Leigh von der Esch, director of the Utah Film Commission, has been elected the first-ever woman president of the Association of Film Commissioners International.

"This position provides the opportunity to increase the visibility of the Utah film industry," von der Esch said. "I look forward to representing Utah while representing the AFCI, which we believe will coincide on an international scale with the state's efforts in international trade and tourism development."She is also the first Utahn to head the 15-year-old organization, which consists of film commissioners from all 50 states and more than 100 U.S. cities, as well as 33 members who represent 14 countries.

Among the countries represented by the organization are Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Canada, Cayman Islands, England, Hong Kong, Israel, Jamaica, Luxemburg, New Zealand, Spain, Thailand and West Germany.

Gov. Norm Bangerter named von der Esch head of the state film commission, which is part of the Department of Community and Economic Development, in October 1985.

As the president of the international organization, von der Esch will attend the Munich Film Festival and Trade Symposium in 1991 and will also have the opportunity to represent Utah at the Cannes Film Festival in France.

She had been elected treasurer of the international organization in 1988 and hosted the organization's annual meeting last year when it was held in Park City.