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Daniel Battsek Takes Over as Director of Film4

Daniel Battsek Takes Over as Director of Film4

Channel 4 Chief Executive David Abraham has announced that
Daniel Battsek will join the corporation as Director of Film4, following the
news that David Kosse is to step down to join STX Entertainment.

Battsek will join Film4 in July, relocating to the UK from New
York after fulfilling his contract as President of Cohen Media Group – where he
has overseen the acquisition and release of projects 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 this role Daniel was President
of National Geographic Films, and before that President, Filmed Entertainment
at Miramax Films.

David Kosse will continue working for Film4 during the transition
period on a consultancy basis until October.

Battsek will inherit the increased spend announced by David
Abraham and David Kosse in February 2016 of £25 million for the year, with the
ambition of maintaining similar increased levels of Film4 funding in future
years.

Under Battsek’s leadership, Film4 will continue to seek out new
partnerships like those announced with Fox Searchlight and FP Films in
February, which allow the company to take a greater stake in certain projects,
with a view to seeing more of the returns flowing back to Film4 for investment
in the company’s future slate.

Battsek also inherits a development slate which includes new work
from Lenny Abrahamson, Yorgos Lanthimos, Andrew Haigh, Steve McQueen, Martin
McDonagh, Clio Barnard, Bart Layton, Garth Davis and Mike Leigh. as well as
completed or near completed films from Andrea Arnold, Ben Wheatley, Ang Lee,
Paddy Considine, Susanna White, John Cameron Mitchell, acclaimed theatre
director Benedict Andrews, newcomer Toby Macdonald and Danny Boyle.

Channel 4 Chief Executive David Abraham commented: “Daniel
Battsek’s passion for independent, filmmaker driven cinema, and experience in
film production, development and distribution at the highest level in both the
US and UK markets, are second to none. He’s a perfect fit for the Film4 brand.
We’re thrilled to bring this talented British executive back to the UK.

“As demonstrated by our record breaking year at both the Oscars
and the BAFTAs, Daniel will inherit a Film4 business in fine creative and
commercial health from David Kosse.  We’re sad he couldn’t have been with
us longer but he’s had an incredible impact in the time he has led the
division.  Both the exciting upcoming slate and the increased funding for
original film we announced earlier this year are testament to the successful
strategy implemented by David.   I’m delighted that he will be
working alongside Daniel on a smooth transition over the summer and ensuring
that it is business as usual for Film4 over this period.”

Daniel Battsek added: “I am hugely honored to have been
offered this opportunity. My career began with so many of Film4’s early
productions and I have retained strong ties with British filmmakers throughout
my time in the US. Joining Film4 feels almost like coming full circle. I look
forward to returning to the UK and putting the experience I’ve gained on both
sides of the Atlantic to good use.”

David Kosse said: “Film4 is a unique organization and a very
special brand and it was a difficult decision to leave, but joining STX at this
stage is an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.  Over almost two years,
I’m incredibly proud to have put in place a new strategy for Film4 which has
boosted funding for the film industry to a record level and to have introduced
an exciting new slate of high quality productions and developments with a
diverse group of filmmakers.  David Abraham and the Channel 4 leadership
team have been fantastic partners since day one and I look forward to
continuing to work with them over the coming months.”

Having worked at the cutting edge of the independent sector on
three continents, Battsek brings 30 years’ production, development and
distribution experience to Film4. For the last three years Battsek has served
as President of New York based Cohen Media Group, where he has overseen 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 2½ 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.

Film4 is Channel 4 Television’s feature film division, which
develops and co-finances films and has an established track record for working
with the most distinctive and innovative talent in UK and international
filmmaking.  Film4 has developed and/or co-financed many of the most
successful UK films of recent years – Academy Award-winners such as Steve
McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave,” Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire,” Lenny
Abrahamson’s “Room,” Alex Garland’s “Ex Machina,” Asif Kapadia’s Amy, Andrew
Haigh’s “45 Years” and Phyllida Lloyd’s “The Iron Lady,” in addition to
critically-acclaimed award-winners such as Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, Chris
Morris’ “Four Lions,” Shane Meadows’ “This is England,” Martin McDonagh’s “Seven
Psychopaths,” Yann Demange’s “71,” Ben Wheatley’s “High-Rise,” Clio Barnard’s “The
Selfish Giant,” Jonathan Glazer’s “Under the Skin” and David Mackenzie’s “Starred
Up.”

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