The Australian FilmCommission (AFC) has announced that it won't appoint anyone to the influentialposition of director of film development until early next year and hasappointed two people to fill the gap until then.

Independent writer/producerChris Fitchett will act in the role from October 31, and Lori Flekser, aproject manager at the AFC, will be his deputy.

Fitchett is a former chiefexecutive of the AFC's Commercial Television Production Fund; a former head ofwriting at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, and has been a project manager and deputy directorof Film Victoria, where he was involved in the financing of filmssuch as Proof, Romper Stomper and Muriel'sWedding.

More recently he has been ascript assessor and consultant for various organisations including Film FinanceCorporation Australia.

The AFC's film developmentdivision spends over $12.7m (A$17m) per year on what it sees as outstandingfilm, TV and interactive media projects. Its head reports directly to chiefexecutive Kim Dalton.

Former director ofdevelopment Carole Sklan has joined SBS Independent, the production arm ofmulticultural broadcaster SBS.

October 7 was theapplication deadline for the permanent three-year position based in Sydney. The AFC says the search for a permanent person isbeing undertaken nationally and will be exhaustive.