Cannes FilmFestival administrative director Veronique Cayla has been named to head Frenchfilm body the CNC it was announced today.

Theappointment is effective immediately and she will leave her festival roleat once.

Cayla, whohas also been named interim president of France'sfilm school FEMIS, takes up her functions at the CNC following the departure ofCatherine Colonna earlier this month.

Colonna,who was previously the spokeswoman for the Elysee Palace, had held the post fornine months before being called back into President Jacques Chirac's cabinet asdeputy minister of European Affairs.

The new CNChead is a film veteran. She entered the culture ministry in 1973 and became thefilm advisor to culture minister Jean-Philippe Lecat from 1978 to 1981. Stintsat the Paris Videotheque, production, distribution, exhibition outfit MK2 andthe CSA - France'stelevision watchdog - followed.

In 2001,Cayla joined the Cannes Film Festival and is only the second woman, afterColonna, to hold the title of director of the CNC.

No one fromCannes was available for comment.