In the two-and-a-half years since Daniel Battsek took over the reins at Miramax Films, the British executive has established a corporate culture that is at once fresh and familiar.

Gone are the outbursts, publicity stunts and grand plays of the brilliant, larger-than-life mogul Harvey Weinstein.

In their place is an equally mesmerizing talent for picking commercial, quality films; but it is a talent that comes from an executive who is content to let his slate do the talking.

When Battsek - a longtime associate of Weinstein from his days as executive vice-president and managing director of distribution and production at Buena Vista International UK, the UK arm of Miramax parent Disney - moved to New York to take up his job as Miramax president he was reluctant to pigeonhole the company.

'The idea is to create, acquire and distribute high-quality product that the company can be proud of,' he told Screen International in late 2005. 'It's hard to be specific on anything beyond that at this time.'

Last year in Toronto the message had not changed: Battsek stressed that the calibre of films would define the company and preferred to deflect credit onto his team and partner film-makers such as Scott Rudin.

We may never get a lengthy exegesis of what makes a typical Miramax film and we may never need one, because this awards season, following previous Oscar successes for Tsotsi and The Queen's Helen Mirren, the Miramax imprint has been hard to miss.

'It's really, really exciting,' Battsek says. 'Toronto was the beginning of the season when a lot of movies had potential and we had several in the mix. Now it's been whittled down and it's great to get awards.'

The Coen brothers' No Country For Old Men (to which Paramount Vantage holds international rights) ranks as an Oscar front-runner after two Golden Globe wins and recently became the Coens' highest-grossing film domestically, with $46.9m and counting.

Julian Schnabel's The Diving Bell And The Butterfly is another success story that won a pair of Globes. 'We started small and built up through word of mouth,' says Battsek. 'It's important to create demand and limit supply so you get sold-out houses and people talk about it.'

Gone Baby Gone has propelled Casey Affleck and Amy Ryan to the forefront of the supporting actor/actress Oscar race, and Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood, which Miramax is handling internationally (Paramount Vantage has North American rights), has already earned Oscar favourite Daniel Day-Lewis a best actor (drama) Globe.

'To stand out from the crowd these days, the movies have to be of real quality from phenomenal film-makers,' says Battsek, whose 2008 slate includes Smart People, with Dennis Quaid, Paulo Morelli's City Of Men and Fernando Meirelles' Blindness.

'In each case, we have movies that are highly distinctive. The rest is down to the disciplines - getting the right release date, supporting it with the right campaign, sustaining it as other films come flying into the market.'