Kate Leys, formerly head of development at the UK's FilmFour, has joined Gillon Aitken Associates to head a drive into exploiting film and TV rights at the London literary agency.

Leys, who left FilmFour last year to go freelance, takes up the newly-created post of film and TV executive. She is to advise the agency and its clients on the exploitation of film and TV rights in their work.

Gillon Aitken, chairman, aims to build "stronger links for our clients with the film and TV industries."

At FilmFour, Leys was responsible for short film strand Short & Curlies and commissioning new talent such as Jez Butterworth, Sara Sugarman and Peter Mullan. She was also responsible for developing FilmFour's relationship with the publishing industry.

Leys commented: "This is such an exciting time for the books-to-film world and I am convinced that crossing over to the publishing side is the best way forward."