digital Feature Film Production with Filmbase. I have always enjoyed JDIFF, having been both a volunteer and an intern in the past, and I am so excited to be part of such a great team this year as Press Assistant.

Ciara Shortall - Marketing Assistant

I am a recent graduate of Fine Art and Visual Culture at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin.  I’m a visual artist, working primarily with video, photography and performance.  Ever since my cultural roots were first planted in Dublin Youth Theatre, at the tender age of 15, I have been passionately interested in studying and working in visual art, theatre and film. During the final year of my degree, I was keen to engage more in film and so I decided to apply as a volunteer for JDIFF 2014.  I had a wonderfully enriching and exciting experience during my first time as a festival volunteer and subsequently, I volunteered for the 2014 Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival. I am delighted to join the JDIFF team this year, as a marketing assistant!

Janine Petry - Audience Development/Marketing & Administration Intern

I am a master student of Cultural Science from Germany and now joining the wonderful JDIFF Team as an Intern. During my bachelor studies in Literature, Culture and Media I really felt in love with Film studies and chosed to write my thesis about Film analysis. Last year I worked for an International Film Festival in Germany which made me even more curious about working in the arts, especially with the Medium of Film. I am so happy to be a part of that great international Festival and really looking forward to the upcoming weeks. I am sure it will be both a fantastic working and personal experience.

Melissa Hersee - Festival Intern

I am currently studying Business Studies and Arts Management at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology in my 3rd year. I am excited to be part of the JDIFF team for this years festival and I look forward to see what is in store in March


Gaby Smyth - Board of Directors (Chairman)

Gaby Smyth is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, and is partner of Gaby Smyth & Company, Chartered Accountants & Registered Auditor.  The firm has been in practice for almost twenty years, specialising in the literary, music, film and theatre arts – representing and advising many of the major Irish practitioners in these areas. 
Gaby has also been involved with many arts organisations in Ireland; he has been the chairman of the boards of Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Corn Exchange Theatre Company, and TEAM Educational Theatre Company; and is just completing a five –year term as the first independent chairperson of Screen Producers Ireland.  Gaby is a founding director of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, and has just commenced a term as chairperson. 

Paddy Breathnach - Board of Directors

Paddy Breathnach started his directing career making natural history documentaries for Eamon de Buitlear. He went on to direct a number of sports documentaries and observational documentaries for his company Treasure Films.

His first feature, Ailsa, won the Euskal Media Award for Best First/Second Film at the San Sebastian Film Festival.  Breathnach’s second feature I Went Down (BBC films) starring Brendan Gleeson, also won the New Directors at the San Sebastian Film Festival in 1997. At Thessaloniki and Bogota, Paddy won the Best Director Award.  The film was released in many territories and was screen at festivals including Sundance.

In 1997/98 Breathnach produced SouthPaw, a feature that was selected for Sundance in 1999. It got a US and UK theatrical release.

Breathnach then went on to direct Blow Dry, which was released in the US, UK and Ireland in Spring 2001, for Miramax.  It starred Natasha Richardson, Alan Rickman, Rachel  Griffiths, Bill Nighy and Josh Hartnett and Rachel Leigh Cook.  I was also released worldwide. His next film was Man About Dog, which was produced by Robert Walpole and Simon Channing Williams (The Constant Gardner) and was released in 2003 becoming one of the most successful independently produced Irish films at the Irish box office.

Breathnach completed ‘Shrooms, a horror film set in Ireland in 2006. It was released in the UK in autumn 2007. It took $3 million dollars at the UK box office and so became one of the best performing Irish films in the UK in some years. It was released  worldwide thereafter opening in the top ten in both Spain and Russia.  He completed another horror Redmist in 2008. In 2012 he completed the feature length documentary “An Oiche a Gineadh m’Athair” for TG4.

He has made numerous TV Commercials for which have won awards. He is a board member of The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival and is vice chair of The Screen Director’s Guild of Ireland. He is also on the board of the Irish Film Institute.

Sue Bruce-Smith - Board of Directors

Sue Bruce-Smith started working in film at Palace Pictures in 1985, initially as Print and Bookings manager and then as Marketing and Distribution Manager. In 1989 she joined the British Film Institute’s production division as Head of Sales and after 4 years there moved to BBC where she was responsible for determining  BBC Worldwide’s strategy with regards investment in feature film production, working closely with BBC Films on titles such as Mrs Brown, The Snapper,  Persuasion and Brothers in Trouble.   She joined Film4 in 1997 as Film Sales Manager and became Director of International Sales and Marketing overseeing such titles as East Is East, Sexy Beast and Charlotte Gray. Four years later she left Film4 to move to Dublin with her family joining independent production company Little Bird.   Whilst there, she executive produced Marc Evans’ Trauma and Brad McGann’s In My Father’s Den.  In September 2004, she re-joined the new incarnation of Film4 as Head of Commercial Development, tasked with helping to steer the financing and distribution strategies for Film4 films She was an executive producer on Miranda July’s second feature film The Future and more recently Roger Michell’s Le Weekend.  Her title recently changed to reflect her increasing responsibility for managing the future commercial and brand strategy for the division.  Sue is currently a board member of Protagonist Pictures, The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival and a governor of the London Film School.

Jonathan Kelly - Board of Directors

Jonathan Kelly is a solicitor and head of the media and finance practices of law firm Philip Lee.  His professional involvement in the film and television industries spans more than twenty years and his clients now include many producers, banks and other financiers.  He also works extensively in the area of PPP and project finance.  Jonathan is a member of the main board of educational charity Camara Education.  He joined the board of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival in 2007.

Clare Duignan - Board of Directors

Clare Duignan has had a distinguished career in broadcasting, culminating in her role as as Managing Director RTÉ Radio, and prior to that as a Director of Programmes, RTÉ Television. RTÉ is Irelands' Public Service Broadcaster. She previously progressed though various senior management positions, include Head of Features, Group Head, Features and Current Affairs, and Head of Independent Productions, in which role she was engaged in supporting and mentoring many start-up film and  television production companies.
She has extensive board experience as non-executive director. As well as her membership of the board of the The Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, she is also currently a board member of Business to Arts and sits as a member of the DCU Industry Advisory Panel, and the National Film School Advisory Board. She was previously a director of The Arts Council, a member of IADT Governing Body and of the National Theatre Advisory Board.

Hugh Linehan - Board of Directors

Hugh Linehan is responsible for the development of digital content at The Irish Times. Previously, he held the position of Features Editor, and prior to that was the first editor of the newspaper’s weekly entertainment supplement, The Ticket. He was previously a film and television critic, and editor of the magazine Film Ireland. Prior to that, he spent five years in film and TV production, working on feature films including The Dead, The Commitments and Into the West

David McLoughlin - Board of Directors

David McLoughlin is the Chief Executive and Head of Development of Wexford Festival Trust, a position which involves overall executive responsibility for the World renowned and critically acclaimed Wexford Opera Festival; incorporating Wexford Opera House ( Ireland’s only purpose-built opera house and one of the country’s most modern multi art-form receiving performance centre); and the Wexford Festival Foundation: (the organisation’s philanthropic fundraising arm, whose directors include Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Peter Sutherland, and the Trust’s President, Sir  Anthony O’Reilly). The Foundation has to date raised over €5.3m from individual philanthropists towards the capital redevelopment costs of the 7,000 m² dual auditoria 12-month-per-year multi performance art form Opera House and Cultural Centre. 
Wexford Opera House, which has, since its official opening in 2008, showcased productions in numerous performance art-forms including opera, drama, dance, orchestral, choral, ballet etc. in the multi art-form receiving performance centre.  Prior to this David occupied various senior positions in the Irish film and television industry including CEO of Dublin Film Festival, Head of Production with Irish Screen, Director of his own production company: Distinguished Features Ltd, CEO of Screen Producers Ireland and Co-Founder and Chairman of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

James Morris - Board of Directors

Chairman of Windmill Lane Pictures Ltd, James Morris is a History and Political Science graduate of Trinity College Dublin. He trained as a Film Editor in London and later returned to Dublin where he set up as a Film Editor and later founded both Windmill Lane Pictures and Windmill Lane Recording Studios in the early nineteen eighties. Windmill Lane is synonymous with the early U2 videos and albums and pioneered the introduction of digital post production for film and television in Ireland.  In 1990 he sold the Windmill Lane music recording business to the Chief engineer Brian Masterson who moved the music recording studio to Ringsend as part of a merger with the Ringsend Road Studios.
He led the Windmill Consortium that was awarded the franchise to set up Ireland’s first Independent National Television service in 1989 and in 1998 he was appointed Chairman of TV3 when the station was launched.  As a shareholder and director of the company he held this position until the Channel was sold to private equity investors Doughty Hanson in 2006.
In 1990, with the backing of Paul McGuinness and U2, he founded The Mill in London, a film and television post production company.  In 1998 The Mill joined forces with Ridley and Tony Scott to set up Mill Film which James co-chaired with Ridley Scott. He was appointed CEO of Shepperton Holdings in 1999 until the Studios were sold to Pinewood Studios in 2001. He remained as a shareholder and on the Board of the Mill until it was sold to private equity investors The Carlyle Group in 2007.
In 2005 he was appointed as Chairman of Bord Scannán na hÉireann/The Irish Film Board in which position he served two 4 year terms ending in January 2013.  He is on the Board of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival and in 2008 he was appointed to the Board of IMRO, the Irish Music Rights Organisation.

Margery Simkin - Board of Directors

Margery Simkin is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, serving on the Foreign Language Academy Award Executive Committee, where she inaugurated the Global Glimpses program that brings the 5 nominated foreign language awards to Washington DC where they are co-presented with the  National Geographic Society with a special emphasis on outreach to young people working in politics and policy. Margie is Casting Directors Feature Shop Steward for the Union (Teamsters Local 399).  She is on the jury for the Off Plus Camera Film Festival in Krakow.  She has presented at the Whistler Film Festival and also at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.  She is a lecturer at numerous institutions including NYU, AFI, NY Film School, Chapman University, California Arts Center and UCLA.  Margie was the Casting Director on Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun, Brazil, Field of Dreams, Twelve Monkeys, Erin Brockovich, Marley & Me, Avatar and Pacific Rim.