Producer Andrew Eaton hasbeen appointed deputy chairman of the UK Film Council, the most senior positiona member of the independent film business has held at the Government-backedsupport body.

Eaton, director MichaelWinterbottom's regular producer, last made headlines this Cannes, when hissexually-explicit film Nine Songs outraged the UK's rightwing press. Hereplaces former UK Film Council deputy chairman Stewart Till, who recently stepped up to succeed Alan Parker aschairman.

"Andrew has been involved in some great British filmsfrom the past few years and his creativity, flair and industry experience willmake a sound contribution to the new-look team," said arts minister EstelleMorris. "His skills complement those of the new chair very well."

Although they are fromdifferent sides of the business, Till and Eaton have worked together when Tilloversaw PolyGram Film Entertainment's longterm deal with Eaton andWinterbottom's production company, Revolution Films. The prolific Eaton'scredits include In This World, Bright Young Things, Jude, TheClaim and Wonderland.

"The UK Film Councilplays an important role in supporting the UK film industry," said Eaton. "Wewant to make sure we build on its successes and help it grow in the future. Iam excited to be part of such a vibrant team who are drawn from all corners ofthe industry."

The council has alsorefreshed its board with Aardman Animations co-founder David Sproxton,Elizabeth and Sylvia producer Alison Owen and Marc Samuelson, whose extensiveproducing credits include The Gathering, Wilde and Arlington Road.

"I would like to welcomeAndrew, Marc, Alison and David," said Till. "They bring a wealth of experienceand expertise to the UK Film Council in producing British films which reachaudiences worldwide."

The rest of the boardincludes Colin Brown, Anthony Minghella, Heather Rabbatts, Parminder Vir,Gurinder Chadha, Nigel Green, Stephen Knibbs, Iain Smith and Mark Devereux.