LOS ANGELES (Jan. 20, 2010)—Daniel Battsek has been named president of National Geographic Films and will begin Monday, March 15. The appointment was announced today by David Beal, president of National Geographic Entertainment (NGE), to whom Battsek will report. Battsek will be responsible for development, production, acquisitions and distribution of all of NGE’s film endeavors.
“We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished so far with National Geographic Films, and we’re thrilled to have Daniel Battsek, a true leader in the international film production and distribution community, take us to the next level,” said Beal.
“Daniel knows the independent film world and knows how to develop great films associated with iconic brands, so we’re excited to have him leading the National Geographic Films banner,” added Tim Kelly, president and CEO of the National Geographic Global Media group.
Battsek joins NGE after 18 years with Walt Disney Studios, the last four as president of Miramax Films where he led all operations including creative, acquisitions, production, distribution, marketing and publicity. During his time at Miramax, Battsek oversaw a number of acclaimed and award-winning projects, including “No Country for Old Men,” which won the 2008 Academy Award for Best Picture, and “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” “The Queen,” “There Will Be Blood”* and “Doubt.” Prior to joining Miramax, he was executive vice president and managing director of distribution and production for Disney’s Buena Vista International U.K., where he served in various capacities from 1991. Battsek was managing director of Palace Pictures from 1985 to 1991, leading their marketing, distribution and acquisition efforts in the U.K. and Ireland.
“National Geographic is one of the most respected and iconic brands in the world, and National Geographic Entertainment is a new and exciting way for this great creative resource to reach an even larger audience,” said Battsek. “I’m looking forward to expanding the activities of the film group to further build on the potential of the National Geographic brand.”
National Geographic Films will be composed of National Geographic Features group and National Geographic Cinema Ventures (NGCV), which includes theatrical distribution.
In October 2008 NGE and ImageNation Abu Dhabi announced a joint venture to finance feature films, committing $100 million for 10 to 15 features over the next five years. “The Way Back,”** currently in production and written and directed by six-time Academy Award nominee Peter Weir, is the first effort utilizing this fund.
About National Geographic Entertainment
National Geographic Entertainment combines into a single operating group National Geographic Films, Kids Entertainment, Home Entertainment and Music & Radio. In 2005, National Geographic Films co-presented the 2005 Academy Award-winning “March of the Penguins.” National Geographic World Films co-presented both the 2004 Oscar-nominated film “The Story of the Weeping Camel,” which received the Director’s Guild Award for best documentary and was nominated for an Academy Award, and Lu Chuan’s “Mountain Patrol: Kekexili.” National Geographic Cinema Ventures released the 3-D concert film “U2 3D” to critical acclaim, and it set giant-screen box office records with “Mysteries of Egypt” and “Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure.” Lisa Truitt is president of NGCV, and Mark Katz is president of NGCV Distribution.
NGE is part of National Geographic Global Media, bringing together all of National Geographic’s editorial platforms to streamline collaboration and support the Society’s mission. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” National Geographic works to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 375 million people worldwide each month through magazines, books, digital media, television, radio, music, film and live events. It funds over 250 scientific research, exploration and conservation projects each year and supports an education program promoting geography literacy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.
*Co-production with Paramount Vantage
**Co-production with ImageNation, Exclusive Media Group and Spitfire Pictures