The general manager of theAustralian Film Institute (AFI), Geoffrey Williams, has resigned two monthsafter successfully overseeing a revitalised awards ceremony compered by actorRussell Crowe.

Williams has citeddifferences of opinion with a board that has three new members and a new chairbut the exact nature of the disagreement has not yet emerged.

The new chair, publisher andproperty developer Morry Schwartz, is expected to issue a statement and toldone media outlet that there is more to the organisation than the awards.

Controversy has regularlydogged the AFI in recent years and the news is especially disappointing becauseit appeared to be getting back on track. However, it is unlikely theslimmed-down organisation will ever resume its functions of old which haveincluded research, exhibition and distribution.

It is understood that negotiationswith the Victorian state government for the renewal of crucial sponsorship forthe awards are imminent. It is not known whether the relationship forged lastyear for the awards with entertainment entrepreneur Paul Dainty is in danger.

The other two new boardmembers are DVD producer and factual television producer and distributor DavidChambers and film lecturer and vice-president of the Victorian branch of theAustralian Cinematographers Society David Muir.