Veteran Hollywood film executive and producer Sid Ganis is visiting Greece this week to participate in events related to the creation of a film studies center in Athens. Joining him is his wife, Nancy, also a film producer.
Representatives from the Hellenic American University and Hellenic American Union are hosting Ganis to discuss the possible center, whose creation was proposed by the university’s president, Leonidas Koskos, to fill the void of trained crew in Greece, as the country emerges as a film production hub.
The center would build on the university’s existing film-related programs, including film scoring (part of the bachelor of music program) and the specialization in translation for creative industries (an option for the master of arts in translation program).
Ganis’ trip from October 11-17 includes visits to the Jewish communities in Athens and Thessaloniki and Ioannina — the city where his grandparents hailed before emigrating to New York City in the early 1900s.
Gregory Pappas, president of the New York City-based Greek America Foundation and coordinator of Ganis’ visit to Greece, cited the strong connections between Greece and the United States being the driving force.
“We have so many opportunities to strengthen the existing bonds between our two countries using film and film production as a medium and we are excited to be involved in this fledgling idea,” Pappas said.
On Monday, October 11, the Hellenic American Union and Hellenic American University hosted Sid Ganis, Former President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and Kostas Fragogiannis, Greek Alternate Foreign Minister, for a discussion about the prospect of Greece becoming an international filmmaking hub.
On Monday, October 11, a panel discussion about the prospect of Greece becoming an international filmmaking hub streamed live on The Pappas Post Facebook page. Ganis and Greece’s Alternate Foreign Minister Kostas Fragogiannis participated in the event.
The complete discussion between Ganis and Fragogiannis can be viewed on YouTube.
Ganis is one of the most celebrated and successful film executives in the motion picture industry. His career includes leadership roles at studios such as Lucasfilm, 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, Paramount, Seven Arts and Warner Bros.
At Lucasfilm he served as senior vice president and was responsible for marketing The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and the first two installments of the Indiana Jones trilogy.
In 1986, Ganis joined Paramount Pictures and later became president of the Motion Picture Group, where he helped launch Top Gun and Fatal Attraction. As president, he oversaw the development and production of international hits Ghost and Forrest Gump, which remain among Paramount’s most successful films of all time.
After leaving Paramount in 1990, Ganis became president of marketing and distribution at Columbia Pictures. He served on the board of directors for numerous companies — including Marvel Entertainment for a decade — and for several film festivals and film-related institutions.
Ganis served as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (organizers of the Academy Awards) for four consecutive terms.
He was recently appointed a lifetime trustee on the board of the Academy’s Museum, which opened in September.
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