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Ashok Amritraj’s speech at 2nd AFFF

By: By: <a href="/columnists/goher-iqbal-punn/index.html" target="_blank">Goher Iqbal Punn</a>
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The charming, suave and very intelligent filmmaker of international repute, Ashok Amritraj, who is the CEO of Hyde Park Entertainment, recently delivered the keynote speech on 3rd March at the auspicious occasion of Second Annual Film Finance Forum held in Century City in California. A horde of personalities were witnessed at the event. The auditorium was packed from tip to toe having who"s who of the entertainment fraternity, VIPs, finance leaders and the people from all walks of life. Winston Baker presented this forum in association with Variety and Thomsan Reuters.

Amritraj, who retired from the game of tennis after vanquishing the flags of fame in 1980 then turned to the swanky media of entertainment in 1984 with his first production, 'Fear – In a Handful of Dust", uttered his views on the core issue of financing in independent cinema. Ashok Amritraj also expressed his mind chipping in views on the world market that plays a very critical role in film financing. The classy filmmaker then went on churning out his thought on the future of independent films.

The adroit man, who made his strapping standing in world"s giant entertainment industry 'Hollywood" with his efforts, hard work, abilities and determination, joined Hollywood bandwagon in 1984 with 'Fear – In a Handful of Dust" then made 'Double Impact" in 1991 (starring Jeane-Claude Van Damme). In 1999 he launched his production company, 'Hyde Park Entertainment". Year 2008 witnessed his partnership with Imagination (Abu Dhabi) and in 2009 this partnership extended to include Singapore"s MDA. In the same year, Fox released Ashok"s 100 film titled 'Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li". Year 2009 proved to be more successful for Amritraj when Hyde Park-Imagination Abu Dhabi-MDA unleashed their first joint venture, 'Street Dancing".

Expressing his views on the passion for cinema, Amritraj said, “Growing up in India, I always loved watching Hollywood movies. Studio films… Independent films… it didn"t matter. Today, 30 years and 100 films later, my love for cinema is stronger than ever. That"s a good thing, because as an independent producer, you can"t ever lose that passion. Being a producer is so challenging, that you"d better love it. There are far easier ways to make a living in this world. But to my mind, none as gratifying…"

In addition to all, Screen International recently profiled Amritraj and his 100th film.

A Cursory Look at Ashok Amritraj"s Hyde Park Entertainment:

Ashok Amritraj"s Hyde Park Entertainment Group has established itself as one of the most prolific and successful major production companies in Hollywood — responsible for such critical and box office hits as Bringing Down the House, Shopgirl, Premonition, Raising Helen and Walking Tall. Hyde Park has grown into a cutting-edge alternative to the traditional Hollywood studio system for filmmakers, by making it one of the few progressive global independent companies that encompasses most elements of a full-fledged studio.

The company — which includes live-action, animation and cross-cultural cinema — is capable of developing, producing and financing projects, as well as handling their international sales and marketing. With partnerships in Singapore, India and the Middle East, Amritraj"s Hyde Park has pioneered the effort to build a bridge between East and West by bringing together cinema and cultural exchanges and providing a platform for Indian and Asian talent to be showcased globally.

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