Shreedhar Kothari might be a public accountant by day, but beneath his green visor resides a passion for the big screen. In particular, Kothari loves the movies of Bollywood, the nickname for the film industry his home country of India.
“Movie-making always fascinated me. I’m a music lover and I enjoyed listening to the music (in Bollywood movies),” said Kothari. Bollywood films, unlike Hollywood fare, feature frequent song-and-dance numbers.
So when a friend asked him to sit on the board of the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, he couldn’t resist. The festival is a non-profit organization dedicated to showcasing and supporting Indian movies and film-makers.
“I wanted to join an organization that gives an opportunity to independent film-makers to showcase their work,” Kothari said.
He joined the board in January, bringing with him nearly 15 years of experience as vice president of Santa Monica-based public accounting firm Gumbiner Savett Inc. In the months leading up to the April 20-25 festival, held at the ArcLight theater in Hollywood, he helped direct financing of the project.
Prior to joining the board, Kothari attended the festival as an audience member. This year, he discovered how much work goes into running the event, which in this edition featured 14 feature screenings, and showcases for documentaries and short films.
“The most fascinating thing that I found was the army of volunteers that put up such a good event,” Kothari said. “It’s a well-put-together team of people.”
Despite his love for movies while growing up in Ahmedabad, India, it was a talent for numbers that influenced Kothari’s career decisions and eventually led to him becoming a certified public accountant.
After studying accounting in India, Kothari and his wife, Roopa – also a CPA – decided to move to New York in 1992. A family vacation in California convinced the couple to relocate to Los Angeles in ’95.
“I always wanted to explore the world,” Kothari said, explaining his move to the United States. “I thought the U.S. had tremendous opportunities.”
Kothari, 43, lives in Playa del Rey with his wife and two sons. In his spare time, he bicycles and plays tennis.
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