Daniel Battsek, one of the most respected execs in the U.K. film industry, is set to leave his role as chairman of Film4 after eight years at the company.
The news was announced in an internal note from Alex Mahon, CEO of Channel 4 (Film4 is its film production division), seen by Variety. Battsek is set to leave at the end of March.
“Daniel has been a key partner to me, a trusted champion and friend to countless filmmakers and has driven Film4 towards ever-greater success,” Mahon wrote. “Thanks to Daniel’s charismatic leadership and the outstanding team he’s built, Film4 has punched far above its weight – competing with the biggest international powerhouse studios for awards – and cementing its reputation as one of the most pioneering and influential film companies anywhere in the world.”
Ollie Madden, currently Film4 director, is set to assume leadership responsibilities (while retaining the director title). Madden and Battsek have worked closely together as chair and director for the last six years.
Variety understands that Battsek’s decision was a personal one, with the producer set to return to the U.S., where he has numerous roots and where he was based before joining Film4 in 2016 (his previous role was president of Cohen Media Group). Film4 says the decision is entirely unconnected to the recent news of cutbacks at Channel 4.
Battsek leaves Film4 with the production house on a major high thanks to the ongoing box office and awards seasons success of films such as recent Golden Globes winner “Poor Things,” “All of Us Strangers,” “The Zone of Interest” and “How to Have Sex,” titles that span the breadth of established auteur directors, cult filmmakers and fast-rising newcomers. Last year it had a huge hit with “The Banshees of Inisherin.”
“I am delighted Ollie will now lead Film4, in his role as director of Film4,” added Manon. “Ollie is passionate about our mandate to take risks and innovate, and he has a clear vision of how Film4 will continue to support the very best of British talent.”