The chairman of Telefilm Canada, Laurier LaPierre, is leaving his post, marking the third departure of senior management from the federal film and television agency. LaPierre, a respected journalist who has served since 1998, has resigned to accept an appointment to the nation's senate.

His departure leaves something of a vacuum in the highest echelon of Telefilm.

Francois Macerola, the agency's executive director since 1995, and Peter Katadotis, director, Canadian operations, long-regarded as Macerola's heir-apparent, are both leaving this summer. Telefilm needs to find not one but three qualified mandarins to fill these key administrative positions and preside over a new $100m feature film fund.

But that sounds sexier than the reality. The position of executive director is particularly tricky to fill because the job is seen as a thankless juggling act between public and private sector, competing regions and interest groups - a role more suited to a diplomat than a filmmaker. Said one source, "The position's become irrelevant."

Wayne Clarkson, a former head of the former Ontario Film Development Corp and now director of the Canadian Film Centre, was considered a leading candidate for Macerola's position but he is understood to have withdrawn his name from consideration. The agency's chairman and its executive director are appointed by the government. Interviews for the position of executive director begin Monday (June 18).

The front runners for the role are: Adam Ostry, current director of the Ontario Media Development Corp, a well-regarded apparatchik with little experience of the film industry; Judith McCann, a former deputy director at Telefilm and former chief executive of the South Australia Film Corporation; and Richard Paradis, president of the Canadian Association of Film Distributors and Exporters.