The Irish Film Board has confirmed the appointment of Mark Woods as its new CEO, as predicted on (July 25).

According to a statement from the agency, Woods will take up the position at the beginning of October, succeeding Rod Stoneman who departs today after ten years at the helm.

In the interim executive responsibility will be shared by Film Board chair Ossie Kilkenny and deputy chair Ann O'Connell. Announcing the appointment Kilkenny said, "We are delighted to welcome Mark as our new CEO. His experience in the international arena will prove invaluable in developing the Irish film industry."

An expatriate Irishman, Woods has been based in Australia for the past twelve years where he was formerly head of acquisitions and investment for PMP's Showtime and Encore film channels, following six years as a trade journalist and critic.

"Independent film co-financing is my passion and I feel privileged to accept this post," said Woods. "Building on the fine traditions of the Board, I am committed to offering strong support in bringing a rich and diverse range of Irish stories to local and international audiences by facilitating co-financing for today's top Irish talent as well as the emerging teams behind tomorrow's triumphs.

"I look forward to working closely with the board and staff of the Irish Film Board and Irish independent producers in nurturing a culturally vibrant and sustainable screen production sector in my home country."

The Irish Film Board has supported 100 feature films and television series, 300 short dramas, documentaries and animation, and provided development funding to over 500 feature film projects since it was reconstituted in April 1993. The Board is funded by the Irish government through the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism.