Tizard to top Aussie film funder

Exec will have major sway over what projects get made

This article was corrected on Sept. 9, 2002.

SYDNEY — Entertainment lawyer Linda Tizard is poised to take the Australian film industry’s most influential job: chief exec of the Australian Film Finance Corp.

The FFC board has chosen Tizard to replace outgoing CEO Catriona Hughes, according to several producers who have been watching the situation.

The agency is the biggest single source of funds for feature films, telepics, miniseries and docus, and the CEO wields considerable influence, along with the board, in determining which projects are made.

Tizard launched her own law practice several years ago after serving as head of business affairs at film and TV producer/distrib Beyond Intl. and before that Columbia’s local TV production unit. A Kiwi, she worked for New Zealand’s South Pacific Pictures before immigrating to Oz.

Recently she helped Gary Hamilton, former general manager of Beyond Films, set up his production and sales shingle, Arclight Films.

“She knows the production and dealmaking side of the business,” said one producer who has dealt with her.

Hughes indicated earlier this year that she would not renew her term, which expired in June, but she agreed to stay on until her successor had been recruited.

FFC chairman Geoff Levy said Tuesday, “The interviews for the new CEO have been completed, the selection continues, but no decision has been made.”

Levy said the appointment would be announced after it’s been approved by the arts minister, Sen. Rod Kemp; some producers believe that will occur within two weeks.

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