Women In Focus

Media, Influence, Empowerment in partnership with Matheson and Google

The IFTA Women in Focus Conference, in partnership with Matheson and Google, is a morning discussion and forum exploring how women in media can influence audiences; what the future looks like for the next generation; and how we as an industry can positively influence our society to ensure that from script to screen, from content to digital platforms, online and social media, women are adding their perspective and their voices to business and everyday life.

IFTA Women in Focus welcomes panellists from the sectors that impact our industry and society on a daily basis film, broadcasting, technology, communications, education, fintech, legal, and publishing.

Registration from 8.15am. Light Breakfast served.
Guests take their seats at 8.45am.
Opening speaker 9am

Read the highlights from the event on IFTN.ie

Guest Speakers

Aine Moriarty

CEO Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA)

Áine Moriarty has been Chief Executive of the Irish Film & Television Academy for 14 Years, with 1,000 Members - industry professionals and an Educational Programme of over 30 events each year educating and encouraging excellence. She is the Founder of the IFTN Network; the leading film industry resource for over 20 years.

Miriam O'Callaghan

RTÉ Broadcaster and Television Presenter

Miriam O'Callaghan is a broadcaster and television current affairs presenter with RTÉ. She has presented Prime Time since 1996, and her own summer Talk show, Saturday Night with Miriam, since 2005. She also has her own radio show on RTE Radio 1, Sunday with Miriam.

Elaine Crowley

Broadcaster TV3

Elaine Crowley is an Irish journalist, newscaster, and broadcaster. She has presented Midday, a daily television show presented in-studio with female panellists, on TV3 since 2010, which she also produces.Crowley studied at Dublin Institute of Technology before joining TV3 in 2000. She was a newsreader and a presenter on morning talk show Ireland AM before headlining panel show Midday from 2010. Elaine is also a proud ambassador for Breast Cancer Ireland.

Darren Thornton

Director, A Date for Mad Mary

Darren Thornton established the award-winning Calipo Theatre Company in 1995. He has directed numerous stage productions during his tenure as Artistic Director.He made his television debut directing the IFTA award-winning ‘Love is the drug’ in 2004, a six part comedy-drama series for RTE. His first short film ‘Frankie’ won the Prix UIP award at the Berlin film festival in 2008 and the European Academy Award for best short film in the same year. His second short film ‘Two hearts’ also won the Prix UIP award and was nominated for a European Academy Award in 2011. In 2003, Darren established the Sharp Focus film project; a teenage film initiative that runs annually. His first feature film ‘A date for Mad Mary’ (adapted from the stage-play) is currently in cinemas.

Colin Thornton

Writer, A Date for Mad Mary

Colin Thornton works primarily as a writer in both film and theatre. ‘His first feature film script – ‘A Date for Mad Mary’, co-written with Darren Thornton premiered at the 52nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival to rave reviews, and is currently screening in Irish cinemas. The film has also been selected to screen in competition at the 60th BFI London Film Festival in October. Colin also wrote the short film script, ‘Two hearts’ as part of The Irish Film Board Signatures scheme.

Dr. Annie Doona

President of IADT

Dr Annie Doona is the current President of IADT. Her role entails strategic leadership and direction, development of the Institute as well as representing IADT at national and international level. She is also focused on continuing sectoral development. Annie has experience as a member of, and Chair of quality assurance review panels in the UK and Ireland and across Europe. She is an accredited ENQA and QQI reviewer and is a frequent visitor to Lithuania as Chair of Institutional Review and Programmatic Review panels. She is also the current chair of the Irish Film Board.

Anne-Marie Bohan

Partner Asset Management, Investment Funds Group and FinTech Group at Matheson

Anne-Marie Bohan is a partner in both the Asset Management and Investment Funds Group and the FinTech Group at Matheson, and is head of the Outsourcing Group. She advises on all aspects of outsourcing, information technology law and e-commerce law, with specific focus on the requirements of financial institutions and financial services providers in these areas. Anne-Marie has extensive experience in drafting and negotiating contracts for the development, sale, purchase and licensing of hardware, software and IT systems for both suppliers and users of IT within the financial services industry and across a broad range of other industries. .

Sarah Byrne

Head of New Business Sales, Google, Russia, South East Asia, Africa

Sarah Byrne is an Advertising native, having spent more than a decade at leading Ad Agencies in London, Dublin & Amsterdam, including Mother, Grey and Saatchi & Saatchi. In 2013 Sarah joined Google to lead their UK & Ireland Agency business until this year when she took the lead for New Business Sales across Russia, the Middle East and Africa. Sarah has partnered with global and local clients alike to develop brand and content strategies and deliver compelling media campaigns across multiple channels.

Michelle Spillane

Director of TV Marketing & RTÉ Global

Michelle Spillane has been working in RTÉ since 2014, where she holds the position of Director of TV Marketing & RTÉ Global. Michelle has worked in Marketing, Media and Entertainment for over 20 years and has worked in some of the largest entertainment brands in the world including Disney, Warner Bros and ITV where she held the position of Marketing Director. Prior to joining RTÉ Michelle has been Chief Marketing Officer for Microsoft Ireland, and previously Group Head of Marketing, Brand & Sponsorship at Bank of Ireland.

Neasa Hardiman

Director & Writer

Neasa is an IFTA and BAFTA-winning Director and Writer for film and television drama. Born in Dublin, she began her career with a Double First from the National College of Art and Design Ireland, winning a scholarship for her Master’s at the Universität der Künste Berlin. Neasa returned to Ireland to make award-winning documentaries with RTÉ, while completing a second Master’s degree in Politics and Aesthetics as well as designing the national broadcaster’s rebranding. Neasa moved into drama as the youngest ever director of RTÉ serial drama Fair City. The quality of her work led to commissions with Channel Four and the BBC, where Neasa carved her reputation in making world-class drama..

Vogue Williams

Model and Television Presenter

Vogue Williams is a model, presenter and radio personality who has featured on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and ‘Stepping Out’, and was also the winner of ‘Bear Grylls: Mission to Survive’ in 2015. She has most recently fronted factual series ‘Wildgirls’ on RTÉ.

Aine Mulloy

Co-Founder GirlCrew

After completing her Masters in NUIG, Áine Mulloy cut her teeth in the Publishing industry before making the move to digital. While at her previous role she also completed a Postgrad in Digital Marketing and while there she came across Girl Crew. Joining first as a member, she joined the team as co-founder, and Chief Marketing Officer not long after. Her focus is on building the brand and developing the strategies to make sure the company keeps going from strength to strength. In 2016, Áine was awarded with a U Magazine 30 Under 30 Award for Community Activism.



Leaders and influencers in the media


Women Directors

Only 7% percent of films from the last year were directed by women



IFTA, Matheson and Google joining together to promote women


Industry guest

Influncers, Media and Empowerment