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Sanford Panitch

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Title: Sanford Panitch  
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Sanford Panitch

Sanford Panitch
Born Los Angeles, California
Education Tulane University, B.A. Political Science, 1989
Occupation President, international film and television, Sony Pictures
Organization Motion Picture Academy, Executive Branch
Tulane University, Dean's Council
Ambassador, Screen Singapore
Chapman University (Singapore), Advisory Council
Student Voice Project
Board memberĀ of FoxStar Studios (India)
Spouse(s) Kristen Panitch

Sanford Panitch is an American film industry executive. The president of international film and television at Sony Pictures, Panitch founded Fox International Productions, a division of 21st Century Fox, and served as its president from 2008 until 2013.[1][2][3][4][5]

Early life and education

Panitch was born in Los Angeles to Hersh Panitch, an entertainment business manager, and Elaine Panitch, a teacher and author.[5] In 1985, he began his college education at Tulane University in New Orleans, where, as a student, he worked as an editor on the college's newspaper, The Hullaballoo, and dj'd on the university's radio station, WTUL.[6][7] During school breaks in 1987, 1988, and 1989, Panitch interned for New Line Cinema, and capitalized on his experience as an intern by establishing a company, Revive Screening, to distribute New Line Films at various venues in New Orleans. After graduating from Tulane with a degree in Political Science, Panitch sold the company and returned to Los Angeles.[8]


Panitch began his career in 1989 at James Cameron and Gale Ann Hurd's Pacific Western Productions, where he worked on films including The Abyss and Terminator 2: Judgment Day.[9] In 1992, he left Pacific Western to accept a position as Director of Development at Arnold Kopelson Productions,[10] where he worked on The Fugitive, Seven, and Outbreak, among other films.[11] He was promoted to Executive Vice President at Kopelson in 1994.[8] In 1995, after deciding to shift his focus to the studio side of the film business, he was named Executive Vice President of Production at 20th Century Fox.[12] Panitch remained at Fox until 1997, during which time he reunited with Cameron as a production executive on Titanic, and worked on Dr.Dolittle, The Siege and Office Space, in addition to others.

In 1997, Fox's then-parent company, News Corp (now 21st Century Fox), invested in New Regency[13] and Panitch moved to New Regency as President of Filmed Entertainment, where in addition to overseeing New Regency's releases (which included the box-office hits Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Big Momma's House and Man on Fire),[14] he supervised the company's strategic partnership with Chrysler, and worked closely on the marketing and re-branding of Puma, which New Regency founder Arnon Milchan had invested in.[15] In 2008, recognizing the growth of international box office and seeing the large percentage of market share for locally produced films, Panitch created the business model which later became the foundation for Fox International Productions.[5] [16]

In May 2008 Panitch returned to Fox to become president of the newly created 20th Century Fox subsidiary, Fox International Productions, where he oversaw development, production, acquisitions, distribution, and was involved with the marketing, strategic planning and business development of the division for all non-English language theatrical film content. During Panitch's tenure, Fox International Productions produced and/or released films in 12 territories, and was noted for its success in India, China, Korea, Japan, Brazil, Germany and Mexico.[17][18][19]

Panitch was named president of international film and television for Sony Pictures in April 2015.[20]

Personal life

Panitch and his wife, interior designer Kristen Panitch, live in Santa Monica, California. They have two children.[21] Panitch is on the board of trustees for Wildwood School, and is a member of the board of directors for the Santa Monica Canyon Civic Association and the Student Voice Project. He served as an adjunct professor at Tulane, teaching a class on creative writing, and is a former member of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society of Southern California's board of directors.[22] He has spoken at seminars, conventions, and film industry conferences worldwide.[23]

Awards and distinctions

  • Keynote speaker, ScreenSingapore[24]
  • Speaker for United States Department of Commerce International Trade Administration Summit[25]
  • IFFLA Industry Leadership Award[26]
  • Speaker, Confederation of Indian Industry, Big Picture Summit 2013[27]
  • Speaker, World Knowledge Forum, Korea[28]
  • Keynote speaker, Middle East International Film Festival[29]
  • Speaker, Beijing International Film Festival[30]


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