Troubled AFI | AACTA renews board

The troubled Australian Film Institute | Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts has appointed four new board members: Ian Sutherland, Alaric McAusland, Geoff Brown and Russel Howcroft.

The renewed board, which has been expanded to nine members in total from seven, will need to tackle the organisation's precarious financial situation. Despite a much-hyped move to Sydney in 2010 and an annual $1.7 million commitment from the NSW government, the awards show lost its major sponsor and has since been lobbying for an increase in screen funding.

The Australian has taken an in-depth look at the position of AACTA here and also makes mention of the IF Awards, run by Intermedia (which also owns the IF Magazine and this website).

Sutherland, an Amalgamated Holdings executive and producer, was elected in February, replacing Amanda Higgs who chose not stand again after two terms. Morry Schwartz also recently stepped down from the board after seven years.

Brown recently retired after 16 years as executive director of the Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) while Howcroft, the former national CEO of advertising agency George Patterson Y&R, is executive general manager at Network Ten. McAusland is managing director of media conglomerate Deluxe Australia.

In a prepared statement, chairman Alan Finney said: “The new members further compliment the extensive industry knowledge and experience brought to the table by existing members Mike Baard, Jennifer Huby, Robert Sessions and Sigrid Thornton along with myself as ongoing chair."

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