Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Richard Gelfond and Greg Foster on Behalf of IMAX To Receive Sid Grauman Award Sponsored by Hill Valley

The American Cinematheque announced today that Richard Gelfond and Greg Foster, on behalf of IMAX, will receive the 2017 Sid Grauman Award Presented by Hill Valley. IMAX will be honored for its achievements in the motion picture industry at the top of the American Cinematheque’s annual benefit award show, where, this year, the non-profit organization will present its 31st annual career achievement award, known as the American Cinematheque Award Sponsored by GRoW @ Annenberg. The 2017 American Cinematheque Award recipient is Academy Award-nominee Amy Adams. The presentation of both the Sid Grauman and American Cinematheque awards will take place Friday, November 10, 2017 at The Beverly Hilton (9876 Wilshire Blvd.).

American Cinematheque Chairman Rick Nicita said “The American Cinematheque is pleased to present this year’s annual Sid Grauman award to Richard Gelfond and Greg Foster on behalf of IMAX for their outstanding contribution to theatrical exhibition. Their leadership of IMAX has resulted in a breathtaking expansion of not only box office grosses around the world but in a quantum leap forward for the excitement and enjoyment of the moviegoing audience. There is no better way to see a movie than on the big screen and IMAX gives us the biggest screens of all.”

First-ever Sid Grauman Award
“Hill Valley is extremely proud to be the presenter of the American Cinematheque’s third annual Sid Grauman Award to recipients Richard Gelfond and Greg Foster on behalf of IMAX,” said founder and CEO Éric Nebot.

The American Cinematheque Board of Directors created this award in 2015 to honor an extraordinary individual who has made a significant contribution to the Hollywood film industry in the continuing advancement of theatrical exhibition. 

Sid Grauman (1879 – 1950) was a master showman in the early days of film exhibition, and a founder of the Egyptian Theatre (owned and operated by the American Cinematheque since 1998), where the first Hollywood “premiere” was held in 1922. He went on to be part of the world-famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre as well. He was a pioneer in the theatrical exhibition of movies and a founding member of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences, from which he received an honorary Academy Award for his work. His legacy is carried on today, through the big screen movie viewing experience provided by the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre.

Egyptian Theatre founder
Sid Grauman
Previous American Cinematheque Award honorees include: Eddie Murphy (1986), Bette Midler (1987), Robin Williams (1988), Steven Spielberg (1989), Ron Howard (1990), Martin Scorsese (1991), Sean Connery (1992), Michael Douglas (1993), Rob Reiner (1994), Mel Gibson (1995), Tom Cruise (1996), John Travolta (1997), Arnold Schwarzenegger (1998), Jodie Foster (1999), Bruce Willis (2000), Nicolas Cage (2001), Denzel Washington (2002), Nicole Kidman (2003), Steve Martin (2004), Al Pacino (2005), George Clooney (2006), Julia Roberts (2007), Samuel L. Jackson (2008), Matt Damon (2010), Robert Downey Jr. (2011), Ben Stiller (2012), Jerry Bruckheimer (2013), Matthew McConaughey (2014), Reese Witherspoon (2015), and Ridley Scott (2016). 

Richard Gelfond, CEO, IMAX Corporation

Richard Gelfond is chief executive officer of IMAX Corporation, one of the world's leading entertainment technology companies.  Under his leadership, IMAX has evolved from a niche purveyor of nature and science documentaries to a Hollywood movie force — both as high-tech exhibitor and a creative partner in the movie-making process.

IMAX has more than 1,200 theatres in 75 countries. IMAX has a strong 2017 slate, including The Fate of the Furious, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Transformers: The Last Knight, Dunkirk and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

With Gelfond at the helm, IMAX entered China more than 15 years ago just as the nation’s entertainment, film and exhibition industry was developing. Growing as it did alongside the industry, IMAX has become a key part of the nation’s movie-going culture. Today, China is IMAX’s fastest-growing market with more than 400 theatres open, and it is embraced by audiences across the country as the best and most immersive way to see a film.

Gelfond is also leading IMAX through several strategic projects related to new business lines, including its recent foray into location-based virtual reality – IMAX VR – as well its investment in original content through a first-of-its-kind partnership with Marvel and ABC Television to premier Marvel’s Inhumans exclusively in IMAX® theatres ahead of its network launch.

Gelfond, one of entertainment’s longest-tenured executives, joined IMAX in 1994 as co-chairman after his firm, Cheviot Capital Advisors, bought the company. Gelfond previously served as an investment banker in mergers and acquisitions with Drexel Burnham Lambert. 

Gelfond holds a BA from Stony Brook University and a law degree from Northwestern University.

Gelfond is a member of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts & Sciences.  In 1996, Gelfond and investment partner Brad Wechsler received an Academy Award on behalf of IMAX for Scientific and Technical Achievement. 

Greg Foster
Chief Executive Officer, IMAX Entertainment
Senior Executive Vice President, IMAX Corporation

Greg Foster, CEO of IMAX Entertainment and Senior Executive Vice President, IMAX Corp., joined the Company in March 2001.  Based out of IMAX’s state-of-the-art Playa Vista campus, Foster oversees all aspects of the Company's global entertainment activities, including creative, production, film distribution, business affairs, marketing, studio relationships, local-language releases, and the revolutionary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) process.  Foster also serves as a member on the board of directors of IMAX Corp. (NYSE) and IMAX China (HKEX).

Over the past 16 years, Foster has successfully positioned IMAX’s entertainment business as a core revenue driver, playing an essential role in becoming a significant player in the Hollywood ecosystem. Under Foster’s leadership, over 300 major blockbuster films have been released in IMAX’s premium format, including Avatar, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the last six installments of the Harry Potter franchise, The Dark Knight, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers, Jurassic World, and many other top-grossing Hollywood releases.

Director Christopher Nolan
Currently, Foster, together with CEO Rich Gelfond, is spearheading the first-ever premiere of a television series in IMAX, partnering on Marvel’s The Inhumans along with ABC. The release was the first step in a highly innovative original content initiative that has broadened the scope for IMAX as it looks to new ways to provide compelling content year-round.

During his tenure at IMAX, Foster has led the charge in arming top filmmakers with the Company’s growing suite of enhanced technologies, enabling them to tell their stories in new and exciting ways. A-list directors including Christopher Nolan, James Cameron, J.J. Abrams, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Clint Eastwood have all incorporated IMAX to differentiate the cinematic experience of their films.

Foster began his career at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where he spent 15 years in various senior marketing, production and corporate positions.  During his MGM tenure, Foster played an important role on such movies as Rain Man, A Fish Called Wanda, Species, Get Shorty, various films in the James Bond franchise, and many more. Foster left MGM in 1999 as EVP, Production. Foster is a 1984 graduate of Georgetown University.  He and his wife Marci have three sons and live in Los Angeles.

About Hill Valley

Hill Valley, a product placement and promotion agency based in Paris and Los Angeles, represents luxury brands such as, Piper-Heidsieck champagne, fashion brand The Kooples, the leading European car manufacturer Renault, and many others.

Hill Valley, a subsidiary of McFly Holdings founded by Éric Nebot, integrates all aspects of the motion picture process, including development, production, product placement, as well as distribution promotion and marketing. Projects currently in development include the first super-hero movie set in France.

Benefit Tickets:
Tickets to the Cinematheque Tribute, an elegant black-tie dinner followed by a multi-media award presentation start at $600. Call Mann Productions for tickets and further information: 323.314.7000. (Please note that this event was formerly known as the Moving Picture Ball.)

More information about the award show can be found here.

About the American Cinematheque:

Established in 1981, the American Cinematheque is a non-profit, viewer-supported film exhibition and cultural organization dedicated to the celebration of the moving picture in all of its forms. At the Egyptian Theatre, the Cinematheque presents regular film and video programming which ranges from the classics of American and international cinema to new independent films and digital work. Exhibition of rare works, special and rare prints, etc., combined with fascinating post-screening discussions with the filmmakers who created the work, are a Cinematheque tradition that keep audiences coming back for once-in-a-lifetime cinema experiences. The American Cinematheque renovated and reopened (on December 4, 1998) the historic 1922 Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. This includes a state-of-the-art 616-seat theatre housed within Sid Grauman’s first grand movie palace on Hollywood Boulevard. The exotic courtyard is fully restored to its 1922 grandeur. The Egyptian was the home of the very first Hollywood movie premiere in 1922.

In early 2005 the American Cinematheque expanded its programming to the Westside with the January 5 opening of the 1940 Aero Theatre on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica.

Both theatres play host to an array of industry guests who share their filmmaking experiences with our audiences.

Read about the presentation of the 31st American Cinematheque Award to Amy Adams.

Special thanks to the Gala sponsors:

Title Sponsor
GRoW @ Annenberg

Platinum Sponsors
Encore Event Technologies, Hill Valley, Hollywood Foreign Press Association

Gold Sponsors
Comcast NBCUniversal, The Hollywood Reporter, IMAX Corporation, Morgan Creek Productions. Paramount Pictures, Steven Spielberg, Twentieth Century Fox Film, Variety, The Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros. Entertainment

Silver Sponsors
Atlas Entertainment/ Thomas Spiegel Family Foundation, Creative Artists Agency,  DMR GROUP, Entertainment One, Fandango, HBO, Maureen Sherry & Steve Klinsky/ Untravelled Worlds, Netflix, WME/ Brillstein Entertainment Partners, YouTube

Silver Patrons
Annapurna Pictures, Marilyn & Jeffrey Katzenberg 

AMC Theatres, Cinemark Theatre, Grace Ford Salvatori Foundation, Kempinsky Law Ltd., Frank Marshall & Kathy Kennedy, Rick Nicita, PwC, Heather & James Rosenfield, Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern, LLP, Susan M. Tolson, Paula Wagner