Buoyed by a 50% increase in its funding to £15m a year, Film4 intends to take a "pioneering role" in exploring the digital online arena of film production and distribution.
Higgs will head up the brand new Film4.0 division tasked with finding emerging talent, discovering more methods of digital film distribution and engaging online audiences.
Reporting to senior commissioning editor Katherine Butler, Higgs's role will focus on three main areas: commissioning new and established filmmakers working in the digital space; seeking out new talent working in this area; and working across the Film4 slate to exploit cross-platform opportunities. She will start the position in September.
Channel 4's controller of film and drama Tessa Ross said: 'We are thrilled to have found in Anna the perfect person with whom to launch our new digital venture, Film4.0. She combines a passion for innovation with a clear expertise in delivering it to audiences and she will be a wonderful addition to the team.'
Higgs added: "I am incredibly excited to be heading up this groundbreaking initiative. Working with a team that has such phenomenal talent relationships and having the freedom to take risks was simply an unmissable opportunity for me I look forward to Film4.0 making a real impact on how new and established talent works with digital platforms as well as connecting to audiences in new and deeper, more rewarding, ways."
Higgs joins Film4 from independent production company Quark Films, which she co-founded in 2006 with Gavin Humphries. She previously worked with Film4 on short film SeeMe.
Channel 4's film financing division has backed hit movies including Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours, Mike Leigh's Another Year, and Chris Morris's Four Lions.