Information Pack

Director of Programming at Galway Film Fleadh

Three – Year Contract anticipated start date January 2023

Galway Film Fleadh is seeking to recruit a dynamic, experienced, and highly motivated professional to fulfil a new full-time three-year contract role as Director of Programming, commencing January 2023.


Galway Film Fleadh (‘GFF’), is a week-long international film festival taking place every July on the western edge of Europe in Galway, Ireland. Founded in 1989 as a platform for Irish filmmakers to exhibit their work to their peers, the central goal of the Galway Film Fleadh remains unchanged: to be a platform for the boldest new films, and to bring audiences & filmmakers from around the world together, to celebrate our shared passion for film.

Under the leadership of Festival Director and CEO, Miriam Allen, the Festival has developed a clear artistic identity with ambitious plans to grow over the coming years.

Artistic Focus

The artistic ambition for the Festival in this period has been to curate a high-quality, entertaining and culturally relevant programme that will ensure that GFF continues to prosper and sustain itself. The programme has focused on titles that have their first screening in the year of the Festival and we employ a policy of including films that are (predominantly) Irish premieres, to ensure that the Festival remains relevant and distinctive.

GFF showcases the latest and best international and Irish features, documentaries and shorts including award-winning films from the international film festival circuit, new discoveries and cinema classics, alongside dedicated programmes for young audiences and families. Since its inception, the Galway Film Fleadh and the Irish film industry have grown in tandem with one another. In 1997, the Fleadh hosted the inaugural edition of the Galway Film Fair, the UK and Ireland’s first dedicated film market.

Running alongside the festival each year, the Film Fair has also expanded to include a range of industry-led events including our annual Pitching Competition, masterclasses, case studies, and our annual industry- wide conference, the Fleadh Forum.

As a festival of discovery, the Galway Film Fleadh takes care to nurture the next generation of filmmaking talent through our young audience’s festival, the Junior Film Fleadh. Each winter, the Junior Film Fleadh runs screenings & events for young audiences and filmmakers, as well as acting as Irish host to the European Film Academy’s Young Audience Award.

Amongst the Festival’s 21 Awards, winners of the Tiernan McBride Award for Best Fiction Short, the James Horgan Award for Best Animation Short and the TG4 Award for Best Documentary Short will qualify for Academy Award consideration without the standard theatrical run. GFF is one of only 35 festivals worldwide to boast this trio of accolades.

Artistic Ambition

GFF is ambitious in its vision to expand and develop artistically, geographically, and demographically, building on the achievements of our recent demonstrable success. Over the next 3-5 years, the GFF plan to significantly and sustainably grow its offering to its audiences, its partners, filmmakers and the wider film sector by:

  • Presenting the latest and best Irish and international cultural cinema in Galway, including World, European and Irish Premieres
  • Engaging a broad and diverse audience with a high impact Festival experience, including specific programming to engage young people and families, to support the development of future filmmakers and film audiences
  • Celebrating excellence in filmmaking through our Feature film awards and three Oscar®-qualifying short film awards
  • Building the profile of GFF internationally, as an essential film festival in Ireland, driving meaningful collaboration with a network of European film festivals
  • Increasing the engagement of national and international media with GFF
  • Identifying, nurturing and investing in new talent through partnerships, open submissions and dedicated talent development programmes
  • Expanding GFF’s presence in the County, wider Connaught region and nationally through partnerships and outreach activity
  • Extending GFF’s year-round offering to meet the demand in Galway for cultural cinema including outreach programmes and partnerships with national and international Festivals
  • Establishing a permanent home for GFF, its archive, its team and year-round offering in Galway 

Investment and Support

GFF gratefully acknowledges the support of a broad range of investors, partners and sponsors who share and invest in our vision. These include our principal funder the Arts Council in association with Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, Creative Europe Media, TG4, Fáilte Ireland, Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Northern Ireland Screen and Galway City Council.

Cultural Capital

Galway City, a designated UNESCO City of Film and former European Capital of Culture Galway 2020 is the capital of the West of Ireland and the gateway to Connemara in western Ireland, facing the

Atlantic. Galway is a thriving and rapidly expanding hub of economic, industrial, research and

business development – the arts and culture are central to the fabric of life in Galway and GFF works in close collaboration with its cultural and academic partners such as Ardán, Galway International Arts Festival, The Huston Film School of Film & Digital Media, University of Galway, and Atlantic Technological University to present and promote Galway’s world class cultural offering.

Overview of Role

Our new Director of Programming will play a significant role in developing and delivering Galway Film Fleadh’s artistic policy and programming ambitions, contributing to the ongoing strategic development of the festival. The Director of Programming will work closely with the Festival Director, Film Fair Manager, manage the Programming Team, and support the Marketing and Festival Delivery Teams as required. The Festival prides itself on maintaining a tight-knit and supportive working environment.

The Director of Programming’s primary responsibilities are to programme the annual Festival, develop year-round activity, support Festival delivery in line with GFF’s ethos, strategy, and objectives, deliver written funding applications and contribute to the festival’s development plan in consultation with the Festival Director and Board.

Reporting to: Festival Director

Key Internal Relationships: Programme associates, Marketplace Manager, Marketing Manager, Festival Administrator, Bookkeeper

Key External Relationships:Irish and international Film Distributors and Sales Agents, Irish and international Film Festivals and Cultural Institutes, Irish and international Filmmakers and Production Companies, Festival Funders, Stakeholders and Media

Job Description and Core Competencies

This job description provides an outline of the key day-to-day responsibilities of the role. Key responsibilities will be:

  1. Curation of the Festival Programme from 2023: responsible for artistic direction and overall programme selection for Festival and year-round activity in consultation with the Festival Director.
  2. Programme Team Management: lead, manage, support and develop the GFF programming team
  3. Programme Management: programme negotiation, film fee contracting, third-party liaison (distributors, sales agents, filmmakers, etc.), and ongoing relationship management
  4. Programme Delivery: film and event confirmation, film scheduling, programme administration and financial management in line with Festival timeframes
  5. Programme Marketing: timely development, assignment and delivery of film and programme synopsis, marketing and promotional notes and additional copy as required
  6. Festival Delivery: negotiate and secure film talent, guest hosting, prepare and moderate intros and Q&As, oversee and supervise schedule of additional moderators and facilitators to enhance the audience experience
  7. Programme Administration: programme records, information for applications, regular meetings with Festival Director and Programme Team.
  8. Artistic Consultation: actively contribute to the festival’s artistic and strategic development
  9. Festival Representation: visits and represents GFF at selected international festivals as part of the curatorial process, effectively articulates and represents GFF’s mission to all stakeholders, acts as a face of the festival in order to promote GFF in the press through media interviews and commentary and represents GFF on a local level as an active participant in Galway’s cultural landscape.
  10. Year-round activity: develop activity that will help to create year-round visibility for GFF as Galway’s principal cultural cinema organisation.
  11. Delivering copy for funding applications and post-event reports
  12. Provide programming assistance to the Junior Film Fleadh
  13. Upholding and developing equality, diversity and inclusion in line with GFF ethos and values in all aspects of their work.

Programme Curation:

  • Oversees the artistic direction of Festival’s 35th edition in 2023 to an agreed scale, in consultation with the Festival Director, so that all aspects, (films, strands, events and ancillary activities) coalesce into a cohesive Festival programme.
  • Select and programme international and Irish features (approx. 100 titles, narrative and documentary), researching international festival content, liaising with distributors, sales agents and filmmakers on forthcoming titles, and attending screenings as required.
  • Identify and secure appropriate film talent and personnel to attend GFF in support of screenings and events.
  • Engage with and support the programme strands, agreeing delegated areas of responsibility with the Programming Team.
  • Provide additional support to the Junior Film Fleadh team with regards to curation, Q&A’s and marketing.
  • Support Festival partnerships/activities in support of the festival’s strategy:
    • Cultural and Education Partners: e.g., Culture Ireland, Ardán – Galway Film Centre, University of Galway, GRETB, Foras na Gaeilge.

Programme Management:

  • Negotiate film fees and licenses with distributors, sales agents and production companies in adherence to the budget
  • Maintain updated programme database of titles, deals, contacts, etc., as per GFF protocols and schedule
  • Communicate regularly with the Festival Director on programme updates and monitor the progress of the Programming Team, providing management and support as required.

Programme Delivery:

  • Adhere to agreed Festival schedules regarding programme, marketing and administrative deadlines
  • Oversee the Festival schedule, in consultation with the Festival Director, Programme Team, and venues as required, ensuring titles play in appropriate slots to maximise audiences, drawing on analysis from previous Festivals.
  • Oversee, secure and supervise schedule of additional moderators and facilitators for intros, Q&A sessions, panel discussions and masterclasses, etc to enhance the festival experience.
  • Develop, deliver and participate in year-round programme activity.

Programme Marketing:

  • Provide copy text and synopsis for programmed titles for inclusion in the brochure, on the website and use on other promotional channels to deadline.
  • Advise GFF Marketing and PR company on key themes, guests, stories, etc., to inform the GFF communications strategies.
  • Undertake interviews (print, radio, TV, online) as requested, to promote GFF both institutionally and programmatically.

Festival Delivery

  • Attend programming meetings in and out of Galway as required to meet with the Programming Team, distributors, visit venues, and develop relationships with key partners, as necessary.
  • Attend planning and development meetings, Board meetings, and stakeholder/funder meetings as required.
  • Participate fully in the Festival in July, hosting guests and events, introducing films, undertaking interviews, etc.


  • Maintain accurate and timely records of negotiations and adhere to GFF financial and administrative procedures and templates
  • Provide programme updates and reports as required by the Festival Director and Board
  • Provide post-festival reports, analysis and funding applications as directed by the Festival Director

Management, Consultation and Support:

  • Support the Festival Director in the overall development and delivery of the festival
  • Manage, support and develop the programming team, ensuring clear objectives/deliverables are set, monitored and achieved by conducting regular reviews, progress meetings and following the Festival’s performance management process and organisational policies
  • Represent Galway Film Fleadh locally, nationally, and internationally, stewarding and supporting the development of our reputation and brand
  • Provide ongoing updates to the Festival Director and Board on industry developments and trends as well as on the progress of programme ambitions, programme model and GFF’s wider artistic and strategic development in order to contribute to the delivery of the Company’s Strategic Plan
  • Play an active role in developing the Festival’s role and status in the cultural life of Galway, and further establishing the Festival’s role nationally and internationally, representing the Festival at external events as required.

Essential attributes:

The ideal candidate for this position will be an exceptional individual with demonstrable senior programming experience in a film festival and/or film arts organisation, and with the following experience:

  • Significant film programming experience including at least 3 years working at a senior level
  • An excellent and comprehensive knowledge of and interest in all forms of world cinema (narrative, documentary, experimental, etc.)
  • Good knowledge of and interest in Irish film and the Irish film landscape
  • Proven experience and success in curating and implementing dynamic and engaging cultural cinema programmes
  • An established network of productive relationships with external contacts in film sales and distribution agencies, cultural institutions, film festivals and film organisations, in Ireland and internationally
  • A natural capacity to facilitate and develop meaningful collaborations with commercial, cultural and community partners
  • A track record of working to budgets and timeframes
  • An effective communicator who can make a personal impact with individuals and groups in a range of different scenarios and can represent GFF in the media and at various events including introducing films, participating in panel discussions etc.
  • Strong organisational skills and an ability to work to tight deadlines and under pressure
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Someone who combines vision with the ability to make things happen, particularly in relation to bringing their own cultural vision to reality
  • A proven commitment and track record in equality diversity and inclusion in their work

Desirable attributes:

  • An understanding of the integral role of the Irish language film sector in the region.

Contract Terms and Application:

Based at the Festival’s central Galway City offices, with frequent national and international film festival travel, the contract is offered on a three-year fixed term basis from January 2023, with an option to extend, initially with a six-month probation period.

Please send your CV and a covering letter of no more than three pages outlining your vision and approach to programming the Festival.  Please include your interest and suitability for the role. Email with DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMMING in the subject line.

The closing date for applications is November 18th 5.00pm.

Interview Dates and Selection methods

  • Short-listing of candidates will be on the basis of the information contained in their CV and covering letter. This job description describes the principal purpose and main elements of the job.  It is a guide to the nature and key responsibilities of the job, but it is not intended as a wholly comprehensive or permanent description. 
  • Candidates who are shortlisted will be invited to attend an initial interview to be held in Galway the week beginning 5th of December
  • The first interview may reduce the initial short list and remaining candidates will be invited for a subsequent second interview the week beginning the 12th of December
  • Both interviews will be with an interview panel comprising Board members, the Festival Director and external experts.
  • Galway Film Fleadh is an Equal Opportunities Employer and is committed to the legislation governing the equality of opportunity.

In the event that a large number of candidates will meet minimum eligibility requirements for the role, the board may decide to invite a smaller number to interview.  This is not to suggest that other candidates are necessarily unsuitable or incapable of undertaking the job, rather that there are some candidates who are, prima facie, better qualified and/or have more relevant experience.

Thank you for your interest in this role and we look forward to receiving your application.

Principal funder