James Hewison will move on to be chiefexecutive of the Australian Film Institute (AFI) in August once he wraps hisfifth Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF).

He will be the third AFI chief in just over a year and replaces GeoffreyWilliams who left in January despite revitalising the 2005 AFI Awards with hostRussell Crowe. Differences with the new board, headed by new chair, publisherand property developer Morry Schwartz were cited asthe reason.

Hewison announced last year that hewould leave the festival and started talking to the AFI in mid-January. The AFI's key mandate is to ``promote and develop Australianscreen culture'', he said. The awards are fundamental to the organisation buthe was ``also very interested in what happens over the entire year''.

Asked about his attitude to the much newer IF (Inside Film) Awards -- theyhave been around for seven years and the AFIs fornearly 50 -- he said `it can only be a good thing to have lots of opportunitiesto promote Australian film''.

Australian filmmakers will be sure to welcome this announcement giventhe passion for Australian films that Hewison hasdemonstrated in his programming of MIFF.