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LONDON — Expat Irishman Mark Woods has been appointed chief exec of the Irish Film Board it was announced Friday.

Woods returns after 12 years working in Sydney where he was Australian correspondent for Daily Variety. Most recently, Woods held the position of head of acquisitions and investment for the Premium Movie Partnership, which runs and Encore and Showtime film channels. During his tenure at PMP, Woods was intrinsic in the co-financing of 30 features including Oscar-nominated pic “Rabbit-Proof Fence.”

Ossie Kilkenny, chair of the Irish Film Board expressed his delight at the hiring of such a seasoned pro. “We are delighted to welcome Mark as our new chief executive. His experience in the international arena will prove invaluable in developing the Irish film industry.”

“Building on the fine traditions of the Board, I am committed to offering strong support in bringing a rich and diverse range of Irish stories to local and international audiences by facilitating co-financing for today’s top Irish talent as well as the emerging teams behind tomorrow’s triumphs,” said Woods.

Woods will join the Irish Film Board at the beginning of October. Rod Stoneman, the Board’s outgoing chief exec, is taking up a new position at the Huston School of Film and Digital Media in Galway, Ireland.