Director Alfredo Joskowicz has been appointed to head up Mexico's state-run film institute, Imcine, replacing Alejandro Pelayo who stepped in when Eduardo Amerena abruptly resigned last year.

Amerena quit over the fracas which ensued after Imcine allegedly blocked the distribution of La Ley De Herodes, an Imcine-backed film which was highly critical of the ruling party of the time, PRI.

Joskowicz' appointment was a blow to local pundits who expected Mexican president Vicente Fox, of opposition party PAL, to bring in new blood and apply his free marketing principles to the institute. Imcine continues to co-produce most of Mexico's feature film output.

Joskowicz, who is considered part of the old establishment, headed Imcine's film school between 1977 and 1982 and also held similar responsibilities at Mexico's most prominent college, the National Autonomous U, until 1996.

His best known works as a director are the 1973 feature El Cambio and the 1980 historical drama, Constelaciones.