When asked about her taste in films, Tanya Seghatchian points to the wall behind her desk, and two very different posters for her past productions: one for Pawel Pawlikowski's low-budget award-winner My Summer Of Love and another for megahit franchise Harry Potter.

Seghatchian - previously best known as the development executive (at Heyday Films) who discovered the Potter franchise and later as co-founder of Apocalypso Pictures with Pawlikowski - has been running the UK Film Council's Development Fund since April 1.

Nearly seven months into her two-year contract, she has not yet made any awards announcements, but writers, directors and producers are eager to hear her first picks (expected to be announced next week).

Seghatchian has, however, been busy revamping the application process for the fund. In late September, she announced new "channels" for submitting projects - one for first-time feature film-makers and writers, a second for those with a proven track record, and a third that will back more auteur-driven, idiosyncratic projects.

"You have nursery school, secondary school and university and they're all working at different stages," Seghatchian explains of her philosophy. "I'm trying to make it easier for us to look at applications fairly and to make it easier for people to compete relative to their own experience level."

The Development Fund has an average of $8m (£4m) a year to spend until 2011, for single-project awards or slates. The Super Slate scheme, set up by her predecessor Jenny Borgars in 2005, is still up for review as those contracts start to expire, Seghatchian says.

She does not ignore the challenge of moving from a role as an independent producer to working at a government-funded body. "It seems like an impossible job. I have no illusions about it being easy," she says. "But I'm an enthusiast and a cineaste and I want to help make good films. This seems like as good a place as any to do that."

To that end, she wants to strengthen ties between the Development Fund and the Film Council's production funds, the Premiere Fund and the New Cinema Fund. "I want to be able to tighten that relationship with the other funds - it's important for projects being developed to be greenlit. One of the hardest things about development is that if you don't know if your film is going to get made, it can be very hard to motivate yourself.

"You need this system of patronage which is both honest and enabling," Seghatchian continues. "Given that I've only got access to the beginning of the stages, I don't know how much influence I have on that. But maybe now that I'm in here, I can serve like a Trojan horse."

She is not so focused on the end result to neglect emerging talent, however. "We need to have different expectations for different projects. For some first-timers, even if they get writing samples out of it, we could be happy with that," she notes. "We judge everything on a project-by-project basis."

Asked if she has found the next Harry Potter crossing her new desk, she says: "You're often surprised in hindsight."