Daniel Battsek to Head National Geographic Films

Former Miramax chief will oversee film development, production, acquisitions and distribution.

Daniel Battsek has been named president of National Geographic Films, the organization announced Wednesday. Battsek will report to David Beal, president of National Geographic Entertainment. In his new post, Battsek will oversee film development, production, acquisitions and distribution.

"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," Beal said in a statement.

"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 National Geographic after 18 years with Walt Disney Studios, the last four as president of Miramax Films. He was forced out of that position last October when, following a series of high-profile flops, Disney slashed 70 percent of Miramax’s staff. During happier days at the indie-division, Battsek oversaw award-winning projects, including "No Country for Old Men," "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.

"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," Battsek said in a statement. "I’m looking forward to expanding the activities of the film group to further build on the potential of the National Geographic brand."