It was confirmedyesterday that veteran film banker Jorge Gallegos (pictured) died on Dec 26last year, while on holiday in Khao Lak, Thailand, as a result of the tsunamicatastrophe.

Gallegos is survived by hiswife Lorna and their two sons Christian and James, who themselves all threesurvived the tsunami. The family has selected a specific relief fund and ask that anyone interested in making a donation in Jorge Gallegos' name should contact James Gallegos on

Gallegos was a well-knownfigure in the independent film world as a banker specializing in film financefor over 20 years.

From 1984 to 1987, he waswith Guinness Mahon & Co. as the main board director in charge of theirfilm finance unit. In 1987, hejoined the board of British &Commonwealth Merchant Bank Plc where he had responsibility for media financeactivities.

Since 1995, Gallegos managedAmerican Film Services in Los Angeles, which has represented banks such asBerliner Bank and Dexia Banque Internationale ' Luxembourg and, since February2004, provided full-time North American representation for the Bank of Irelandand their Corporate Telemedia Initiative, providing structured film financingfacilities to large scale and independent production companies.

During his career, Gallegosconcluded loans to finance over 200 individual films with cumulative budgets inexcess of $2 billion. Filmsfinanced included Cliffhanger, Stargate, The Man Without A Face, The Relic,The Merchant of Venice, the upcoming animatedfilm Valiant for producer JohnWilliams, and the recently released film version of Andrew Lloyd-Webber's ThePhantom of the Opera.

Born in Costa Rica, Gallegosmoved to London in 1956 with his family while his mother served as theAmbassador to the Court of St. James. He was schooled privately and at theAmerican School of London. He became a Chartered Accountant with Peat MarwickMitchell in Barcelona, Spain, before returning to London as a banker to thefilm business.

He was a member of the Boardof Directors of BAFTA/LA and a frequent speaker on film finance at conferencesin Europe, Asia and the US.