By Maura Kelly

Over the past 20 years Ireland has played host to a number of very successful international productions from Saving Private Ryan to Harry Potter.  In the last five years alone, Ireland has become a key destination for TV dramas –Games of Thrones, The TudorsThe Borgias to the new VIKINGS on the History Channel.

Photo info -Gabriel Byrne as Earl Haraldson and Jessalyn Gilsig as his wife, Siggy. VIKINGS, History Channel 3/3/13

With this as the backstory, I created Focus on Ireland and the Women Who Call the Shots. I have been involved in New York Women in Film and TV for many years and regularly produce interactive events for the 2000 plus member organization. I am also a member, since its inception, of IAW&A. This event is an opportunity to bring two creative organizations together and explore Ireland’s evolving Film and TV industry; and the women who create compelling programs for screens worldwide. With March being Women’s History Month and also, Irish American Heritage Month, it is a perfect time to shine a spotlight on the players and the country.  The esteemed panel of women I’ve assembled will discuss HOW they do it and WHAT role Ireland plays.  We’ll explore international co-productions and review what Ireland offers with tax incentives, talent and geography.

Focus on Ireland and the Women Who Call the Shots–

March 4th at NYU (20 Cooper Square -7th FL at 6:30 pm)

To register, click  HERE. The special IAW&A member rate is $15.00.

To send in questions in advance email 

The panelists include:

Lelia Doolan is a producer and director who has worked in various roles in Irish TV, film and theatre for the past 40 years. Her recent documentary Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey is the story of Bernadette Devlin McAliskey, a formidable figure in the Irish civil rights movement. Doolan is a former artistic director of the acclaimed Abbey Theatre, founder of the Galway Film Festival, and was the first woman chairperson of the Irish Film Board. She received a PhD in Anthropology from Queens University, Belfast, and has taught community video and adult education in Belfast.

Sheila Hockin is an executive producer on Vikings, the first scripted one-hour drama series for History Channel, and MGM, shot In Ireland. She is also executive producer on The Borgias for Showtime, now in its third season. Experienced in international co-productions and formats, Hockin’s past drama work also includes four seasons of the international co-production The Tudors, starring Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, also shot in Ireland. All three drama TV series are Irish /Canadian co-productions. She also EP’ed five seasons of the ground-breaking Showtime series Queer as Folk.

Hilary Kehoe is a production executive and coordinator who has worked on major films and TV series in Ireland and the U.S. For six years she worked at Samson Films/Accomplice TV in Dublin with David Collins. Since moving to New York in 2006, she has worked on My Super Ex-Girlfriend and I Am Legend, and has looked after the production needs of the cast and crew on Ugly Betty, Blue Bloods and most recently, Michael J. Fox’s new venture for Sony/NBC, The Henrys, airing fall 2013.

Naomi Sheridan is a film and television screenwriter. One of her first screenplays In America was co-written with her father, Jim, and sister, Kirsten. The screenplay was nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a WGA award. It won the Critics Choice award and the National Board of Review award. Sheridan’s upcoming projects include an adaptation of the acclaimed novel Galway Bay, an adaptation of the Stephen King novel Rose Madder, and Thirty Eight, an original screenplay which she has written with the support of the Irish Film Board.

Moderator Maura Kelly is an Emmy-winning producer and marketing executive. From developing kids transmedia projects to producing television broadcasts, Maura  has built a rich media career. She has been a TV executive producer, director of marketing, journalist, adjunct professor, and is now principle of Purple Mountain Media. A former executive producer at (WNET) PBS for over 15 years, she developed and produced award-winning programs for a family audience, including Planet H2O with America Ferrera, ZOOM, Close to Home with Bill Moyers, and MythQuest. She is a member of WGA East

Produced by Maura Kelly and Marcia Rock/ NYU – to register go to