IFFLA to felicitate Reliance’s Amit Khanna, Warner’s Fox

Mumbai: The 7th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) will felicitate Richard Fox and Amit Khanna with the IFFLA Industry Leadership Awards.

Fox is the executive vice president of Warner Bros International and head Warner Bros’ non-US initiatives in all phases of the entertainment industry. Khanna is the chairman of Reliance BIG Entertainment, the media arm of the $75 billion Ambani Group that recently completed its purchase of Dreamworks. The award presentation will be made at the IFFLA Industry Leadership Award Luncheon on 24 April, 2009 at the House of Blues in West Hollywood.

The IFFLA Industry Leadership Award was created to recognize the achievements of industry executives who have had a substantial and personal impact on the creation and distribution of Indian themed content globally and have led the expansion of the entertainment and media industry in India.

The IFFLA Industry Leadership Award is presented by the leading entertainment law boutique Raskin Peter Rubin & Simon, based in Los Angeles. Raskin Peter is a full service entertainment industry law firm with global clients in the United States and India. Raskin Peter’s Arnold Peter and the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles executive director Christina Marouda will present the award.

Fox has held his current post since 1992, having begun his career at Warner Bros. in 1975. As part of his responsibilities, he oversees the studio’s local-language film production, acquisition and distribution activities in more than 20 countries around the world. He previously served as president of Warner Bros. Pictures International, where he headed the distribution of the Studio’s film product in all overseas markets before moving into his present position.

Warner Bros. Pictures will release the adventure/comedy Chandni Chowk to China, starring Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone on 16 January, 2009. WBPI recently entered into a multi-picture deal with People Tree Productions, co-owned by Nikhil Advani and also announced that it has entered the animated film arena with Bird with a Cap, to be directed by Jyotin Goel and produced by Goel Screencraft.

"We are very excited to be getting more and more involved in the vibrant and rich Indian film scene," said Fox. "We look forward to working with our Indian partners on various projects and making a real contribution in this important market. We’ll continue to explore additional slate deals as well as seek out projects with young and emerging filmmakers."

Khanna has been involved with media from an early age. He has worked in theatre, radio, television, journalism, and films. He started his film career as an executive producer and subsequently produced and directed feature films and over 3000 hours of television programming. He has written over 400 film and non-film songs and several film scripts. Khanna was the managing director of Plus Channel before joining Reliance Entertainment in 2000. He has served as the president of the Film Producers Guild of India and has been on the committee of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation, Indian Music Industry and the Film Federation of India. Khanna oversees the diverse business at Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (R-ADAG) in the media & entertainment space.

"I’m indeed honored to receive the IFFLA award. I humbly accept it on behalf of the immensely talented team at Reliance BIG Entertainment. More than anyone, the person who deserves all the credit is our chairman Anil Dhirubhai Ambani, whose deep and abiding commitment to media and entertainment, is the reason for the phenomenal growth of Reliance BIG Entertainment," said Khanna.

IFFLA executive director Christina Marouda said, "We take great pride in the fact that IFFLA is not only a place for the creative community to gather, but has become the leading forum in which to recognize the tremendous contributions of business executives such as Fox and Khanna who have helped shape and continue to define the business structures that have made the Indian entertainment industry so vibrant and profitable."

Chair of the Selection Committee Arnold Peter added, "This year’s honorees were not difficult to identify. First, Warner Bros. has had a long and illustrious presence in India. More importantly, Fox is a shining example of a business executive who gives back much more than he takes and that includes his contributions to the entertainment community in India. And what can we say about Reliance? Its acquisition of Dreamworks was perhaps the most talked about transaction of the year. Only a visionary leader like Khanna can guide the company as the company takes its rightful place among the studios that are Hollywood."

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