Daniel Battsek appointed as new chair of the Film London board
Date posted: 27.09.2017
We are pleased to announce that Daniel Battsek, Director of Film4, will be our new chair. Daniel takes on the role from Academy and BAFTA Award-winning producer David Parfitt, who has chaired the agency since 2010.
Battsek has worked in the USA, Europe and Australia. Prior to joining Film4, he ran the film divisions of Cohen Media Group, National Geographic and Miramax in the US, and Buena Vista International and Palace Pictures in the UK. He was pivotal in Film4's acquisition of the highly-anticipated adaptation of John Williams' rediscovered-classic 'Stoner', and oversaw the launch of seven Film4 titles at the recent autumn film festivals, including Venice and Toronto prize-winners Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Lean On Pete, and four films at Cannes this year including critically acclaimed prize-winners The Killing of a Sacred Deer and You Were Never Really Here. His previous critical and commercial successes include No Country For Old Men, There Will Be Blood, The Queen, Calendar Girls and Kinky Boots.
A new chapter
Daniel Battsek commented: "I've known Adrian since he programmed Buena Vista films during his time at the LFF, and I've long been impressed with Film London when I've collaborated with them during my time in the US. As a born and bred Londoner recently returned to my home city, I'm greatly honoured to be stepping into David Parfitt's shoes and would like to congratulate him on the achievements of the organisation during his tenure. Film London plays a vital role in opening doors to the rest of the UK, promoting the artistic and cultural excellence not just of London's movie business but of our nationwide screen industries. I look forward to building on their work of championing the British film industry both within the UK and internationally."
Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: "We're absolutely delighted to welcome Daniel to the fold. He has a tremendous wealth of experience and knowledge accrued through a lifetime working in the industry, and is gifted with both a global outlook and a knack for identifying exciting new talent. This mix of business acumen and passion for thoughtful, auteur-driven work is quite unique, and makes him a perfect match for Film London. I would like to extend my personal thanks to David Parfitt for his work, and congratulate him for steering Film London through its busiest - and most successful - period. Much like the capital's screen industries we've gone from strength to strength under his chairship, and we owe him a huge debt of thanks."
Academy and BAFTA Award-winning producer David Parfitt has chaired Film London's Board of Directors since 2010. His successes include Shakespeare in Love (winner of seven Academy Awards), The Madness of King George and My Week with Marilyn. The most recent title from his production company, Trademark Films, is Loving Vincent: a unique, fully-painted animated film exploring the life of Vincent van Gogh. The film screens at the BFI London Film Festival on Monday 9 October at the National Gallery, and won the Audience Award at this year's Annecy Festival.
David Parfitt said: "I could not be more delighted that Daniel has agreed to step into my slightly worn shoes. We are very lucky that a senior executive, with one of the most demanding jobs in the industry, is prepared to give his valuable time to help steer Film London through this exciting period of growth for our industries. He is brilliantly well-suited to the role. Film London is a successful and dynamic organisation - I have enjoyed my time here and my job has been made very much easier thanks to the efforts of the talented and hard-working Board, supported by the exceptional senior management and staff at Film London.
Daniel Battsek has worked at the cutting edge of the independent sector on three continents and brings over 30 years' production, development and distribution experience to the role. Battsek has headed Film4 since 2016. Prior to this, he served as President of New York based Cohen Media Group for three years, where he oversaw the acquisition and release of arthouse/crossover releases including back-to-back Oscar® nominees Timbuktu and Mustang, as well as a development and production slate of films that includes John Williams' renowned novel 'Stoner', a co-production with Film4.
Prior to that he spent two and a half years at National Geographic Films, where as President he acquired projects for development and production including the Oscar® nominated documentary Restrepo, as well as National Geographic branded large screen and Imax 3D projects. Battsek relocated from the UK to New York in 2005, where he served for five years as President, Filmed Entertainment at Miramax Films. Projects he greenlit and/or acquired there included Oscar® winners The Queen, No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood and Oscar® nominees The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Happy-Go-Lucky.
From 1991 to 2005, Battsek held the position of EVP and Managing Director, UK Distribution and European Production & Acquisitions at Buena Vista International, UK, where he oversaw all aspects of UK distribution for 18-25 releases per annum from Walt Disney Studios and their partners including Pixar and Miramax Films. At BVI, Battsek also set up a Comedy Production Label in 2001 which financed and produced three films, including Calendar Girls and Kinky Boots. Prior to that, Battsek spent six years as Managing Director of Palace Pictures, where he was responsible for the acquisition and distribution of quality independent titles from around the world for release in the UK, and he also spent three years as a Sales & Marketing Executive for Hoyts Entertainment in Australia, where he first cut his teeth in distribution.
David Parfitt has worked as an independent film and theatre producer for over 25 years. His film credits include Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, The Madness of King George, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Shakespeare In Love (winner of seven Academy Awards), Gangs of New York (Production Consultant) and My Week with Marilyn. His television credits include The Wipers Times and Parade's End. In 2007 he co-produced the critically acclaimed theatre production of Elling.