Michael Ryan

Founder | GFM Films

Michael Ryan headshot

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 was re-elected for a third term in September 2015.

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 Duck Duck Goose produced by Sandra Rabins and Penney Finkelman Cox with a voice cast including Jim Gaffigan, Zendaya, Greg Proops and Stephen Fry, post WWII thriller The Last Witness starring Alex Pettyfer, animated adventure Blazing Samurai with a voice cast including Michael Cera and Samuel L Jackson, and All The Devil’s Men starring Milo Gibson, Sylvia Hoeks and William Fichtner.

Michael is Partner at GFM Films and Chairman at the Independent Film & Television Alliance.

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