Over 60 QUAL members, Queen’s University and University of Ulster alumni attended to hear the story of the origin and emergence of the NI Screen industry. The event took place in the modern surroundings of Allen & Overy’s London offices at Liverpool St, hosted by Law Partner and Queen’s alumnus Paul Flanagan. Paul explained A&O’s strong affiliation to the industry and to Queen’s as one of Belfast’s biggest employers. NI Screen CEO, Richard Williams, described the beginnings of the NI film and production industry from fringe and arthouse movies with local TV involvement to international blockbusters like Game of Thrones and award-winning TV dramas like the Fall. Presenting both the creative and investment aspects he described how some of the most promising niches, such as children’s animation, showed a unique character and charm that had the potential to spawn global franchises whilst crucially keeping the intellectual property in Ireland. Attendees were treated to an audio-visual experience with sneak previews of the some of their favourite TV dramas as well as entirely new game-show productions coming to your TVs soon. Richard ended with some venture themes for those looking to back the sector financially together with an appeal to NI parents and influencers to keep the door open to careers in the creative sector to ensure the skills base continues to grow to meet demand. A lively questions and answers session followed and the conversation spilled over into the evening over wine and canapés. A few brave souls rounded out the night in a local hostelry on this Tuesday evening.