Veteran British filmexecutive Michael Ryan has been named the next chairman of AFMA, becoming thefirst person from outside the US to be appointed to the post.

Ryan, who is currentlydirector at IAC Films & Television in London where he is executive producingthe dramas Elizabeth Rex and Escape, was a founding member of the trade association 23years ago and will take office on Sept 23.

"I am delighted thatMichael Ryan will serve as AFMA's next chairman," outgoingchairman Kathy Morgan said in a statement.

"His electiongraphically illustrates the international character of the association and ofthe independent film and television industry. We are in very capable hands."

Morgan is about to completeher second term and is ineligible to run for a third term.

"The associationdelivers tremendous services to the independents," Ryan said. "Ihope that I can use my experience in the industry to further expand AFMA'spresence in the global marketplace."

In addition to chairman,AFMA members will elect three other executive committee members and its20-member board of directors at the Sept 23 annual meeting, which will takeplace in Los Angeles and London.

Ryan began his career in1969 with Television International Enterprises before moving to ITC three yearslater as programme executive.

He left in 1978 to set upJ&M Film Entertainment with partner Julia Palau, involving himself in theproduction, distribution and financing of more than 120 films including Kissof the Spiderwoman, The EnglishPatient and The General.