The AFC today announced Chris Fitchett's appointment as permanent Chief Executive of the AFC until 30 June 2008.
Mr Fitchett was formerly Director of the AFC's Film Development Division and had been acting in the capacity of Chief Executive since early last year.
AFC Chair Maureen Barron welcomed the Minister's decision to appoint him to the position on a permanent basis: "Chris has worked very effectively with government and industry stakeholders throughout the Review of Australian Government Film Funding Support and since that time as the AFC's representative on the Implementation Steering Committee, which will implement the outcomes of that Review and guide the transition to the Australian Screen Authority".
Mr Fitchett likewise welcomed the announcement: "The Government has introduced the most significant change to the structure of funding to the industry in twenty years, so it is an exciting time to be at the helm," he said.
"During the Review process the AFC advocated strongly for the continuation of direct Government support for development. Effective professional and project development will be integral to the success of the new production incentive. It is also the area in which the Australian industry remains most vulnerable. My work over the next 12 months will be to ensure that the AFC's development program, as well as all of its other programs, are well-positioned to support the Government's objectives for the industry."
Mr Fitchett also emphasised the important work that is being done through DCITA's Implementation Steering Committee and the cross-agency working groups: "The ongoing meetings between senior staff of DCITA, Film Australia, the Film Finance Corporation, and the AFC will continue to inform the transition to the ASA and ensure that the new organisation is structured and resourced to meet the needs of the sector".
The AFC is an Australian Government agency operating under the Commonwealth Film Program (Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts) to ensure the creation, preservation and availability of Australian audiovisual content.
From 1 July 2008, the AFC will be integrated with the Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) and Film Australia Limited, to form the new Australian Screen Authority.