Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Friday People with head of Queen's Film Theatre, Susan Picken

Screen legend: Susan Picken is an all-rounder in her role at the QFT

The 48-year-old is head of the Queen’s Film Theatre, Northern Ireland’s leading cinema for independent and arthouse screenings. She lives in Belfast

MY BEST FRIENDS

I lived in London for a long time, where I got to know Mary McCloy. I had actually met her here, but we got friendly while I lived over there.She's a doctor now and spends her time between Dublin and London. She flies around a lot but I catch up with her when we have time.

My other good friend here is Sharon Curran, who works in PR.

She was working on the Belfast Film Festival not long after I arrived here and she's just a very fun person with a great zest for life.

Finally, someone I find very inspiring is Eva Grosman, who does a lot of work with the Polish community.

She's a very energetic, positive, dynamic person.

 

MY MUM AND DAD, GLADYS AND SAM

My mum is still around, but my dad has passed away. Both of my parents worked in hospitals – mum was a nurse and my dad was an ambulance driver.

My mum likes to shop and lunch, and enjoys her leisure time.

I have one sister, Sara (pictured), who works as a forensic accountant and lives in Liverpool.

Even though she's away, we're a very close family and see each other when we get the chance.

I've worked in film for a long time. I was the film liaison officer at a private members' club in London and also worked at the National Film Theatre, in London.

I saw an advert for the job at the QFT and applied on a whim, just to see what would happen.

It's given me an opportunity to do things that I would never have had a chance to do before. You need to be an all-rounder, because it's a small organisation, but I've learned an awful lot.

My mum seems to be very happy with my work and keeps clippings of anything that's covered in the paper.

 

WHO I GO TO FOR ADVICE

I think I would have to choose Sara for that, because she's quite sensible, although she would kill me for saying it. If I ever needed the opinion of a level-headed person, then she would be the one.

 

MY MENTOR

An old boss of mine in London, Adrian Wooten, who is the chief executive of Film London and has been very supportive.

My friend Eva,  is also incredibly good if you're looking for a steer on something. In this job you need to cherry-pick and make sure you ask the right person for the right advice.

My secret crush is ... Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon

I have a real thing for the TV show The Trip To Italy, which they both star in. I'm developing a crush on them both the more I watch it...

 

E MY FANTASY DINNER PARTY

I would ask Dorothy Parker first of all, because she would be hilarious at the dinner table.

For the same reason, I would ask Rupert Everett – I've actually cried with laughter reading his books. Next, I would ask Lord Byron. He was such a mythical character, so I would love to see what he was actually like.

For a bit of proper Hollywood glamour, my final guest would be Audrey Hepburn – it would have been her 85th birthday earlier this week.

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