Amanda Duthie, currently head of arts and entertainment content at public broadcaster ABC TV, is to replace Katrina Sedgwick as director and chief executive of the Adelaide Film Festival.

“It is the best film and arts event in the country,” Duthie told ScreenDaily, describing her new role as “a jewel in the crown position”.

“I’ve been at the ABC for eight years and am absolutely going out on a high … Some of the elements will be new to me but I like to be challenged.”

Indirectly, Duthie is part of the family because she has invested in some of the same projects as the festival, including Mrs Carey’s Concert and Stunt Love, and is a partner in “The Hive,” a Sedgwick initiative that began as a residential lab for artists, musicians, filmmakers, theatre workers, dancers, choreographers, writers and so on, and now includes a recently-established investment fund for projects that encompass more than one arts discipline.

Duthie said she looked forward to continuing Sedgwick’s work of “pushing the boundaries of what gets commissioned” using her relationships, and her experience in programming and in commissioning arts-based projects including comedy and entertainment.

The biennial Adelaide Film Festival is seen as a small and very innovative film festival. It was the first film festival in Australia to introduce an international competition and the first to establish an investment fund for the production of Australian features, documentaries and shorts. Snowtown and Shut Up Little Man! were among those that premiered early this year.

“Ask me after my first 100 days in the job as I haven’t met some of the board yet,” said Duthie, in reply to a question about what new initiatives she had in mind.

While most of her experience has been commissioning series, documentaries, including feature-length projects, and other predominantly television programming for both the ABC and Australia’s other public broadcaster, SBS, she has had a hand in purchasing features for broadcast and has worked across the film genre while at government agency ScreenNSW.

She will be relocating to Adelaide with her family to take up the role in February, with her first festival being from October 10-20, 2013. She will be based at the new Adelaide Studios.