Rajiv Dalal, who has served since 2013 as the city’s deputy film czar, said on Thursday that he will run for the state Assembly in a district that covers the east end of the San Fernando Valley and parts of Hollywood.
Assemblyman Mike Gatto, a Democrat, currently holds the seat but will be termed out in 2016. Gatto was co-author of legislation last year that more than tripled the size of the state’s incentive program for film and TV production.
Along with film czar Ken Ziffren, Dalal pushed for the expanded incentive program and drew up plans to streamline city departments to make it easier to shoot in L.A.
In his announcement, Dalal suggested that runaway production and other industry specific issues would be part of his campaign agenda. He said that Sacramento needs lawmakers who understand the film and TV business.
“Unlike most other industries, Hollywood lacks a representative in Sacramento who has worked in our industry and understands our business needs,” he said.
Dalal serves as executive director of the Tom Sherak MS Hope Foundation, named for the city’s first film czar who died last year. He previously was executive director of Time Warner’s corproate affairs division in Asia Pacific, and served as strategic counsel and managing director (India) of the MPAA.
Dalal on Wednesday stepped down from his post in the Mayor’s Office of Motion Picture and Television Production. Mayor Eric Garcetti named Kevin James to the new post of chief film liaison.