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Pollock to Head Film Institute

August 13, 1996|JAMES BATES

Former MCA film chief Tom Pollock on Monday was elected as the next chairman of the American Film Institute.

The volunteer job marks the first position Pollock has taken in Hollywood since resigning in March as vice chairman at MCA nine months after the company was acquired by beverage giant Seagram Co. Before becoming a vice chairman at MCA, Pollock was chairman of the company's motion picture group.

Pollock, 53, who lives in the Santa Barbara area, has been teaching a course at the University of California campus there.

Pollock will formally assume the post in October, succeeding former ABC President Frederick S. Pierce, who has held the post for four years. Pollock, a Columbia Law School graduate, started in Hollywood as a lawyer for the AFI before becoming an entertainment lawyer with what was then known as Pollock, Bloom & Dekom.

The AFI, which is run by Chief Executive Jean Picker Firstenberg, is devoted to advancing the art of film and TV. Much of AFI's focus lately has been on preserving films that have been allowed to deteriorate over the years.

Among the major challenges Pollock said he faces is finding ways to replace the dwindling funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, either through private donations or entrepreneurial programs. The AFI raises money each year through its televised lifetime achievement award. The organization also opened an AFI Showcase in Orlando, Fla., at the Disney-MGM-Studios.

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