Cissi Elwin Frenkel is stepping down to become chief editor of a newspaper.

Managing director of the Swedish Film Institute, Cissi Elwin Frenkel, will leave her position to become CEO and chief editor of Chef, a paper launched three years ago. Frenkel informed institute staff of her decision yesterday (Dec 7); deputy director Bengt Toll, who has replaced her during her sick leave since Aug, will continue as acting ceo until further notice.

”I had not planned to stop at the film institute, but I got an offer I couldn’t refuse,” Frenkel explained. ”I am very grateful for my four eventful years here, when Sweden ruled the world with the success of the Millennium trilogy, when our talented filmmakers were handpicked by Hollywood, and our documentaries made an international impact.”

Institute chairman Håkan Tidlund emphasised Elwin’s strong force in modernising the institute, both the internal organisation and the film support system. “Her commitment has contributed to improving the standard of Swedish film, and I really regret her decision.” He also praised her work preparing for the new film agreement between the state, the business industry and the institute.

A former journalist, presenter and producer with public Swedish broadcaster, SVT, and editor-in-chief of the country’s best-selling weekly, Ica-kuriren, took over as head of the Film House in Aug 2006. After four months of absense due to exhaustion, she was getting ready to return to work: ”I was even thinking of what I should wear at the Guldbagge gala (the Swedish Oscars),” she said.

According to Tidlund the board has started the process of recruiting a new institute chief; however, the present board’s mandate will expire by the end of the year, but observers expect it will be prolonged by the Ministry of Culture to secure the continuity in the negotiations for the new film agreement, also keeping Toll as an interim CEO until the pact has been signed.