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Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles Awards

The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) today announced the recipients of the 2008 Industry Leadership Award. Sharing the honor this year will be Andy Bird, Chairman, Walt Disney International and Timmy Kandhari, partner and leader, entertainment and media practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers India.

The IFFLA’s 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.

Returning for its sixth year, the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) will take place April 22-27, 2008. ArcLight Hollywood will once again host the festival, which will feature close to 40 films featuring Q&A’s with over 50 attending filmmakers. Highlights will include opening and closing night galas with parties and receptions following, tributes to acclaimed and accomplished Indian filmmakers, special Bollywood By Night 21+ screenings, a “Youth Vision” section featuring family films in both English and Indian languages, and Indian-influenced art and music exhibitions in the ArcLight Courtyard. The six-day film festival will culminate with an awards ceremony highlighted by the announcement of jury selections for Best Feature, Best Documentary and Best Short and Audience Awards for the same categories.

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. Arnold Peter of Raskin Peter and Christina Marouda, Executive Director of the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, will present the award on Friday, April 25, at a Gala Luncheon to be held in Beverly Hills.

As chairman of Walt Disney International, Andy Bird is responsible for targeting new businesses, growing and increasing penetration of Disney’s existing businesses in developed markets such as Western Europe and Japan, and leading the development of business and operations in emerging markets, including India, China, Russia, South Korea and Latin America. Reporting to Disney President and CEO Bob Iger, Mr. Bird works with all of Disney’s business unit leaders around the world, coordinating and overseeing growth opportunities for The Walt Disney Company outside the United States. Mr. Bird has been instrumental in Disney’s entry into the Indian market through its fast-growing Disney-branded businesses including a long-held joint-venture in ESPN STAR Sport, the acquisition of Hungama TV, a leading Indian children’s television channel, a 32.1% equity stake in UTV Software Communications Limited and a recent agreement with Yash Raj Films Studios, India's premier studio, to create a series of original and exclusive computer-animated feature films.

"I have been pleased to know Andy for the last two years closely and for the last five years or more before that. I have found that he is one of the very few Global
Media Personality who knows Asia very well. His international knowledge of the media space is a great treasure trove and an asset and his wide and varied experiences bring a couple of decades worth of lessons to the people and the companies he is associated with. To add to that, his all involving and very down to earth and participatory way of working, has been a great experience for all of us here at UTV," said Ronnie Screwvala, Founder and CEO of UTV Group.

Timmy Kandhari is an executive director in the financial advisory service practice and leader of the entertainment and media practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers India. With more than 20 years experience in business advisory services, management consulting, and taxation, Mr. Kandhari has worked with large Indian and multinational clients in India as well as the United States. He also heads the corporate finance & investment banking practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers India. Mr. Kandhari has worked with a number of domestic and international entertainment and media companies in the Indian media industry and is currently advising a number of them in their expansion plans in India. Mr. Kandhari also has vast merger and acquisitions experience in a broad range of industries including: consumer products, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, healthcare and financial services.

“We are thrilled to honor Andy and Timmy with this award for extraordinary service to their companies and to the global entertainment consumer,” stated Christina Marouda, Executive Director of IFFLA. She added, “Andy and Timmy guide two global entities that are shaping the future of filmed entertainment and other industry sectors in India and internationally. It is with great pleasure that we honor their accomplishments and leadership.”

“I am pleased and honored to accept this award on behalf of The Walt Disney Company,” said Mr. Bird. “India is an exciting, vibrant market that holds infinite possibilities and we look forward to growing our businesses there.”

“The entertainment and media practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers India feels extremely privileged to receive this award, Mr. Kandhari indicated. We believe it is a great honor from the industry in that it highlights the significance of services we provide to our clients and the industry overall, and it challenges us to continue to enhance the quality of our professional services and product offerings in this sector.”

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