Sid Ganis

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Sid Ganis
Sid Gani in Tehran, February 2002.jpg
Sid Ganis in Tehran - 2009
Sidney Ganis

(1940-01-08) January 8, 1940 (age 80)
Years active1959–present
AwardsOutstanding Informational Special
1982 The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark

Sidney (Sid) Ganis (born January 8, 1940) is an American motion picture executive and producer who has produced such films as Big Daddy, Deuce Bigalow, Mr. Deeds, The Master of Disguise and Akeelah and the Bee. On August 23, 2005 he was elected President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, serving a total of 4 consecutive 1 year terms.[1]

Prior to these roles, Ganis participated in a multitude of organizations including: serving on the board of directors at Marvel Entertainment for 10 years until its sale to Disney in 2009,[2] Center Theater Group from 1989-1995, Direct Sports Network (formerly DeskSite) as well as on the Board of Film Independent,[1] the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive (Bay Area), and various film festivals and film organizations around the country. He currently serves on the Board of the San Francisco Film Society[3] and as chairman of the Academy's International Outreach Committee.[4]

Ganis was born in Brooklyn, New York. He is of Greek Jewish descent, from the city of Ioannina, in north central Greece.[5] He was exposed to the world of entertainment when he worked as an office boy for theatrical publicists Lee Solters and Harvey Sabinson. This led him to a film career in marketing and publicity at several studios, including 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, Seven Arts, and Warner Bros.[6] He eventually joined Lucasfilm, where he served as Senior Vice President for several years. There he 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 eventually would become president of the Motion Picture Group where he helped launch Top Gun and Fatal Attraction.[6] As president he saw the development and production of the worldwide hit Ghost, and bought the underlying rights to Forrest Gump, which would go on to become one of Paramount's biggest hits—both financially and critically—of all time.[7]

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 from that position to produce his own films under his independent production company Out of the Blue... Entertainment. Under this company Ganis co-executive produced ABC's 2011 Pan Am (TV series) along with his wife, Nancy Hult Ganis, a fellow film and TV producer who developed and executive produced the series.

Recently, Ganis has been working extensively in China with the Chinese government on various film projects. He is co-founder and Chairman of Jiaflix Enterprises, a US company with a long-term exclusive arrangement with the China Movie Channel and the website 1905, both under SAPPRFT (SARFT).[2] He was an Honorary Chairman of Wuxi Studios, located near Shanghai. Notably, Jiaflix was an important part of the record-breaking success of Transformers 4 in China for Paramount Pictures, surpassing the previous box office record of Avatar.[8]


  1. ^ a b "Film Independent". Archived from the original on April 11, 2012. Retrieved April 12, 2012.
  2. ^ a b admin. "Sid Ganis". Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  3. ^ "".
  4. ^ "The Academy Presents Top Arab Films From Dubai International Film Festival's "100 Greatest" List". | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  5. ^ "Sid Ganis, Brooklyn-born grandson of immigrants from Ioannina at the helm of the Academy" October 21, 2009
  6. ^ a b Staff, "Sid Ganis | Biography and Filmography | 1940". Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  7. ^ "Forrest Gump (1994) - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  8. ^ "Autobot$ Rule: Why Transformers 4 Is China's Box Office Champ". Retrieved February 23, 2016.

External links[edit]

Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
Frank Pierson
President of Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences
Succeeded by
Tom Sherak