Battsek to exit Miramax in January next year

MUMBAI: Miramax president Daniel Battsek is set to put in his papers in January 2010. This is because Disney has decided to close Miramax‘s New York office. It is also said that the move will bring Miramax‘s Los Angeles operations into the fold at head office at Burbank.

It may be recalled that a year ago Battsek spoke out about oversupply in the sector during a keynote speech at Film London‘s second Production Finance Market.

A few years ago the studio‘s specialty divisions were a prestigious business, albeit a business that was occasionally inefficient and profligate.

In early October, Disney had cut down 70 per cent staff of Miramax, reducing the strength to around 20. It had also slashed Miramax‘s annual film output to a bare three.

Said Walt Disney Studios chairman Rich Ross, "During Daniel‘s 18 years of service, he has brought some very prestigious and award-winning films to the studio from Calendar Girls to The Queen to No Country For Old Men. We wish Daniel the very best on his future endeavours."

Battsek, in a statement to the staff, said, "After further reflection and discussion about the change in direction for Miramax, Rich Ross and I have agreed that I will step down as president of Miramax, effective the end of January, 2010.

"With this decision, we have also agreed that the best chance of success for Miramax is for the company to be located in Los Angeles, and I will work with the group on a transition plan. I‘m very proud of all the great work we have accomplished here at Miramax and equally proud of my overall career at Disney."

Battsek was appointed Miramax president in July 2005 and entered the Disney fold in 1991 when he was asked to start up a UK company as part of Buena Vista International‘s worldwide distribution network.

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