LONDON — Mark Adams, a former head of programming at the U.K.’s National Film Theatre, is set to take the reins at the Edinburgh Intl. Film Festival as artistic director.

Adams is also a former director of cinema at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. For the past four years, he has been chief film critic for U.K.-based film trade magazine Screen International, whose editor, Wendy Mitchell, is stepping down this month to join the British Council.

Adams is also a film critic for the Sunday Mirror. He previously worked as a staffer at Variety, the Hollywood Reporter and Moving Pictures International.

Adams said: “I’m thrilled to be helping the Edinburgh International Film Festival develop and grow, and am looking forward to bringing new, challenging, entertaining and exciting cinema to the city. This is a great festival that deserves its recognition and can only get better and better.”

Ken Hay, CEO of EIFF, commented: “Mark’s passion for film, his fantastic experience as a programmer, journalist and critic, along with his reputation in the U.K. and internationally, make him the ideal choice to drive the future success of the festival.”

Adams will begin his new role in March.