ScottishScreen has confirmed the appointment of Edinburgh-born Ken Hay as their newChief Executive.

Hay replaces Steve McIntyre who chose not to renew hiscontract when it ended in August.

Thelengthy search for a successor had thrown a number of respected Scottish namesinto the ring, notably Edinburgh International Film Festival managing directorGinnie Atkinson.

The 40year-old Hay has been Chief Executive of EM Media in Nottingham since it wasestablished in 2001 and has earned a positive reputation for his encouragementof local productions like Chris Cooke's One For The Road and ShaneMeadows Dead Man's Shoes.

Hay is arelatively unknown commodity within the Scottish film community but hisappointment was welcomed by a number of those contacted.

"I'm justglad they have appointed someone as the delay has been inordinate andunnecessary," confessed Eddie Dick, producer of Blind Flight and theforthcoming Nicolas Roeg film Master Of Lies. "He has a good reputation for encouraging filmmakers withoutfeeling the need to become directly involved in their films."

ChristopherYoung, producer of upcoming feature Festival, also offered a welcome forHay, admitting: "I've heard good things about the work he has done in theMidlands and he is spoken well of within the industry."

Hayhimself expressed his enthusiasm for the job ahead, explaining: "This is afantastic time to be joining Scottish Screen. The cultural economy of film andmedia in Scotland continues to develop rapidly, particularly with the opportunitiespresented by the ongoing shift to digital - both for audiences andproducers. Scottish Screen needs to beleading the development of the sector from the front, ensuring its commitmentto talent, opportunity, enterprise, inclusion and access are constantly met."

Hay willtake up his appointment in April 2005, eight months after the departure of hispredecessor.