News News Helen Hutton announced as new Managing Director Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival announced important new recruits to both its board and executive today. Renowned Irish director Neasa Hardiman and leading film publicist and manager Paula Woods bring an extraordinary range of expertise to the Board of Directors. The key executive role of Managing Director will be filled by Helen Hutton, drawing on two decades of experience in senior roles in both cinema exhibition and arts. Gráinne Humphreys, Festival Director: “I’m delighted to be welcoming such highly regarded professionals to the Festival’s board. Both Neasa Hardiman and Paula Woods bring creative vision and vast experience within the international film industry to the board. I’m also thrilled that we were able to find someone of the calibre of Helen Hutton as Managing Director to deliver this world-class international film festival. Helen has been a fantastic support of the Festival as the manager of the Festival’s key venue and brings significant senior experience from both the cultural and corporate world." Helen Hutton, incoming Managing Director said, "I am excited to be joining this dynamic festival and I look forward to working with Gráinne, the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival team and the board, to grow and nurture new audiences as we look toward 2020 and beyond. Helen Hutton joined Element Pictures in 2013 as General Manager of Light House Cinema, a specialist art house cinema in Dublin and the anchor venue for the Dublin International Film Festival. The Light House has grown its audience substantially over the years and delivers a high standard of customer experience. Helen began her career in the arts at The Ark Cultural Centre for Children in the heart of Dublin's Temple Bar. She has worked in many key Dublin cultural centres including The Helix and, more recently, the Pavilion Theatre in Dun Laoghaire. Neasa Hardiman said, "I'm honoured to join the board of the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival. It's a terrific Festival, consistently showcasing outstanding work from across the globe, as well as offering world-class events for film professionals and film enthusiasts alike. I look forward to contributing to the next phase in the Festival's growth."Paula Woods commented, "I am honoured to join the board of Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival, a Festival I have long supported, admired and enjoyed, with Gráinne Humphrey's inspiring leadership and collaboration as Festival Director. I hope I can enhance the already formidable reputation the Festival enjoys, bringing the very best of international film and talent to Dublin across a vibrant and exciting annual programme." The Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival is set to return from 26 February to 8 March 2020 and submissions for shorts, features and documentaries are now open.