Iain Smith will take up the role of Chair of the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) on Oct 10. He will replace John McCormick who has held the role for the past 12 years.

Commenting on his appointment Smith said 'It is an honour and a privilege to be able to take over the Chair of the EIFF from John McCormick at such an exciting time in the festival's long and prestigious history. The EIFF, the oldest continuous running film festival in the world and an important benchmark for Scotland's film community, has long been respected, admired and enjoyed by film-makers from all over the world.'

Smith, who was awarded an OBE in the 2008 Queen's New Years Honours List for his services to the film industry, has been a director of the EIFF since November 2007.

The Scot is a board member of the Scottish Screen/Scottish Arts Council joint board and is currently Chair of the Film Skills Strategy Committee, Deputy Chairman of the British Film Advisory Group and a director of the Children's Film and Television Foundation. He has also previously served on the board of the UK Film Council, the Scottish Film Council, the Scottish Film Production Fund, the Scottish Film Training Trust and as a Governor of the National Film and Television School.

EIFF Managing Director Ginnie Atkinson said 'It's been an excellent experience working with John McCormick over the years and he will be greatly missed. We are delighted that someone of Iain Smith's calibre has agreed to take over from him.'

McCormick oversaw the implementation of a number of strategies including the recent UK Film Council Film Festivals Strategy three year Lottery award of £1.8m.