Pauline Burt is in the enviable position of running a national film agency that does not have to beg producers to shoot in the region.

Burt is the chief executive of the new Film Agency for Wales, which was launched in July 2006 and effectively replaced Sgrin, which had also been involved in TV.

Other areas of the Welsh government - such as the IP Fund from Finance Wales - concentrate on incentives to shoot in Wales "as an economic rather than a cultural drive", she says. The new agency's remit is to help Welsh film-makers, whether they are based in the principality or abroad, and to encourage film literacy in Wales.

Burt had been head of production for Sgrin, and is a finance veteran from her days at Mansfield Associates, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Rand Merchant Bank.

"Sgrin was also involved in media funding, locations and new media, so it wasn't as focused," Burt says. "We're a much leaner agency than Sgrin. We have seven full-time staffers - that's less than a third of Sgrin." The team includes head of talent Britt Harrison and audience development manager Dan Thomas.

The agency is funded by the Arts Council of Wales, the UK Film Council, and Creative Business Wales/the Welsh Assembly government. Since its inception less than a year ago, the new agency has already been involved in more than 30 films.

Projects have to qualify under the new cultural test for British film but, other than that, there are few restrictions.

"We don't mind where the projects are set in terms of stories or locations, it doesn't have to be a Welsh story. We're just interested in Welsh talent, no matter where they are."

The agency has given almost $500,000 (£250,000) in development funding since September, with a further $2.4m (£1.2m) in production funding. And Burt says one of her key missions in the next year will be to raise more funds, including finance from the private sector.

The agency's first projects include David Howard's Flick (sold by AV Pictures) and David Evans' horror project Daddy's Girl, which is in post-production (sales company Carnaby Films has already struck a UK deal with Contender).

The agency's slate is certainly diverse: it includes new projects from Little White Lies director Caradog James and Human Traffic director Justin Kerrigan; a music documentary about rock band Super Furry Animals; Abraham's Point starring Mackenzie Crook; an experimental animated version of Heart Of Darkness; and Marc Evans' musical project Hunky Dory. It is also working with a slate of 12 low-budget films under the 'Boomerang' initiative.

Burt notes the agency primarily works with films budgeted at less than $4m (£2m). However, it also has a $10m animation project in the works and an ambitious heist feature that could go larger, depending on casting.

"At the end of the day, it's viable, marketable projects we want to work with," she says. "We can do just as many genre films as arthouse films."