WFTV taps Averill for top post

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LONDON -- Penny Averill, most recently deputy director of the British Board of Film Classification, has joined industry body Women in Film and TV as its new chief executive, the organization said Friday.

Averill succeeds Jane Cussons at the promotional and lobby body and will take up the reins this month, reporting to Women in Film chair Sophie Balhetchet.

Before joining the BBFC, Averill's career included stints as head of compliance for UKTV, the joint venture between BBC and Flextech and spells in film acquisition and TV programming.

"I've known Sophie for many years and her work as a producer, where she's created strong leading roles for women," Averill said. "When she offered me the opportunity to head Women in Film and Television I jumped at the chance."

WFTV aims to improve working conditions and training opportunities for women, while at the same time celebrating their achievement in what remains a male-dominated culture in many areas.

Added Balhetchet: "Penny combines experience with energy, humor with thoughtfulness. Above all, she wants to build WFTV into an organization that speaks to and involves young women. We are delighted to have a woman of such caliber at the helm."

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