Inaugural Adelaide Film Festival director Katrina Sedgwick has been appointed ABC TV's new head of arts.

The role was previously held by Amanda Duthie (as ABC head of arts and entertainment), who resigned last December to accept the role as Adelaide Film Festival director.

Sedgwick, who led the biennial festival since its inception in 2002, will take up her new position at the ABC in Sydney on April 11.

ABC TV director Kim Dalton said the new stand-alone role would provide stronger focus on the ABC's arts programming. “As a result of changes to our arts production and line up last year, we have increased the resources committed to primetime arts programming to be commissioned from the independent production sector,” he said in a statement.

"At this time of change, Katrina will bring a wealth of expertise from her extensive and impressive background across the arts as a practitioner, producer and festival director. She has a track record in creating, commissioning and curating arts programming and events as well as building significant partnerships with art organisations."

Last September, Sedgwick resigned from her Adelaide Film Festival role to pursue other opportunities. "The newly created role of head of arts offers me the exciting opportunity to extend the curatorial and management skills I have developed at the AFF and particularly its film and television investment program,” she said in a statement.

Sedgwick has played a key role in the Adelaide Film Festival's investment fund, which has supported almost 50 projects including feature films Samson & Delilah, Look Both Ways, Ten Canoes and Snowtown, and documentaries Forbidden Lies and Mrs Carey’s Concert.

Many of those films also had strong support from the ABC, including Samson & Delilah, which was the first feature film to receive significant financial support (via a pre sale) from the ABC in over a decade. After taking $3.1 million at the local box office last year, it debuted on ABC TV three days ahead of its DVD release.

Sedgwick also conceived the AFF’s The Hive Laboratory which brought together artists and filmmakers to cross-pollinate their ideas and creative processes. The Hive Investment Fund, supported by ABC TV and the Australia Council, will result in three projects by leading arts practitioners moving into the world of film and television.

Contact this reporter at or on Twitter at @bcswift.

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