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By Michael Schilf · September 25, 2012

Ashok Amritraj to Host ‘CHANCE OF A LIFETIME’’, Bringing Filmmakers Together From the Middle East, India and Singapore

New York, NY (September 25, 2012)–The United Nations, Hyde Park-Image Nation, and Variety have teamed up to produce a non-scripted series featuring filmmakers from The Middle East, India, and Singapore. This unprecedented effort will bring together documentary filmmakers from diverse backgrounds in a filmmaking competition where the contestants must team up to produce one cinematic vision while drawing on their varied cultural perspectives. The show will be hosted by prolific film producer Ashok Amritraj, and will shine a spotlight on a number of United Nations global initiatives.  The series is a collaboration between the United Nations, Variety, Hyde Park Entertainment and Image Nation.

The series will follow the producer’s search for four teams of filmmakers each with a member from India, the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), and Singapore.  Each week, Amritraj will present the filmmaking teams with various production tasks that they must accomplish to finish their final documentaries. The topics and tone of the films will reflect the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) established at the United Nations and will include storylines that highlight issues that are central to the Every Woman, Every Child effort. The winning team’s documentary will be screened at the United Nations, and they will receive a special recognition from Variety during the 2013 Festival de Cannes.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the United Nations to harness the power of entertainment and shine a spotlight on some of the world’s most critical issues,” said Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. “We hope this show will encourage many more people across the region to think about these global challenges and to become part of the solution.”

Amritraj commented, “Bringing the Middle East, India and Asia to a global audience has always been a passion of mine, and I’m thrilled to provide this platform for filmmakers of such diverse cultures to have a truly collaborative cinematic experience.  The United Nations and Variety have been amazing partners on this project.”

"We're thrilled to participate in this project.   It just feels right to be a part of this effort, seeing that Variety is the preeminent global entertainment news organization, coupled with our steadfast commitment to the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals." said Brian Gott, Publisher of Variety.

“Bringing together aspiring filmmakers from three different regions to create a unified production epitomizes the ideal of the United Nations.  Image Nation is honored to partner with the U.N., Variety and Ashok in creating such a groundbreaking international project,” said Mohamed Al Mubarak, Chairman of Image Nation.  “We look forward to the exciting work that these teams of documentarians will produce.”

In 2009, Amritraj’s Hyde Park Entertainment and Image Nation, the Abu Dhabi production company, partnered on a $250 million financing deal to develop, produce and distribute feature films. They extended their partnership to create a strategic alliance with Singapore’s Media Development Authority (MDA). Under this deal, Hyde Park – Image Nation Singapore was launched in 2010 to fund multiple films worth an estimated production value of $75 million.