Women are being urged to consider jobs in the screen industries as a massive boom is predicted for the opening of the new Studio Ulster, according to a leading film production studio owner. Paula Crickard co-founder of HaZimation with fellow filmmaker, HaZ Dulull, a live action, animation and gaming company, has recently moved her head office from London to Belfast because of the growing success of the Northern Ireland Film industry.


Organised by the Women Breaking Barriers Project, the event Connecting to the Film World aimed at encouraging more women to consider careers in Film, TV and Gaming.

Paula said: “This is a really exciting and pivotal time in the film industry and there will be huge opportunities for people in a whole range of jobs. Studio Ulster’s Virtual Production stage will be a game-changer for the industry. …one of the many reasons we chose to locate here is because of the investment in Studio Ulster, the great training from providers such as Belfast Met and the supportive vision of Northern Ireland Screen to push the tech side of storytelling. It’s a great opportunity for us to be part of the cutting edge virtual production drive that is happening in Belfast and beyond”

The event discussed key areas in the industry where women were under-represented including production and post production, colouring, visual effects, sound design and accountancy.

Seven leading women led a series of talks and panel discussions at Pixel Mill in Ormeau Baths Gallery as part of Women Breaking Barriers, a major project aimed at giving women the skills to overcome barriers to employment and education.

Paula was joined by her colleague Ellen O’Reilly from HaZimation, Nicki Waddell of Boxty Films and Waddell Media, Louise Gallagher from Hat Trick Productions, Kerry Michelle O’Brien from Pixel Mill/NI Screen, Briege Radcliffe, production accountant and Dr Jolene Mairs Dyer, lecturer in Media Production at Ulster University.

Anne McVicker, Project Co-ordinator of Women Breaking Barriers, said the event showed the massive opportunities available to women of all backgrounds in the growing Northern Ireland film industry. She added that a number of masterclasses were planned later this year to give women more insight into the skills required.

She said: “Women Breaking Barriers’ is dedicated to providing training and education for women and this presents a really exciting opportunity for women interested in a career in the film industry.”

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Among the leading industry professionals who took part in the Women Breaking Barriers’ Connecting to the Film World event were: (left to right): Paula Crickard, Nicki Waddell, Ellen O’Reilly, Briege Radcliffe and Dr Jolene Mairs Dyer.

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