Disney chief named chairman of AMPAS effort

In a major move toward constructing a motion-picture museum in Los Angeles, Academy president Tom Sherak announced Wednesday that Walt Disney Co. prexy-CEO Bob Iger will serve as fund-raising chairman for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Annette Bening and Tom Hanks will join as co-chairs.

“The momentum has been building for a long time,” Academy CEO Dawn Hudson noted, “and with the enthusiasm Bob, Annette and Tom all bring — and the respect they are accorded throughout the industry — we have marked the beginning of a new chapter for this project.”

Sherak told Variety that he expects to raise the majority of the funds needed within a year, though he declined to talk total dollars. Once the initial fund-raising is complete, the Acad will endow the museum with $50 million.

He added that the Academy has already been approached by a number of industry figures who want to donate money to the project but declined to name names. “We are dealing with a constituency that wants to show the world what we do,” Sherak said.

Though the org has been talking about a museum for decades, appointing Iger is the first real step since the Academy put its plans on hold in 2008.

“The climate is still hard,” Sherak said. “I don’t think it’s as tough as it was. We don’t have to raise anywhere near what we had to raise in 2007, but is it a no-brainer? No, it’s not.”

The Academy announced a partnership with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in October to lease the former May Co. building at the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax to serve as the movie museum’s home.

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