access>CINEMA was formerly known as the Federation of Irish Film Societies (FIFS) from 1977 to 2001. In October 2001 the organisation was re-constituted, re-branded and re-launched as access>CINEMA.

Board of Directors 

Brenda Brady (Appointed September 2013)

Brenda has worked with Kildare County Council Arts Service since 2002.  Her role includes managing and curating their primary school arts in education programme 'If I had an Artist for a Day' and, in partnership with the School of English, Media & Theatre Studies at Maynooth University, co - facilitating Maynooth Film for All: Film Club  A graduate of Dun Laoghaire School of Art, Brenda ran her own business throughout the 1980's until the early 1990's producing and selling a range of studio ceramics through galleries and retail outlets countrywide. A period of teaching and community-based practice followed before she joined the Arts Service.

Finola Costello (Appointed May 2015)

A former Business Studies and Accounting teacher, Finola Costello is a founding member of Waterford Film Society, and has been its Treasurer for 10 years.  She is currently the Film Society Organiser/Committee member/Film Programmer at The Picture House in Wexford.  She is also a former Board member at Wexford Arts Centre, and a member of the recitals staff at Wexford Festival Opera.  She is a former Chair of access>CINEMA. 

Freda Donoghue (Appointed September 2012)

Dr Freda Donoghue held several senior positions in the field of research on voluntary organisations and philanthropy in Ireland from the mid-1990s.  She produced the first-ever data on the economic significance of voluntary organisations and endeavour and has worked with organisations on management and governance.  Over the past few years, she has concentrated on writing plays and running a monthly spoken word event in Oldcastle, Co. Meath, which provides a platform for local writers to showcase their work. A founding member of Ramor Film Club, she has run the club for more than ten years.

Caroline Farrell (Appointed May 2016)

Caroline is a writer and filmmaker from Dublin. She has also written several feature length and short screenplays and has co-produced two short films of her work, Adam [2013] and the multi-award winning In Ribbons [2015]. She is currently prepping to direct her short film, Hushaway, a finalist in the Waterford FF Screenplay awards, 2014. Recent Awards Credits include Fantasmagoria Film Festival, USA, Winner of Best Feature Screenplay with Iona's House, 2015: New York Screenplay Competition, Finalist with Fantasy Family Screenplay, Pixer Knows, 2015. Caroline is a member of the Irish Writers Guild and the Irish Film and Television Academy.

Brendan McCaul (Chairperson) (Appointed June 2017)

Brendan started working in the Film Distribution business direct from school in the late '50s. He learned the ropes with Rank Film Distributors in their offices in D'Olier Street, Dublin - from Publicity Materials to Programming and Feature Booking. He was promoted in 1965 and sent to Northern Ireland as Area Representative, where he was able to meet exhibitors 'on the ground' and learn how cinema really worked. He became General Manager [Ireland] for Walt Disney Productions Ltd. in 1977, General Manager [Ireland] for 20th Century Fox Co. Ltd in 1987 and Vice President - General Manager Buena Vista International [Ireland] in 1993, a position he held until he formally retired in 2007. During the period with BVI Ltd. he engaged with and acquired over 40 Irish films for distribution. He has received many industry awards including International Salesperson of the Year ('95), Spirit of Disney Award ('02), Service to Irish Film from the Irish Film Institute ('04) and Service to Irish film from the Dublin International Film Festival (06). He is currently President of The Irish Cinematograph Trade Benevolent Fund and a Director/Trustee of The Galway Film Fleadh. His interests include family, golf, National Hunt Racing and G.A.A.

Ann McDermott (Appointed September 2012)

Ann McDermott is a retired senior partner of a family medical practice. She currently works part time in Womens' Health. She founded Fermanagh Film Club eight years ago and continues to run it along with a core committee of four others. She is also the chairperson of the Aisling Centre, a local counselling organisation in Fermanagh.

John Maguire (Appointed May 2016)

John is a film critic, journalist and broadcaster with more than 15 years experience writing and talking about film in Ireland. An astute and intuitive critic, for the last 8 years he has written a weekly film review column, feature interviews and film articles for The Sunday Business Post, Ireland’s premier business and politics newspaper. John started his career at Independent News & Media as film critic for the Irish Independent’s Day & Night magazine. For many years, he contributed a weekly film review to Ireland’s most popular breakfast radio show, Ian Dempsey on Today FM, among other long-standing national radio and television contributions. John was a founding member of the Dublin Film Critics Circle. Married with two young children, he lives in Dublin.

Hugh Murray (Appointed June 2017)

Hugh has been the Director of the Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire since 2011. His previous positions include Venue Manager of Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge from 2009 to 2011, and A&R Management for Sony UK and Ireland labels between 1996 and 2005. In 2005 he set up Cottage Recordings and Management with Delorentos as sole client.

Frank Ryan (Appointed September 2013)

Frank works in the financial services sector. He has been involved in the running of waterfordfilmforall, a volunteer run film society based in Waterford City since the early 1990s. waterfordfilmforall has collaborated with a number of arts organisations including Garter Lane Arts Centre, Imagine Arts Festival the Irish Film Institute and Waterford Spraoi. A former director of The Federation of Irish Film Societies, he was Chairperson of the organisation when it went through a period of review which culminated in the change of name to access>CINEMA.

John Smith (Appointed June 2017)

John Smith works in the pharmaceutical sciences sector. He has been involved in the running of East Cork Cinema Club, a volunteer-run film society in Cobh, since 2009. East Cork Cinema Club has collaborated with a number of local arts organisations including Sirius Arts Centre, the Readers and Writers Festival and the First Cut Film Festival, as well as running a Documentary Film Festival in Cobh. John founded East Cork Cinema Club in 2009 with a friend and is also the current chairperson of Cobh Arts Festival.

Ken Wardrop (Appointed May 2016)

Ken is one of Ireland’s most recognised documentary voices, creating powerfully emotional pieces through his own unique style. Ken studied filmmaking at the National Film School, IADT. His work has won accolades from the European Academy Awards to the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. Some of his proudest achievements have been in his short form exploits most notably his Barnardos campaigns.