Putnam off to Miramax

Exec will oversee day-to-day development, prod'n

HBO Films development and production exec Keri Putnam has ankled the post to join Miramax — the Walt Disney Co.’s specialty film division — as prexy of production.

During her tenure at HBO, Putnam was involved with some of the unit’s most acclaimed projects, including Gus Van Sant’s Palme D’Or winner “Elephant,” Joseph Sargent’s “Warm Springs,” George Wolfe’s “Lackawanna Blues” and the Fred Schepisi-helmed miniseries “Empire Falls.”

Putnam will be based in Los Angeles overseeing day-to-day development and production of the mini-major’s slate.

She’ll report directly to Miramax topper Daniel Battsek, whose team also includes senior veep of production, international development and acquisitions Kristin Jones in Gotham.

Putnam said she made the decision to jump to Miramax at a “vibrant time for the specialty film business.” The mini-major won an Oscar in the foreign-language category Sunday for “Tsotsi,” the mini-major’s first acquisition under the Battsek regime.

“Keri’s extraordinary wealth of experience as well as her strong talent relationships and reputation in the entertainment industry make her the perfect person to lead the production and acquisition teams,” Battsek said.

Putnam was upped to exec veep at HBO in 2004 to oversee the net’s movies as well as its theatrical productions. She had previously served as senior VP at HBO since 1999 and was veep at HBO NYC Prods. for three years prior to that, working on such projects as “If These Walls Could Talk,” “In the Gloaming” and “Subway Stories.”

HBO’s past theatrical productions have included “American Splendor” and “Real Women Have Curves.”

Miramax’s upcoming slate includes a spate of pics from indie auteurs including Patrick Stettner’s “The Night Listener,” Stephen Frears’ “The Queen,” Lasse Hallstrom’s “The Hoax” and Roger Michell’s “Venus.”

Putnam’s exit from HBO comes after the departure of senior veepee and co-head of original primetime series Miranda Heller, who ankled late last year.