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Woods luck of the Irish

Exec to replace Stoneman as head of co-financing film org

LONDON — Mark Woods, a former exec at Aussie paybox Showtime and previously a Daily Variety reporter in Australia, is poised to be named chief exec of the Irish Film Board.

Irish-born Woods is in advanced negotiations to replace Rod Stoneman, who announced his resignation in April.

Woods was acquisitions and investment manager for Showtime, responsible for backing Australian films. He left the feevee in May after a restructuring.

The IFB provides co-financing for Irish movies. It has backed over 90 features plus documentaries, shorts and animation since it was reconstituted in 1993 under Stoneman.

However, the IFB faces a tough future after the Irish government slashed its budget by 12.5% this year. At the same time, the government intends to end the Section 481 tax relief for film production at the end of 2004.

Woods’ primary challenge will be to lead lobbying against these cutbacks.

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