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IFFLA to honor two extraordinary women

March 28
22:36 2013
Bela Bajaria

Bela Bajaria

LOS ANGELES, CA: The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) has announced its honorees for the Sixth Annual Industry Leadership Awards (ILA): veteran network and cable television executive Bela Bajaria, Executive Vice President, Universal Television, and one of India’s most sought-after producers on the rise, Guneet Monga.

The Industry Leadership Awards honor entertainment industry professionals (US and India-based) who have had a significant impact on the entertainment industry as it relates to India and the Diaspora. The 2013 Industry Leadership Awards will be presented at a gala luncheon on Thursday, April 11 at the iconic entertainment venue, House of Blues in West Hollywood.

“It is truly an honor and a moment of pride for IFFLA and its Board of Directors, to bring a spotlight on two extraordinary women, leaders in their respective fields; Bela Bajaria, persistent in her vision, and paving the way for rising leaders like Guneet Monga, who take it upon themselves to change the game in the entertainment industry,” said IFFLA Chair Christina Marouda.

The keynote address will be given by Andy Bird, Chairman of Walt Disney International and former ILA Honoree. Since joining The Walt Disney Company in 2004, Bird has greatly expanded Disney presence around the world. During his tenure, Disney has acquired UTV, one of India’s premier media and entertainment companies reaching almost 250 million consumers through film, television and interactive media.

IFFLA will also salute Christopher Gebhardt, EVP of Participant Media and General Manager of TAG, Participant’s consulting and agency services division. Participant is a leader in cinematic activism with a philosophy that “a story well told can change the world.” Some of their films include Lincoln, An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting For “Superman” and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. TAG builds communication strategies and programs for brands and foundations, and is about to launch a new initiative to bring their social action campaigns to India.
Actor and IFFLA Trustee Rupak Ginn will serve as MC. Ginn’s credits include The Namesake, Just Wright, Friends With Benefits, and the role of Raj on the USA Network hit series “Royal Pains.”

Mindy Kaling (“The Mindy Project”) will be presenting Bela Bajaria’s award.

“It’s an incredible honor to be recognized by IFFLA and I’m very grateful,” said Bajaria. “I’ve always admired the work the organization does and I am excited to be a part of the festival, which shines a spotlight on distinct voices and focuses on talent in front of and behind the camera from the South Asian community worldwide.”

Said Monga, “I am honored and grateful that such a prestigious award is being bestowed on me. I sincerely thank the entire team of IFFLA for this. I see this as a new milestone and hope to continue doing my best. I would also thank my entire team and specially Anurag for being my rock and support system, always making a strong foundation and carving a path of constant growth.”

Bela Bajaria, a veteran network and cable television executive, was named Executive Vice President, Universal Television in August 2011. She oversees creative programming for one of the country’s largest and most successful television studios, which is responsible for such hit series as “The Office,” “Parks and Recreation,” “30 Rock,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Grimm,” “Smash,” “Bates Motel,” and “Parenthood.” The studio also produces new series such as “The Mindy Project,” “Go On,” “Chicago Fire,” “Deception,” and “Guys with Kids.”

Bajaria was previously the Senior Vice President of Cable Programming for CBS TV Studio and the Senior Vice President of Movies and Miniseries for the CBS Network. Upon creating the cable division at CBS TV Studios in 2007, she shepherded many cable dramas and comedies from prolific writer/directors, including a docu-comedy for Showtime that was produced by Glenn Gordon Caron, “Common Law,” and “Panic Boys” for Showtime. While at CBS, Bajaria also worked on numerous cable projects by notable writers such as Carol Mendelsohn, Julian Fellowes, Augusten Burroughs, Anthony Zuiker and James Ellroy.

Guneet Monga, CEO and Producer AKFPL and Sikhya Entertainment, was named one of the top 12 women achievers in the Global Entertainment industry by The Hollywood Reporter and among the Top 50 Indians changing India by India Today.

The Oscar nominated producer has paved the way for Indian cinema globally, with three of her films premiering at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival: Peddlers by Vasan Bala, and Gangs Of Wasseypur, Part 1 and 2 by Anurag Kashyap.

Her credits include the Oscar nominated short film, Kavi, directed by Gregg Helvey, Aiyya, That Girl In Yellow Boots, and Shaitan by Bejoy Nambiar. She has also co-produced Trishna by Michael Winterbottom. Monga’s forthcoming projects include Monsoon Shootout by Amit Kumar, Haraamkhor by Shlok Sharma, Toba Tek Singh by Pan Nalin, and the Oscar winning director Danis Tanovic’s next venture starring Emraan Hashmi.

India Post News Service 

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