“When you are passionate about supporting a cause you believe in, you can make things happen.” says Shreedhar (Shree) Kothari (shown in photo with wife Roopa), a shareholder here at Gumbiner Savett. For the fourth year in a row, Shree is in the middle of tax busy season and is still “making things happen” as a board member and treasurer for the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles.
The festival runs from Tuesday, April 9 to Sunday, April 14. (The end date is one day shy of Shree’s April 15 tax busy season deadline.) This year’s impressive program reflects the rich diversity of Indian cinema, which is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year, as well as the future of Indian filmmaking, with cutting-edge filmmakers bringing their acclaimed films to Los Angeles. The festival now in its 11th year, serves as a portal between the two largest entertainment industries in the world – U.S. and India – and helps to create a platform for up-and-coming filmmakers to tell their story.
Passion for Indian Cinema
“I’ve always been fascinated with the entertainment industry and my passion for Indian cinema, in particular, began at a very young age when I was growing up in India,” says Shree. “When I came on board four years ago, the festival was already very well established but I have seen it grow so much more, the quality of the films and the sponsors have improved every year.”
Due to Shree’s financial expertise and deeply-rooted presence in the local community his number 1 job is to raise money for IFFLA and has increased fundraising efforts and sponsorship outreach. Not only is the festival experiencing an increase of sponsorship since last year, but Kothari says sponsor interest is at an all-time high. With sponsors like Dish Network, Nickelodeon, Comcast/NBC Universal, Sony, Walt Disney, Deluxe, SAG-AFTRA, Taj Hotels and Resorts, Heineken, Turkish Airlines and Wells Fargo, it is clear that the festival is well recognized by not only Hollywood but also large brands.
“We are so thrilled to have Shree on our board,” says Christina Marouda, the board chair and festival organizer. “We appreciate his leadership and guidance, not just for accounting and tax issues related to nonprofits, but also for fundraising opportunities and providing creative ideas to keep IFFLA growing. His presence and participation on the board has had a great impact to the success and growth of the festival.”
Gumbiner Savett has been a sponsor of the event for the last four years, and has a long-time relationship with the entertainment industry, working with various clients including independent production entities, film and television studios, foreign entertainment companies, post production houses, independent record labels, and distributors, as well as agents, lawyers, artists, musicians, actors, producers, directors, screenwriters and authors.
“It’s important for our partners to integrate themselves into the local community and we’re extremely supportive of Shree’s participation with IFFLA,” says Michael Savoy — Gumbiner Savett’s Managing Director. “It’s rare to find a cause you are passionate about that also allows you to use your business skills to give back to your culture and your community.”
For a full line-up of the films participating in the festival check the IFFLA Website.