UK film superbody the Film Council has appointed independent producer Alex Usborne to oversee regional funding through its low-budget and edgy production fund, the New Cinema Fund.

Usborne is to encourage film-makers across the UK to access the fund, which is worth $7.4m (£5m) a year. He previously ran Sheffield-based production company Picture Palace North and has credits including The Acid House and Large.

"I grew up in Sheffield and I am intensely passionate about storytelling and film-making in the nations and regions as well as taking responsibility for the New Cinema Fund's investment in short film-making," Usborne said. "I've always been interested in stories with heart, soul and passion and I want to contribute to making the New Cinema Fund the most exciting springboard for film-making in the UK."