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Saturday, 7 July, 2001, 08:22 GMT 09:22 UK
Scots cinema chief standing down
Scottish Screen graphic
Scottish Screen has been criticised over use of funds
The chief executive of Scotland's national film agency, Scottish Screen, has resigned.

John Archer has held the post since Scottish Screen was created five years ago and the quango is currently one of 63 being scrutinised by the Scottish Executive.

Scottish Screen has been under fire recently because of the film projects it has funded.

It is been criticised for not funding a wide enough range of films, or enough commercially successful ones.

It is also been accused of "cronyism" favouring a small group of filmmakers already known to the board.

John Archer
John Archer: Planned a radical shake-up

Mr Archer, as its chief executive has been in the front line, most recently when a project by his wife's company was given a lottery grant.

While he was not directly involved in the decision, it did prove embarrassing, particularly as the quango is one of 63 being scrutinised by politicians over its future.

Lottery funds

More relevant to the resignation was his plans for a radical shake-up of the agency, plans which proved to be at odds with the board of Scottish Screen.

Mr Archer says he will stay in his post until a successor is appointed and the process of finding a new chief executive has already begun.

Last year, Scottish Screen was awared lottery funds to allocate within the film industry.

The then Enterprise Minister Henry McLeish welcomed the move, saying: "I hope that Scottish Screen will be working with public and private bodies in Scotland over the next few months to work up proposals for a Film Charter."

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