AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE

at the EGYPTIAN

 

biographies

 

 

Peter Bart (Vice President, American Cinematheque)

Peter Bart was educated at Swarthmore College and the London School of Economics. He spent ten years as a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times before entering the motion picture industry. Bart joined Paramount Pictures in 1967 and in his eight-year tenure with the studio played a pivotal role in developing and supervising such landmark motion pictures as The Godfather, Paper Moon, Harold and Maude, True Grit and Rosemary’s Baby. Departing Paramount in 1974, Bart formed an independent production company which produced, Fun With Dick and Jane and Islands in the Stream.

During his tenure as president of Lorimar Films, beginning in 1977, the company produced the highly successful features, Being There and The Postman Always Rings Twice. Subsequently, Bart served as senior vice president of MGM/UA from 1983 to 1985.

Bart joined Variety in 1989 and, as vice president and editor-in-chief of Variety, Inc., presides over the editorial content of its other flagship publications Daily Variety and Daily Variety – The Gotham Edition.

Bart has written eight books – most recently "Boffo! How I Learned to Love the Blockbuster and Fear the Bomb" in 2006. He hosts the weekly AMC television program, "Sunday Morning Shootout," with Peter Guber. Bart also served as executive producer of a documentary film for HBO which will be broadcast in June, 2006.

 

 

 

Peter J. Dekom, Esq. (Former American Cinematheque Co-Chairman)

Peter J. Dekom. Esq. is currently "of counsel" with the Beverly Hills law firm of Weissmann, Wolff, Bergman, Coleman, Grodin and Evall and was formerly a partner in the firm of Bloom, Dekom, Hergott and Cook. His clients have included such Hollywood notables as George Lucas, Keenen Ivory Wayans, John Travolta, Ron Howard, Rob Reiner, Andy Davis, Robert Towne, Paul Haggis and Larry Gordon among many others, as well as corporate clients such as Sears, Roebuck and Co., Pacific Telesis and Japan Victor Corporation (JVC).

He has been listed in Forbes among the top 100 lawyers in the United States and in Premiere as one of the 50 most powerful people in Hollywood.

Mr. Dekom has been a management consultant and entrepreneur in the fields of entertainment, Internet, and telecommunications. As a consultant (Film Advisor) to the state of New Mexico, Mr. Dekom is and was instrumental in creating, writing and implementing legislation to encourage film and television production in the state (resulting in a one-hundred fold increase in production expenditures). He assisted in providing off-balance sheet, insurance-backed financing for major motion picture studios.

Mr. Dekom served on the board of directors of Imagine Films Entertainment while the company remained publicly traded and was a board member of Will Vinton Studios and Cinebase Software, among others, leaving upon change of ownership. He has also served as a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and Academy Foundation, Board of Directors, Chairman (now Emeritus) of the American Cinematheque, and has in the past functioned on the Advisory Board of the Shanghai International Film Festival. He is also on the Board of Governors for the America Bar Assn.’s Sports and Entertainment Law Section, where he lectures frequently. Mr. Dekom has most recently lectured at the Haas School of Business of the University of California at Berkeley and has in the past been an adjunct professor at UCLA.

The Beverly Hills Bar Association honored Mr. Dekom as Entertainment Lawyer of the Year in 1994, the Family Assistance Program named him Man of the Year in 1992 for his work with the homeless, and the Century City Bar Association honored him as Entertainment Lawyer of the Year in 2004. Author of dozens of scholarly articles, Mr. Dekom is the co-author of Not on My Watch; Hollywood vs. the Future (New Millennium Publishing, 2003).

Mr. Dekom graduated from Yale in 1968, and graduated first in his class in 1973 from the UCLA School of Law. He is married to Kelley Choate and has a son, Christopher (b. 1983), who is a recent graduate of Duke University.

Peter J. Dekom, Esq. has been involved with the American Cinematheque since 1987. He was American Cinematheque Co-Chairman at the time of the Grand Re-Opening of the Egyptian Theatre in 1998.

 

 

Rick Finkelstein

Vice Chairman, Universal Pictures and Executive Vice President, Universal Studios Rick Finkelstein is Vice Chairman, Universal Pictures and Executive Vice President, Universal Studios. He is part of the Office of the Chairmen for Universal Pictures and oversees special projects for Ron Meyer, President and Chief Operating Officer, Universal Studios. Mr. Finkelstein directs the revenue activities associated with Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Universal Pictures International Home Video and NBC Universal International Television Distribution. He represents Universal as a member of the board of directors of the Motion Picture Association of America as well the board of directors of Movielink and Sundance Channel. 

Mr. Finkelstein, was President of Universal Pictures since November 1999, and was named Chief Operating Officer in December 2000. He previously served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategic Planning for Universal Studios, a post he held since March 1999.  Mr. Finkelstein joined Universal from PolyGram Filmed Entertainment (PFE), where he served as Executive Vice President. Mr. Finkelstein was also responsible for the integration of PFE into Universal Studios. Prior to joining PFE, Mr. Finkelstein was President of Nelson Films, and before that served as executive vice president of De Laurentiis Entertainment Group. From 1978 to 1986, he practiced entertainment law with Mitchell, Silverberg and Knupp.

 

 

William Friedkin

William Friedkin may be best known for his film The Exorcist (1973), one of the most terrifying films of all time. It received ten Academy Award nominations including Best Director and Best Picture. Prior to that, he directed The French Connection (1971), for which he received the Director’s Guild of America Award and the Academy Award for Best Director. The film also won for Best Actor, Best Editing, Best Screenplay and Best Picture.

Other films include Sorcerer (1977), The Brinks Job (1979), Cruising (1981), To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) and Blue Chips (1994). In 1997, he directed a Showtime/MGM television remake of Twelve Angry Men with Jack Lemmon, George C. Scott, Hume Cronyn and Ossie Davis. The DGA nominated him for Outstanding Directorial Achievement for Best Dramatic Special. It was also nominated for six Emmy Awards.

He made his operatic debut in 1998 with a widely acclaimed Wozzeck in Florence and his Los Angeles Opera debut in 2002 with Duke Bluebeard’s Castle and Gianni Schicchi. He returned to Los Angeles Opera in 2004 to direct Ariadne auf Naxos. In 2005, he directed the operas Samson & Delilah in Israel and Aida in Italy. In September 2006, he directed Duke Bluebeard’s Castle/Gianni Schicchi at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and in October 2006 Salome in Munich, Germany.

Recent films include Rules of Engagement (2000) and The Hunted starring Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio del Toro (2003) and Bug with Ashley Judd which will be released in 2007.

 

 

Dean Hallett

Dean Hallett is Executive Vice President, Operations Strategy and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Fox Filmed Entertainment (FFE), where he has been a key member of the executive team and has been instrumental in shaping the overall strategy of the studio. In his current role, Hallett provides strategic direction and operational guidance to all FFE divisions including theatrical production, worldwide theatrical marketing and distribution, worldwide home entertainment, television distribution, digital exhibition and digital media distribution. He aligns and optimizes resources while providing guidance to each of the studio divisions as they integrate digital product offerings into day-to-day operations. Hallett also oversees strategic planning and business development, studio and post-production operations, information technology and finance.

Previously, Hallett served as Executive Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer of FFE, heavily involved in driving several studio initiatives including a potential premium in-home movie service, the company-wide content management strategy, and the digital cinema strategy and rollout.

Prior to joining Fox, Hallett was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for The Walt Disney Studios (TWDS), a position he had held since January 2000. Prior to his CFO role, he was Senior Vice President, Planning and Control for TWDS, where he drove international theatrical and home entertainment integration initiatives, served as executive sponsor for shared services of The Walt Disney Company and helped spearhead strategic sourcing and ERP initiatives for the corporation.

Hallett joined The Walt Disney Company in 1990 as a Manager in the Corporate Management Audit department. He was named Director of Finance at Buena Vista Pictures Marketing in 1991 and promoted to Vice President in 1994.

Hallett came to Disney from Anthony Industries, Inc. (now K2, Inc.), where he was Group Controller, after spending more than seven years with Ernst & Whinney, including a one-year stint in the UK.

A native of Los Angeles, California, Hallett received his degree in business administration from the University of Southern California in 1980.

 

 

Mike Medavoy (Former American Cinematheque Co-Chairman)

Mike Medavoy, who joined the American Cinematheque Board of Directors in early 1994, has been an entertainment industry leader for more than two decades, and recently formed his own company, Phoenix Pictures. Prior to that as Chairman of TriStar Pictures, Medavoy had significant involvement in some of the most memorable films in motion picture history including PHILADELPHIA, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, CLIFFHANGER, TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY, BASIC INSTINCT, THE FISHER KING, HOOK, THE MIRROR HAS TWO FACES, and THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT. Prior to joining TriStar in 1990, Medavoy had been part of the management team that led United Artists and Orion Pictures. The impressive list of Best Picture Academy-Award winners he was involved in include: ROCKY, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOOS NEST, ANNIE HALL, AMADEUS, PLATOON, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and DANCES WITH WOLVES.

Phoenix Pictures upcoming releases include director Bryan Singer's highly anticipated APT PUPIL, and THE THIN RED LINE an epic based on James Jones' World War II novel and directed by the acclaimed Terrence Malick. Medavoy has received several lifetime achievement awards including the Motion Picture Pioneer Award and the Cannes Film Festival and UCLA Career Achievement Awards.

American Cinematheque Co-Chairman at the time of the Grand Re-Opening of the Egyptian Theatre in 1998.

 

RICK NICITA, (American Cinematheque Chairman)


Rick Nicita is COO and co-chairman of Morgan Creek Productions, one of the leading and most successful independent production entities in the film business.

 Nicita graduated from Wesleyan University in 1967 and began his career at the William Morris Agency in New York in 1968. He worked in the Motion Picture Department representing actors and actresses until 1976, when he transferred to the William Morris office in Beverly Hills. In 1980, he joined CAA, where he went on to co-head the Motion Picture Department and head the Talent Department before being named co-chairman of the agency. Over the years, he has represented many of the world’s leading actors and directors, including Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Al Pacino, Anthony Hopkins, Kurt Russell, Jeff Bridges, Garry Marshall, Kevin Costner, and Rob Reiner. He has also been listed as one of the most influential people in Hollywood by Premiere Magazine and Entertainment Weekly. Through his successful representation of clients, Nicita has helped to reposition the overall structure of talent relationships in the entertainment industry. He also helped pioneer the strategy of actor-based properties and production companies.

He has been involved with the American Cinematheque since 1999.


 

 

MARK ORDESKY

Executive Vice President, New Line Productions

A lifelong fan of J.R.R. Tolkien's novels, Mark Ordesky was an early champion of the Oscar-winning The Lord of the Rings trilogy at New Line Cinema and, as an executive producer of all three films, played a key role in their production. Ordesky is currently overseeing another high profile fantasy adventure for New Line – The Golden Compass, an adaptation of the first of author Philip Pullman’s bestselling His Dark Materials novels. The Golden Compass is written and directed by Chris Weitz (About a Boy) and features an ensemble cast including Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Sam Elliott, and newcomer Dakota Blue Richards.

Also in the fantasy vein, Ordesky is simultaneously supervising Inkheart, based on the best-selling Cornelia Funke novel. Inkheart is being directed by Iain Softley (Wings Of The Dove), and stars Brendan Fraser, Paul Bettany, Helen Mirren, Jim Broadbent, Andy Serkis and newcomer Eliza Bennett.

In 1997, following the acquisition of the Oscar-winning Shine, Ordesky began a five-year tenure as the head of Fine Line Features, where he helped foster a unique film culture that included the likes of Bernardo Bertolucci, Lars Von Trier, and David Mamet, and provided a haven for emerging talent such as Sundance winners Gavin O'Connor (Tumbleweeds) and Bob Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman (American Splendor). Ordesky has also acquired such acclaimed films as Cannes-winner Dancer In The Dark, Saving Grace, the Oscar-nominated Before Night Falls, Tumbleweeds, The Sweet Hereafter and American Splendor.

His career at New Line Cinema began 18 years ago when he developed a taste for material as a script reader. Working his way up the ladder at the company, Ordesky did everything from managing the company's relationship with John Waters to successfully introducing Jackie Chan to U.S. audiences with the breakout hit Rumble in the Bronx.

 

 

James G. Robinson (Egyptian Capital Campaign Chairman, Treasurer)

James G. Robinson is Chairman and CEO of three highly successful entertainment companies: Morgan Creek Productions, Morgan Creek International and the Morgan Creek Music Group.

For 21 years, Morgan Creek Productions has continued to be one of the leading and most successful independent production entities in the film business.  Under Robinson’s leadership, Morgan Creek has produced an assortment of highly successful and critically acclaimed features including the Young Guns and Major League franchises; the award-winning Enemies, A Love Story; the critically-acclaimed Pacific Heights; the blockbuster Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves; the explosive True Romance; the hit comedy Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and the smash sequel Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.

Recent releases include the political comedy, Man of the Year, directed by Barry Levinson and starring Robin Williams; the drama The Good Shepherd, directed by Robert DeNiro, starring Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie; and Georgia Rule, starring Jane Fonda, Lindsay Lohan and Felicity Huffman, directed by Garry Marshall.

 In recognition for his numerous accomplishments, Robinson has been honored as Producer of the Year at the National Association of Theatre Owner’s ShoWest Awards.  Robinson's winning production philosophy is genius in its simplicity: make sensibly budgeted films of all genres, market them imaginatively, and retain control of all advertising and distribution.  Winning the award put him in the estimable company of such notable talents as Warren Beatty, James L. Brooks, James Cameron, Francis Ford Coppola, Michael Douglas, John Hughes, Arnold Kopelson, Joel Silver and Steven Spielberg.

 

HENRY SHIELDS, JR., (American Cinematheque President)

Henry Shields, Jr. has been the President of the American Cinematheque since 2000. Since 1980 he has been a partner in the litigation group of the law firm of Irell & Manella LLP. He specializes in civil trials in state and federal courts. Over the years he has represented a number of prominent entertainment companies in litigation raising, among others, a variety of First Amendment, copyright, right to privacy and business related issues.

 


Sigurjon "Joni" Sighvatsson (Former American Cinematheque President)

Sigurjon "Joni" Sighvatsson, a Cinematheque Board Member since 1992, was president of Lakeshore Entertainment from May 1995 until September of this year. He was appointed as Lakeshore's president at the company's inception, following his departure from Propaganda Films, an award-winning commercial, music video, television and motion picture production company he co-founded in 1986. Under Sighvatsson’s direction, Propaganda Films garnered 30 MTV Awards, two Grammys, four Clios and the Commercial Palme D’Or for clients including Michael Jackson, Nine Inch Nails, AT&T, Apple, Nike and Pepsi. For television, Sighvatsson produced the Emmy nominated and Peabody Award-winning miniseries "Armistead Maupin's TALES OF THE CITY," the triple ACE Award-winning anthology series FALLEN ANGELS, the quadruple ACE Award-winning HEAT WAVE as well as the innovative David Lynch series TWIN PEAKS. Amassing a host of prestigious international awards for Propaganda’s feature film division, Sighvatsson produced David Lynch’s critically acclaimed WILD AT HEART, winner of the Cannes Film Festival Palme D’Or, John Dahl’s RED ROCK WEST and Madonna's TRUTH OR DARE as well as the critically acclaimed feature film, BASQUIAT. At Lakeshore, Sighvatsson is responsible for such films as THE REAL BLONDE, POLISH WEDDING starring Claire Danes, and the upcoming ARLINGTON ROAD, starring Tim Robbins and Jeff Bridges, and 200 CIGARETTES starring Courtney Love and Ben Affleck.

American Cinematheque President at the time of the Grand Re-Opening of the Egyptian Theatre in 1998.

 

Barbara Zicka Smith (Director of American Cinematheque)

Barbara Zicka Smith co-founded the American Cinematheque and has served as the organization’s Executive Director since 1992. Currently, she is involved in developing the historic Egyptian Theater in Hollywood as the permanent home of the American Cinematheque. Prior to her involvement with the Cinematheque, Smith was the Associate Director of the legendary Los Angeles International Film Exposition (FILMEX) from 1977 to 1983.

 

Steve Tisch (Egyptian Capital Campaign Chairman)

Dynamic movie and television producer Steve Tisch has led a life rich in spirit and philanthropy. His television and feature film projects have consistently focused on the lives of everyday people and the significant impact they made upon society.

This summer, Tisch served as the executive producer of AMERICAN HISTORY X (New Line Cinema), starring Edward Norton and Edward Furlong. Tisch is the executive producer on the drama, LOOKING FOR ECHO, starring Diane Verona and Armand Assante, which is currently shooting. He recently executive produced the English gangster comedy LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS, starring Sting.

Tisch's most noteworthy achievement is the production of 1994's Academy Award winner for Best Picture, FORREST GUMP (Paramount Pictures). FORREST GUMP received five other Academy Awards and also won a Golden Globe Award for Best Picture. It remains the fourth largest grossing domestic box office film of all time.

By the age of 22, Tisch was a production executive at Columbia Pictures where he supervised such films as THE LORDS OF FLATBUSH, TOMMY, THE LAST DETAIL, and WHITE LINE FEVER.

In 1976, he left Columbia to produce his first motion picture, OUTLAW BLUES, starring Peter Fonda and Susan Saint James. Tisch met Jon Avnet during the shoot and soon the pair formed Tisch/Avnet Productions which produced the 1983 sleeper hit, RISKY BUSINESS starring Tom Cruise. In 1984, Tisch/Avnet produced the controversial THE BURNING BED, starring Farrah Fawcett. This made for television movie is the highest rated television film ever aired on NBC and it received 11 Emmy nominations and numerous other awards. The film has also been credited with providing many women with the courage to seek help from physical abuse.

In 1986, Tisch formed his own production company, the Steve Tisch Company. His most recent theatrical releases include: THE POSTMAN (Warner Bros.); WILD AMERICA (Warner Bros./Morgan Creek); THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT (New Line Cinema); DEAR GOD (Paramount); and CORRINA, CORRINA (New Line Cinema). In 1994, CORRINA, CORRINA was the only film selected by the United Nations to be screened by their membership at their annual conference.

Tisch has also made an impressive mark on the small screen. He produced the made for cable movies, KEEP THE CHANGE (TNT) starring William Petersen; AFTERBURN (HBO), starring Laura Dern, which garnered three Emmy Award nominations and JUDGEMENT (HBO), starring Keith Carradine, Blythe Danner, Jack Warden and David Strathairn. His network movies include the highly-rated THE PEOPLE NEXT DOOR, starring Nicolette Sheridan, EVIL IN CLEAR RIVER, starring Lindsey Wagner and Randy Quaid and OUT ON THE EDGE, starring Rick Shroeder.

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