Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Oscar® Update: New Academy president named

Remember the name Tom Sherak. As of Tuesday night, August 18th, Sherak is the newly elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, voted by the organization's Board of Governors.

Sherak becomes the 33rd president of the Academy, known for its annual presentation of its golden Oscar statuettes. He is also beginning his seventh year as a governor representing the Executives Branch — members of the Academy represent 15 general areas. He served as treasurer of the Academy during the past year. He will served a one-year term, after which time the board will vote again.

According to the Academy:
"Sherak, a marketing, distribution and production executive with more than four decades in the motion picture industry, is currently a consultant for Marvel Studios.

Previously, Sherak was a partner at Revolution Studios where he oversaw the release of more than 40 films including “Black Hawk Down,” “Anger Management,” “Rent” and “Across the Universe.”

So what does the president of the Academy do? According to Variety: "The president chairs board meetings, has a hand in Oscar-related activities (including securing the Oscarcast producer), is a member of all Academy committees and sits in on as many meetings as time allows as the panels deal with various Acad functions (the library, scholarships, film preservation, et al.)"


Allow me a moment to be vain…

I guess now I will need to get Sherak's autograph. Last year, while a bleacher fan on the red carpet for the Academy Awards, I received the John Hancock of Sid Ganis, the now past Academy president, serving from 2005 until now.
Here is Ganis, in the middle, during final preparations at the 80th Annual Academy Awards.

Two weeks ago, here in Chautauqua, I got the autograph of Ganis' predecessor, Frank Pierson, who served 2001-2005.
Here is my friend and I pictured with Pierson after his lecture at Chautauqua Institution.

So I'd like to wish Sherak good luck. Pierson and Ganis, along with other former Academy presidents, have set the bar very high. I hope he will continue bringing the Academy into the 21st Century.

Other voting news:
Actors Branch governor Tom Hanks was elected first vice president; Producers Branch governor Kathleen Kennedy and Writers Branch governor Phil Robinson were elected to vice presidents posts; Producers Branch governor Hawk Koch was elected treasurer; and Short Films and Feature Animation Branch governor John Lasseter was elected secretary. Ganis, representing the Public Relations Branch, will serve as immediate past president.

The Academy normally announces the news the morning following the board meet, however, in the age of Twitter, execs decided it made more sense to send out the news right away, according to Variety.

Headshot of Sherak by Todd Wawrychuk / ©A.M.P.A.S.

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