Birnbaum & Pierson to design forums, advise faculty

Roger Birnbaum will join Frank Pierson as artistic director of the American Film Institute for the 2004-05 academic year.

Pierson, also the current prexy of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, has been artistic director since 1995. Birnbaum is co-chairman and co-CEO of Spyglass Entertainment.

Alongside Pierson, Birnbaum’s duties will include designing and carrying out a series of forums for AFI fellows, as well as advising the AFI Conservatory faculty and providing counseling when necessary.

Birnbaum founded Spyglass Entertainment with partner Gary Barber. Their movies include “The Sixth Sense,” “Seabiscuit” and “The Count of Monte Cristo.”

Pierson’s screenwriting credits include “Cat Ballou” and “Cool Hand Luke.” Directing credits include 1976’s “A Star Is Born.”

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