×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hyde Park Entertainment’s Ashok Amritraj on His New Role as India Goodwill Ambassador

Ashok Amritraj has already had two stellar careers: He was a tennis professional who played Grand Slam doubles with his brother Vijay and, after moving to L.A. from India in his early 20s, he set up Hyde Park Entertainment, a successful and prolific indie studio since 1999.

Now, the dapper 60-year-old has been recognized for his least-known role: as a committed agent of change in his native country. At a ceremony Jan. 27 in New Delhi, the United Nations appointed Amritraj as U.N. in India Goodwill Ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals. He was honored for his work across 17 development programs, including poverty and hunger alleviation, improvements in water and sanitation, and promoting gender equality. U.N. officials praised him as “a powerful advocate” for development and “a pioneering force in bridging India and Hollywood through film and media.”

“India’s traditions and cultures are with me all the time,” Amritraj tells Variety. “They shaped my tennis, my film decisions, and how I brought up my children. In somewhat Kipling fashion, we learned to play to win, but to treat triumph and disaster equally. Win or lose, we’d always say ‘Great match.’”

Among his contributions is his reality TV show “Chance of a Lifetime,” which brought together young people from India, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates to make short films on themes such as AIDS, migration, and universal education. The show — produced by Hyde Park, the U.N., ImageNation Abu Dhabi, and Variety — aired on Indian public broadcaster Doordarshan. The winning short played at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013. Other Hyde Park initiatives revolve around internet and cellular connectivity, including partnerships with the Indian government, the U.N., and creators of content for smartphones and digital media.

Additionally, Hyde Park has more than a dozen commercial projects in development, including the horror-thriller “Prey,” produced with Jason Blum.

Amritraj predicts that India’s global influence will grow in the next five to 10 years. “No question, it is definitely India’s decade,” he says. “Today’s girls and boys are smart and ambitious and come from a generation that thinks globally. Global Indians, be they in London, L.A., or Silicon Valley, are very supportive.”

More Biz

  • Johnny Depp

    Johnny Depp Trial Over Location Manager's Assault Suit Delayed to May

    Update: On Wednesday afternoon, Judge Holly Fujie ordered the trial postponed. A new trial date was set for May 11, 2020. Johnny Depp is expected to appear in a Los Angeles courtroom next week for a trial on a lawsuit alleging that he punched a location manager during the 2017 shoot for “City of Lies.” [...]

  • Stranger Things Season 3

    Netflix Undershoots U.S. Subscriber Adds for Q3, Beats Profit Forecast

    Netflix fell slightly short of its U.S. subscriber forecast in the third quarter — and projected lower Q4 subscriber growth than Wall Street was expecting as competition looms from Apple and Disney. Still, the company reported solid gains, announcing a Q3 record for paid subscriber additions and revenue, and handily topped analyst forecasts for profit. [...]

  • Despacito Luis Fonsi Daddy Yankee

    'Despacito' Tops Vevo's Most-Watched Videos of the Past Decade Chart

    In celebration of its 10-year anniversary, Vevo today announced its Top 10 lists of the decade’s most-watched music videos. Not surprisingly, the Most-Watched Music Video accolade goes to Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” (featuring Daddy Yankee), with 6.4 billion views since its release in early 2017. The second most-viewed video is Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” (featuring Bruno [...]

  • MoviePass card

    MoviePass Accused of Contract Breach by Oasis Ventures

    Oasis Ventures Entertainment, a Dubai-based investment fund, sued MoviePass on Monday, alleging that the loyalty-card company stole film titles to create its film unit. Oasis has had a joint venture with action movie producers Randall Emmett and George Furla since 2013. In 2018, Emmett Furla Oasis went into business with Helios and Matheson Analytics, the [...]

  • The Laundromat Netflix

    'Panama Papers' Attorneys Sue Netflix to Block Release of 'The Laundromat'

    The lawyers at the heart of the “Panama Papers” scandal have filed a federal suit seeking to block Netflix from releasing “The Laundromat,” the Steven Soderbergh film that stars Meryl Streep. Jurgen Mossack and Ramon Fonseca, the principals of Mossack Fonseca, allege that the film defames them and uses their firm’s logo without authorization. In [...]

  • Reese Witherspoon Kerry Washington Ryan Reynolds

    Market for Package Deals and Original Ideas Heats Up Ahead of Platform Launches

    Practically every studio in town wanted it, but in the end it was Apple that swept in to nab the reinterpretation of “A Christmas Carol” with Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds. To buy the highly coveted package, the tech giant was willing to shell out more than $60 million to the stars and the film’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content