After eight years in the post, the UK's Nik Powell is handing over the reins of the chairmanship of the European Film Academy (EFA) to French producer Humbert Balsan.

Speaking at the European Film Awards ceremony, Powell quipped that he expected Balsan - who has been one of the EFA deputy chairmen until now - would bring "a real Gallic flavour" to the Academy's operations following a period of German/Anglo-Saxon dominance.

EFA director Marion Doering told that Powell will serve in future as a deputy chairman alongside Berlinale chief Dieter Kosslick.

In addition, there have been changes in the 13-person EFA board which is being extended to include another two members.

Paris-based Serbian producer Cedomir Kolar (No Man's Land) and UK producer Mike Downey (F&ME) are the two new board members, while Russian filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov is replacing veteran director Dusan Makaveyev, Italian producer Domenico Procacci distributor Roberto Cicutto, and Finnish director Mika Kaurismaki Danish producer Vibeke Windeloev.

The other EFA board members remain the same: UK actress Brenda Blethyn, Italian sales agent Adriana Chiesa di Palma, festival director Pierre-Henri Deleau, UK-based producer Uli Felsberg, German distributor Stephan Hutter, Spanish producer Antonio Perez Perez, Spanish actress Assumpta Serna, Hungarian director Istvan Szabo, Dutch producer Els Vandevorst, and honorary board member Sir Ben Kingsley.