The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures announced the appointment of motion picture executive and producer Sid Ganis as the museum’s first honorary trustee— a lifetime position.
Ted Sarandos, board chair and Co-CEO of Netflix said, “We are thrilled to welcome Sid Ganis, a towering figure in our industry, who has been critical to the entire process of making the Academy Museum a reality. We are proud to recognize his commitment by naming him a lifetime honorary trustee.”
Sid joins existing board members Ted Sarandos, Chair; Miky Lee (Mie Kyung Lee) Vice-Chair; Kimberly Steward, Secretary; Jim Gianopulos, Treasurer; Patricia S. Bellinger, Jason Blum, Arnaud Boetsch, Olivier de Givenchy, Laura Dern, David Dolby, Sidonie Seydoux Dumas, Ray Halbritter, Tom Hanks, Dawn Hudson, Bill Kramer, Alejandro Ramírez Magaña, Ryan Murphy, Isis Mussenden, Dominic Ng, Katherine Oliver, David Rubin, Regina K. Scully, Emma Thomas, Diane von Furstenberg, and Kevin Yeaman.
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will open to the public on September 30, 2021.
Sid Ganis began his career in marketing and publicity at several studios, including 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, Seven Arts, and Warner Bros. He eventually joined Lucasfilm, where he served as Senior Vice President and was responsible for marketing The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983) and the first two installments of the Indiana Jones trilogy.
In 1986, Ganis joined Paramount Pictures and eventually would become president of the Motion Picture Group, where he helped launch Top Gun (1986) and Fatal Attraction (1987). As president, he oversaw the development and production of the worldwide hit Ghost (1980) and bought the underlying rights to Forrest Gump (1994), which would go on to become one of Paramount’s biggest hits—both financially and critically—of all time.
After leaving Paramount in 1990, Ganis became president of marketing and distribution at Columbia Pictures. He was eventually made vice chairman of the studio. In 1996, he stepped down to produce films through his independent production company, Out of the Blue Entertainment.
Ganis has advised leading US entertainment and technology companies including Dolby Laboratories, Nokia, and The Void and has also served on the Boards of Marvel Entertainment, FIND (Film Independent) and, Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive and San Francisco’s SF FILM.
Ganis joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in January 1968 and served as President of the organization for four consecutive terms (2005–2009). He also served as Vice President of the Academy’s Board of Governors. A longtime supporter of the Academy Museum, Ganis served as chair of the Board of Governors’ Museum Committee (2018–2021) and has been integral to securing the future of the Academy Museum.
Several gifts to the project have been made in his honor including an endowment by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation underwriting free admission to the Academy Museum in perpetuity for visitors ages 17 and younger and a gift to the general education fund from Dr. Kathy Fields and Dr. Garry Rayant (in honor of Sid Ganis and Nancy Hult Ganis).
Ganis, whose grandparents emigrated to the United States from Ioanina, in northern Greece, was honored with a lifetime achievement award by the Greek America Foundation in 2013 in Los Angeles. In his acceptance speech, he recounted growing up in an immigrant family in New York City.
The Academy Museum is the largest institution in the United States devoted to the arts, sciences, and artists of moviemaking. The museum advances the understanding, celebration, and preservation of cinema through inclusive and accessible exhibitions, screenings, programs, initiatives, and collections. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, the museum’s campus contains the restored and revitalized historic Saban Building—formerly known as the May Company building (1939)—and a soaring spherical addition.
Together, these buildings contain 50,000 square feet of exhibition spaces, two state-of-the-art theaters, an education studio, restaurant, retail store, and beautiful public spaces. The museum opens to the public on September 30, 2021.
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