Late Distribution Exec Erik Lomis to Receive Will Rogers Pioneer of the Year Award

Late Distribution Exec Erik Lomis to Receive Will Rogers Pioneer of the Year Award

Late Hollywood movie distributor Erik Lomis is being honored posthumously with this year’s Will Rogers Pioneer of the Year Award.

The industry has been looking for a way to pay tribute to Lomis, who died suddenly in March and was a champion of the theatrical business.

The honor will take place Oct. 4 at The Beverly Hilton. Proceeds from the event go to the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation Assistance Fund, which supports individuals in the theatrical entertainment community dealing with illness, injury or a life-changing event.

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“We are honored to celebrate Erik’s life and recognize his achievements in the motion picture industry with the Pioneer of the Year Award,” said Chris Aronson, president of domestic theatrical distribution at Paramount Pictures and WRMPPF past president and chairman. “His distinguished leadership and contributions to the film business, along with his tremendous advocacy, generosity and support of humanitarian causes and philanthropic endeavors, made him a treasured pioneer to which we should all aspire to emulate. Erik’s spirit will continue to inspire many for years to come.”

Lomis was working as MGM’s head of distribution at the time of his death.

The Philadelphia native previously worked at MGM from 1993-2011, with his tenure spanning the rollouts of films such as Legally BlondeBarbershopRocky Balboa and Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond movies, beginning with GoldenEye. He moved on to The Weinstein Co., working there until 2016 on films such as The ArtistThe Iron LadySilver Linings PlaybookDjango UnchainedThe Imitation Game and The Hateful Eight. He departed in 2016 for Meg Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, before moving to United Artists Releasing, the joint venture between MGM and Annapurna that released Daniel Craig’s last Bond film, No Time to Die.

The Pioneer Award dates back more than 75 years, and recognizes leaders in the film industry who boast both career achievements and and philanthropic action. 

Past honorees include James Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, Tom Cruise, Elizabeth Banks, and executives such as Donna Langley Jim Gianopulos, Michael D. Eisner, Alan Horn, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Sherry Lansing as well as late legends such as Jack Warner, Darryl F. Zanuck and Cecil B. DeMille.