The British Film Institute (BFI) has appointed Amanda Nevill as director, the UK film and TV body announced on Friday.
Nevill, who is currently head of the National Museum of Photography, Film and TV in Bradford, Yorkshire, will take up the post in June. The move has raised eyebrows as many had expected acting director Adrian Wootton to be given the post, which was vacated by Jon Teckman late last year
But Anthony Minghella, who took over the chairmanship of the institute at the start of the year, said that Nevill was "a leader and a cheerleader who can carry us through the challenge of creating a new Film Centre and extending the reach of the BFI to the perimeters of the nation."
"Her distinguished achievements at the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television in Bradford speak volumes for her energy and commitment to making public institutions accessible, popular and relevant," Minghella said.
In her nine years at the National Museum of Photography, Nevill oversaw a $25.2m (£16m) redevelopment and established the body as the most visited museum outside London.
"I will bring a deep-seated passion for the moving image in all its manifestations, coupled with a drive to pass on my enthusiasm to the widest audience possible," she said. "The BFI is poised to make some very major and important strides forward in the next few years, and I look forward to leading it to achieve the publicly acknowledged success it deserves."