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IFH 615: The Unfiltered History of Film Distribution with AFM Co-Founder Michael Ryan
Manage episode 341028171 series 2557610
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Michael Ryan started his career working in the TV industry for Sir Lew Grade’s UK company, ITC. In 1978 he formed J&M Entertainment with a colleague, a distribution sales agent for independent films. As J&M grew, it developed its business model to also take responsibility for financing new films & providing production finance. In 1980 Ryan and J&M were founder members of the American Film Marketing Association (AFMA) – later to be renamed Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) – which was formed to provide an annual film market based in Los Angeles. Michael served two terms as Chairman of IFTA (2004-2008) and another three terms from 2015-2021. In 2000, Ryan partnered with Guy Collins. Between them they have financed, sold and produced over 200 films, including The Wild Geese, The English Patient, The General, Whats Eating Gilbert Grape, The Osterman Weekend, the Highlander series, Planet 51 and more recently, at GFM Films with Fred Hedman, Toei Animations Harlock, Absolutely Anything starring Simon Pegg and Simon West-directed action thriller Stratton starring Dominic Cooper. On July 15, 2022, GFM’s Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank, an independently financed and produced animated feature is based on Mel Brooks iconic Blazing Saddles that launched as a project by GFM Films at AFM in 2014, was released across 4,500 U.S. screens by Paramount. Please enjoy my conversation with Michael Ryan.