Friday, March 30, 2007

The Weinsteins are a hard act to follow, but....

According to Claudia Eller, Daniel Battsek is doing very well, thank you very much, as the new chief of Miramax. He's getting some well-preserved props for the savviness he displayed by green-lighting -- and then successfully marketing -- The Queen. And he has earned the grateful respect of colleagues (and the grudging admiration of rivals) by keeping his company on an even keel while attracting top talent and generating new projects.

Indeed, Battsek is so comfortable in his position that's he's willing to owe up to a miscalculation or two. According to Eller, he had high hopes for The Heart of the Game, a documentary about a high school girls' basketball team that he picked up at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival. Unfortunately, the flick proved to be an impossibly tough sell. "What I took away from the preview was that there was an audience that will really love this movie if we can get it to them," Battsek told Eller. "And we didn't manage to get it to them."

(I hate to say I told them so. But, well, I did.)

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