What we do
The Ardán Team (managers of Galway City of Film, WRAP Fund, FÍS Summit, & National Talent Academy Film & TV)
CEO at Ardán, Alan Duggan came on board in 2018 as the Manager of what was the Galway Film Centre. Prior to joining GFC, Alan had gained a wealth of experience in the games industry in Ireland and abroad. He took the film resource centre, and led it through a successful repositioning and rebranding, into what is now known as a key talent development hub for the audiovisual industry in the West of Ireland and beyond. Alan leads several initiatives that are operated out of the Ardán office; he is currently the Director of Galway City of Film, the Manager of WRAP Fund, and he leads the Western AV Forum. He is also on the CREW Board of Directors, and a board alumni of IMIRT.
A Kirk by trade, but a Scotty at heart, he also likes all those extra-long sci-fi and fantasy film and TV franchises, like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones.
Eibh O’Brien-Collins has been Talent Development Executive for Ardán since 2021 and is currently Programme Director of the National Talent Academy for Film & TV, a Screen Ireland Initiative managed by Ardán. The NTA Film & TV supports aspiring screenwriters, directors, and producers with courses, programmes, and opportunities, from entry level, through emerging, to established creatives. Eibh is also Associate Programmer for SXSW '23 and Short Film Programmer for Galway Film Fleadh. She was formerly Programme Director for Kerry International Film Festival, & manager of Irish Screen America, IndieCork, and Irish Film London.
Eibh likes to sport funky trousers from Zara and makes ridiculously good baked goods.
Eoin Butler Thornton has been a Project Co-Ordinator & Cultural Producer at Ardán since 2018. He currently manages several of the Galway City of Film and Wild Galway Games Initiative projects. Eoin previously worked at Galway Film Fleadh from 2014-2017 as Venue & Events Coordinator. He has also worked in event management and marketing for Galway Games Gathering and Tribal City Interactive.
Eoin has studied film, game design and programming. He also likes gaming, writing, and is currently completing a part-time Master's in Creative Writing in University of Limerick.
Kenny Gaughan joined the Ardán team as a Project Co-Ordinator in 2021. He manages several Ardán initiatives including the RTÉ Shorts Commission, Screen Talent Europe, and Science on Screen. A Galway-based filmmaker, he worked as a freelance videographer and editor for over 10 years prior to joining Ardán. He co-founded the Little Cinema Galway in 2010, a platform for grassroots filmmaking. Since it was pitched by Little Cinema back in 2017, the annual Little Cinema and Galway City of Film 48 Hour Challenge, supported by Ardán, has become a staple of the filmmaking calendar in Galway.
Kenny is a big fan of his Commodore Amiga 500’s, Sensible Soccer, Monty Python, and wild camping.
Kathryn Reynolds is the Comms and Marketing Executive for Ardán, Galway City of Film, and WRAP Fund. She got into content marketing in 2017 in Barcelona, when she was looking for work where she could write and travel and get paid for it. It turned out she liked it, so she still does it for a living. With a background in teaching English, Drama, and Art to different ages, in Ireland, Spain, and China, and several years studying & working in performing arts as a writer, director, and actor, she continues to work and play in the creative arts, including management and marketing for local and social projects. Kathryn holds a Master’s in Drama & Theatre, a BA in Performing Arts, a PG Cert in Creative Arts Management, a Diploma in Copywriting, and a Certificate in Digital & Social Media Marketing.
She likes singing music-y things, dancing, doodling, sea swims, audiobooks & podcasts, telly, and hanging out with her class nieces and nephews.
Georgina O’Connor is the Company Administrator at Ardán. Before joining the team in 2022, Georgina worked as a freelance production and location manager for Irish and International TV and film production companies, including Showtime Networks, BBC, RTÉ, Tiger Aspect and Sky Drama. She relocated to the West of Ireland in 2012, joining Galway Community Street Art and Spectacle Theatre Company Macnas in 2015, where she worked as Project & Financial Manager.
Proud Mum to Isaac and Otis, Georgina is passionate about food, travel, theatre and music and loves a good walk in the beautiful Burren landscapes near her home.
Gar O’Brien-Collins is Executive of the WRAP Fund (Western Region Audiovisual Producers Fund), one of the major initiatives managed by Ardán with the WDC. Previous to this, he was the Head of Film & Television at the Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA), a position he held since September 2019. Prior to that he was the Programme Director of the Galway Film Fleadh from 2010 until 2018, where he also worked closely on the Junior Film Fleadh. He has consulted on numerous festivals, and taught film theory and practice. Gar holds a Master’s in Film, Society and Culture from the Huston School, Galway, and a Diploma in Audience Dev and Marketing in the Arts from the University of Ulster.
AKA Mr. Eibh O’Brien-Collins, Gar also really likes reading and making comics and graphic novels.
Seán Lyons is a Project Co-Ordinator for Ardán and the National Talent Academy for Film & TV. Prior to joining Ardán in early 2023, he gained 15 years’ practical experience in the Irish and international film and television industry, working on set and in the art department. Sean has worked on productions for TG4, TV3 (Virgin), RTÉ, ITV, Das Erste (Germany), Film Four and Disney, among others.
Seán also spent three years as Event Co-Ordinator at the Galway Film Fleadh. People seem to like him because he is polite, and rarely late. He likes to eat ice cream, and really enjoys a nice geeky t-shirt.
Elle Hesnan is a Project Co-Ordinator for Ardán and the National Talent Academy for Film & TV. Prior to joining Ardán in 2023, Elle spent 6 years working in the Irish and International Film and TV industry as an Assistant Director. A lucky opportunity post university landed her first job on the set of Game of Thrones. This sparked a career of working globally with various production companies like Disney, Marvel, HBO and Amazon.
Originally from Galway and freshly returned from living in London, Elle has made the move back to the West to get involved in the creative industries locally. She enjoys spending time with friends and family and a cold dip in the sea!
John Crowley is a Games Project Coordinator at Ardán. Prior to this he worked at The Galway Film Fleadh from 2018-2023 as Venue & Events Coordinator, alongside being the Volunteers Coordinator.
John spent one decade working as a Wedding Photographer and the next as a community campaigner and former local election candidate. He has been involved in numerous campaigns, including Repeal and the re-election campaign for President Michael D Higgins.
Hailing from Clonakilty in West Cork, John spends his free time in nature listening to Led Zeppelin at the loudest possible decibel.
Liz Connolly is the Bookkeeper at Ardán, and the longest standing member of the team. Having graduated from college in the UK, without a clear idea of the next step, Liz found herself tripped up by a Connemara lad, and so migrated to the West of Ireland in 1975. Maternal and domestic duties occupied a number of years, till 1999.
On relocating to Galway city, it became essential to acquire computer literacy, and following that, training in bookkeeping skills. Since 2006, Liz has been Bookkeeper and Accounts Administrator for Ardán (formerly Galway Film Centre). She loves sea swimming, reading, and of course, films.