Sherak will pick up his award at a gala dinner to be held at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas during the CinemaCon week scheduled for late March.
Tom Sherak / Getty
Former Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President, Tom Sherak, has been chosen to be this year’s recipient of one of the film industry’s most prestigious awards, the Pioneer of the Year award, organized by the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneer Foundation.
Sherak has been chosen to receive this year’s award in recognition of his humanitarian deeds running for more than twenty years, particularly in the field of multiple sclerosis research.
Among previous figures who have been granted the Pioneer of the Year award during its 67 year history are Alan Horn, Cecil B. DeMille, Darryl Zanuck, Sumner Redstone, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Michael Eisner, Sherry Lansing, Jack Valenti, Jack Warner, and LucasFilm co-chairperson Kathleen Kennedy, recipient of the award in 2013.
On news that he would be receiving this year’s honor Tom Sherak looked back on his long association with the Pioneers, established after World War Two to provide assistance to former movie theater and movie industry employees in need..
“I know how much it meant to an earlier generation and how much it means today for the industry to take care of its own. This is one of the biggest honors you can get.” Sherak enthused.
The annual dinner and awards ceremony was traditionally held in Los Angeles. However in 2011 the foundation took the decision to transfer the dinner to Las Vegas, so that it could be held in conjunction with the CinemaCon convention of movie theater owners and operators, when most leading representatives of the major movie distributors as well as members of the press are present in the city of lights for the conference.
This year’s dinner and is expected to have about 2, 000 attendees, who are expected to donate around $1 million to the Foundation during the gala evening.
In addition to being presented with his award in Las Vegas at the end of March, just two weeks later, Sherak will be in Hollywood on the 11th of April to have a star embedded in his name on the Walk of Fame.
The Motion Picture Pioneers were initially founded in 1939, merging with the Will Rogers Memorial Fund in 2002 to become the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation. In 2013, the foundation provided grants of around $4 million to those eligible and in need.
Tom Sherak began his career in the film industry at Paramount Pictures in 1970, later moving to 20th Century Fox where he spent much of his career in the, holding down a number of high-level posts in the studio’s marketing and distribution departments, eventually being appointed Executive Vice President of the domestic film group in 1990.
Sherak left 20th Century Fox to join the independent Revolution Studios where he was responsible for the release of more than 40 films, including “Anger Management, ” and “Black Hawk Down.”
Despite his busy schedule, served as president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences for two terms between 2009 and 2012, as well as serving as a Director of Motion Picture and Television Fund.
On September 26, 2013, Tom Sherak was appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to the role of director of the newly created Mayor’s Entertainment Industry and Production Office.