Ashok Amritraj gets Soul of India award

PTI| Updated: Oct 29, 2013, 19:08 PM IST

London: Tennis player-producer Ashok Amritraj, who has produced 109 Hollywood films, was presented with the `Soul of India Award` for his outstanding achievements in the film industry.

Leading NRI industrialist Dr Rami Ranger presented the award to the 57-year-old producer at the Indian Journalists Association`s Diwali Dinner held at the Bombay Palace here last night.

Leading NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul, Lord Navnit Dholakia, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lord, Lord Karan Billimoria, founder chairman of the Cobra Beers, Acting High Commissioner of India to the UK Dr Virendra Paul and Dr Kartar Lalvani, founder chairman of Vitabiotics, Britain`s largest vitamin producing company, were present on the occasion.

Mrs Paul, wife of Dr Virendra Paul, formally launched Amritraj`s book `Advantage Hollywood` on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Virendra Paul said, "We are so very proud of what you have achieved in Hollywood. It is personally a great honour to be here."

Amritraj said, "It has been a great journey and I could achieve whatever I did because of the support of my parents and my brothers. The last 25 years has been a great ride. The lessons I learnt stood test of the time."

He also said Indian cinema industry has "extra ordinary talent" and also feels `Indian cinema is iconic.`

"Directors and Actors in India are given so much importance. The writers need to be paid more. In Los Angeles writers are well paid," he said.

Amritraj has produced 109 Hollywood films. His hits, starting with `Double Impact` in 1991, have included `Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance`, `Bandits`, `Machete and Premonition`.

The latest, `Life of Crime`, starring Jennifer Aniston and Tim Robbins, closed the Toronto Film Festival and opened the one in Abu Dhabi on October 24.

In addition to his work in the entertainment business, Amritraj spends much of his time on his philanthropic endeavours. He lives in Los Angeles, California, with his wife and two children.