Ynon Kreiz, Chairman and CEO of Mattel, will receive the 2023 IFF Industry Leadership Award at the 36th Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles at the Opening Night Gala on Nov. 1. Kreiz spearheaded Mattel’s recently released global blockbuster film Barbie: The Movie.
“Ynon Kreiz’s visionary leadership and incredible achievements at Mattel, most recently Barbie’s triumph at the worldwide box office, are exciting beyond imagination,” says Meir Fenigstein, Founder and Executive Director of the Israel Film Festival. “In just over five years, Ynon has transformed Mattel into an (intellectual property) IP powerhouse, with its first theatrical release shattering records and becoming a showcase for the expertise of the Mattel Films division he created. On a personal note, I fondly recall Ynon as a UCLA Anderson MBA student volunteering at the Israel Film Festival. Now, 30 years later, I am proud to be recognizing and honoring him at the Festival for his own amazing accomplishments.”
The 36th Israel Film Festival runs Nov. 1-15. The Opening Night Gala on Nov. 1 will take place at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. The IFF Industry Leadership Award honors visionaries and transformative changemakers who demonstrate exemplary leadership traits and have achieved significant success while inspiring others.
“I have long admired the work of the Festival to promote and celebrate Israel’s thriving film and television industry, introducing the nation’s inspiring content, creators, and artists to U.S. audiences,” says Kreiz. “I am honored to be receiving this award from an organization whose mission I so strongly support.”
Kreiz joined Mattel in 2018 and has since led a multiyear transformation strategy that established Mattel as an IP-driven, high-performing toy company. Under Kreiz’s leadership, Mattel Films has announced 14 live-action motion pictures in active development with major studio partners and Mattel Television has expanded its content offering and reaches audiences across 191 countries in 37 languages.
The company’s first major theatrical release, Barbie: The Movie, broke records for Warner Bros. Pictures and filmmaker Greta Gerwig, surpassing the billion-dollar mark in just over 17 days and proving to be a cultural phenomenon. In Israel, the film debuted as the highest-grossing movie of 2023 to date.