Michael Ryan

Michael Ryan – Partner, GFM Films and Chairperson of IFTA

Michael 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 is currently serving his second of two terms having been was re-elected in September 2015 and 2017.

In 2000 Michael partnered with Guy Collins.  Between them they have financed, sold and produced over 200 films, including  'The Wild Geese', ‘The English Patient’, ‘The General’, ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape’, ‘The Osterman Weekend’, the ‘Highlander’ series, 'Planet 51' and more recently, at GFM Films with Fred Hedman, Toei Animation's 'Harlock', ‘Absolutely Anything’ starring Simon Pegg and Simon West-directed action thriller ‘Stratton’ starring Dominic Cooper.   

Current titles on the GFM slate include family animation ‘Blazing Samurai’ with a voice cast including Michael Cera and Samuel L Jackson, ‘The Personal History Of Rachel Dupree’ starring Academy Award Nominee Viola Davis, Academy Award Nominee Quvenzhané Wallis and Emmy Award Nominee Mahershala Ali, post WWII thriller ‘The Last Witness’ starring Alex Pettyfer and ‘The Laureate’ starring Sam Clafin and Imogen Poots.