Richard Napper, the former managing director, UK, of Sony Pictures International, has been appointed as the new managing director of Curzon Cinemas.

He will oversee all the business operations of exhibition outfit Curzon, part of UK distributor-exhibitor Curzon Artificial Eye Group. Louisa Dent continues as managing director on the distribution side.

Philip Knatchbull, CEO of Curzon Artificial Eye, said in a statement: 'We are absolutely delighted that someone with Richard's considerable expertise has decided to join the company. His experience of booking, sales, marketing and management will help the existing team in realising our company vision of enhancing the quality and increasing the accessibility of the best of independent cinema.'

Napper added: 'I am excited by this new challenge to take part in pushing the boundaries of cinema exhibition as it continues its digital evolution. Independent cinema has always been a favourite enthusiasm of mine and I look forward to working with the Curzon team to take this unique cinema circuit into its next stage of development.'

Curzon Artificial Eye has nine screens on five London sites: Curzon Mayfair, Curzon Soho, Renoir Cinema, Chelsea Cinema and Richmond Filmhouse.

Distributor Artificial Eye was founded in 1976 and the company was taken over in summer 2006 by Knatchbull Communications Group and Act Entertainment Group, owner of Curzon Cinemas.

In 2007, Napper had served as temporary managing director at Momentum Pictures after he left Sony in May 2006.