Amit Khanna (born 1 March 1951) is an Indian film executive, filmmaker, lyricist, poet, writer and journalist. A core member of Dev Anand's Navketan Films production house, Khanna served as executive producer of seven Hindi movies produced under its banner in the 1970s and 1980s.
|Born||1 March 1951|
|Occupation||Indian film industry executive, producer, lyricist and writer|
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As a lyricist he has penned over 400 songs for Hindi films, music albums and Indian television series. In 1995, he won the National Film Award for Best Lyrics at the 43rd National Film Awards for the song Kuch Is Tarah from the movie Bhairavi. In 1984 he directed the first music video to be shot in India, for Nazia Hassan's music album Young Tarang.
In 1989 Khanna helped set up Plus Channel that produced several National Film Award winning films. In 1996 Khanna won twice at the 44th National Film Awards in his role as film producer: Best Feature Film in Hindi for Gudia and Best Feature Film in Urdu for Sardari Begum. Plus Channel produced India’s earliest audio books in both prose and verse. It also pioneered business news shows on Indian television.
Khanna started writing articles for newspapers in 1982 with Take 2, an entertainment weekly broadsheet. Since then he has become a widely syndicated columnist, focusing on media and entertainment in the Indian film industry.
Early life and educationEdit
Amit Khanna was born to Hem and Jawaharlal Khanna on 1 March 1951 in New Delhi, India. He attended St. Columba's School, Delhi. At the age of 14, he wrote his first poem in Hindi. The following year he wrote his first play, Divorce Indian Style. He wrote poems in English and Hindi, some of which were published in magazines. He took part in children's programs on All India Radio (AIR).
In the mid 1960s he became active in contemporary theatre and worked backstage with Indian theatre personalities such as B. V. Karanth, B. M. Shah, Dinesh Thakur, Virendra Sharma, M. S. Sathyu, Shama Zaidi, Om Shivpuri, Sudha Shivpuri and T.P. Jain.
From 1969 to 1971 he served as the editor of the monthly magazine, Tempus. In 1969 he was involved in the debut of AIR's youth service Yuv Vani. The same year, he also helped organize the commemoration of Urdu poet Ghalib's death centenary.
In 1971 he graduated from St. Stephen's College, Delhi with B.A. (Hons.) in English.
As a lyricist he penned over 200 Hindi film songs, working mainly with music directors like Bappi Lahiri, Rajesh Roshan and Laxmikant–Pyarelal. He also composed lyrics for around 200 songs released in music albums by singers Nazia and Zoheb Hassan, Sharon Prabhakar, Salma Agha, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Mahendra Kapoor and Shafqat Ali Khan. In 1984 he directed three music videos for Nazia Hassan's music album Young Tarang. He was lyricist for the opening theme song of ten Indian television series, including Buniyaad (1986), Dekh Bhai Dekh (1993) and Swabhimaan (1995).
In 1989 Khanna helped set up Plus Channel, a television programming house, and joined it as Managing Director and Group Editor. Under his tenure, the organization expanded its role to produce movies and music, and provide event management services. Several films created under the Plus Films banner went on to win National Film Awards. In 1996 Khanna won two awards as film producer at the 44th National Film Awards: Best Feature Film in Hindi for Gudia and Best Feature Film in Urdu for Sardari Begum. Plus Channel produced India’s earliest audio books in both prose and verse. It also pioneered business news shows on Indian television.
In 2000 Khanna resigned from Plus Channel to join Reliance Entertainment where he served as Chairman for 15 years. Under his guidance, Reliance Entertainment became a major player in Hollywood. In May 2008 the company signed deals to produce and develop movies with prominent Hollywood actors such as Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Jim Carrey and Nicolas Cage. In September 2008 Reliance Entertainment formed a joint venture with Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks SKG named DreamWorks Studios via an equity investment of $325 million. In August 2009 Reliance Entertainment signed an $825 million production and distribution deal with DreamWorks Studios.
Khanna started writing articles for newspapers in 1982 with Take 2, an entertainment weekly broadsheet. Since then he has become a widely syndicated columnist, focusing on media and entertainment in the Indian film industry. His column, Media Musing appeared various Indian newspapers from 1993 to 1997. He wrote the column Enterprise that appeared from 1999 to 2000 in The Economic Times, an Indian English-language financial newspaper. Business Standard, an Indian English-language daily newspaper, published his column Freeze Frame from 2002 to 2008.
He has participated in several conferences & seminars across the world as keynote speaker covering an array of industries. FICCI, Nasscomm, CII & ECO are some of the well-known bodies he has been associated with in various capacities. He is the past Chairman -Convergence Committee of FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) and National Committee of Media & Entertainment of CII (Confederation of Indian Industry). He was a Member of the Prime Minister’s Committee on Information, Communication & Entertainment (ICE), CII’s Service Council and Advisory Board of the Forum d’Avignon, Paris. He was the President – Earth Communications Office (an Environment -NGO), from 1999 to 2015. He was the President - All India Film Producers Council, Film & Television Producers Guild of India Ltd., for three terms and Vice President of Association of Motion Picture & TV Program Producers for 17 years and is the only permanent member of the Council of Management of the Guild (after V. Shantaram and Raj Kapoor). He is a Founder - Trustee of Mumbai Academy of Moving Image.
He has been on the Governing Councils of the Film Institutes in Pune & Kolkata, as well on the Whistling Woods Board. He has been a Guest Lecturer at NYU, USC and other prestigious Institutions around the world. He was the first Indian to serve on the international Emmys Jury. He has also been on the Jury of Film Festivals and various Awards in India & abroad. Besides serving on over 50 International, Government Committees and Trade organizations and Institutions, he has won several awards including three National Awards for Films, Industry Leadership Award at Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) in 2010, First Leadership Award at Indian Film Festival of Houston and a Life Time Achievement Award for Television (UPTRON) in 1995, and CMO Council Masterbrand in 2011, Life Time Achievement Award 2010, Life Time Achievement award for his contribution to Film and TV at the Norway Bollywood Festival 2015.
Time, Newsweek, Variety and Hollywood Reporter Magazines have mentioned him as one of the Global Leaders of film and Television.
Awards and honorsEdit
- UPFJA-1976 & 1981, CINEGOERS- 1979, BFJA -1980,LIONS CLUB-1986, UPTRON-1987, BHAIRAVI (Best Lyrics – National Award)-1996, GUDIA (Best Hindi Film – National Award) 1996, Best Hindi Film – National Award), SARDARI BEGUM (Best Urdu Film – National Award) - 1997, T.V. Personality of the Year (Time magazine) 1997, & others. Reliance Entertainment won over 50 National and International awards under my stewardship.
- Film Festivals - Madrid Intl. Film Festival – Bhairavi 1996, Cairo Intl. Film Festival –Bhairavi 1996, Uncertain Regard - 50th Cannes - Gudia May 96, Edinburg – Gudia Aug 96, Montreal – Gudia Aug 96, Festival dei 5 countries – Gudia Oct 96, Bite the Mango- Gudia - Oct 96, London- Gudia Nov 96, Festival de Mar Del Plata- Gudia, Argentina – Gudia Nov 96, Rennes, France-Gudia Jan 97, The Penang Pearl Awards-SAAZ Aug 97, Indian Panorama- Sardari Begum Jan 97, Tashkent Film Festival- Sardari Begum May 97, Munich Film Festival- Sardari Begum June 97, Moscow Film Festival- Sardari Begum July 97, Montreal World Film Festival- Sardari Begum Aug 97. Various Festival – Reliance Entertainment Films.
His anthology of poetry Anant Raag /Infinite Verse was published by Harper Collins in January, 2013. He is now documenting the History of Indian Media & Entertainment and mentoring. He has also co-authored other books including Encyclopædia Britannica’s Encyclopedia of Bollywood. His next poetic work is due in 2017.
- Bhushan, Ravi (1995). Reference India: Volume 3. Rifacimento International.