Already the most famous Indian producer in Hollywood, Hyde Park Entertainment founder Ashok Amritraj was honored by the French government on Friday.
At a ceremony in Mumbai, Amritraj was presented with the Knight of the Order of Arts and of Letters (Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) medal. Minister of External Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian and France’s ambassador to India, Alexandre Ziegler, presided.
The Order of Merit is part of France’s premier award, the Legion of Honor, and is awarded “to recognize eminent artists as well as people who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world.”
Amritraj enjoyed a successful professional tennis career before moving to Los Angeles in his twenties. He established Hyde Park in 1999 and has since produced over 100 movies.
In early 2017, Amritraj was recognized by the United Nations for his role as a committed agent of change in his native country. Amritraj was appointed by the U.N. as India Goodwill Ambassador for its Sustainable Development Goals. Specifically, he was honored for his work across 17 development programs, including poverty and hunger alleviation, improvements in water and sanitation, and promoting gender equality.
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“I am humbled and privileged to receive this honor. I would like to thank the government of France for the Order National Du Merite and for recognizing my journey in the world of cinema,” said Amritraj. “This award is a tribute to the growing cooperation between the film industries of France and India, an idea whose time has come.”