Leading UK independent TV producer Celador Films, best known for hit quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire', is stepping up its film activities.

The company has appointed Christian Colson, head of development at Miramax Films' UK arm, to oversee production and development. Colson and Celador have just collaborated on Dirty Pretty Things, Stephen Frears' highly anticipated drama-thriller with Amelie star Audrey Tautou.

Celador produced the edgy story of a night porter entangled in a series of London murders with Miramax and BBC Films as the first feature from film arm Celador Films. The picture was written by Steve Knight, one of the creators of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire'.

'We're looking for around half a dozen projects to develop over the next two years,' said Paul Smith, co-founder of Celador parent Complete Communications and managing director of Celador Productions. 'This is a new direction for Celador and we are looking at making a cautious but well-focused entrance into the film world. Christian has great experience and talent in this field and is the obvious choice to take us forward.'

A second film is in the late stages of development and is expected to go into production in the early part of 2003. Colson said that he aims to work with the best emerging writers and directors.

"The plan is to develop material in-house and to at least part-finance production, though we will of course be seeking industry production partners where appropriate," he said. "Editorially the remit is wide open, although we will want to work within sensible and realistic budgetary parameters.'