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AFTAU to Celebrate the Steve Tisch School of Film & Television at Annual Gala Dinner
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 2:34:00 PM

Philanthropist and producer Steve Tisch to be honored; prominent industry leaders to serve as vice chairs

Tel Aviv University and its American Friends will celebrate the accomplishments of The Steve Tisch School of Film and Television at its 2017 Annual Gala on December 6 at the IAC Building in New York City. The dinner gala will honor the School's key supporter — producer and philanthropist Steve Tisch — for his commitment to enhancing the academic training of film and television students at the University.

Ranked among the world's top 15 international film schools by The Hollywood Reporter for two consecutive years in 2015 and 2016, The Steve Tisch School of Film and Television at TAU is Israel's leading institution of film and television studies. Reflecting the school's commitment to artistic independence, it is the world's only film school allowing student filmmakers to own the rights to their student films.

In 2015, TAU announced a $10-million gift from Tisch to transform the University's renowned Department of Film and Television into The Steve Tisch School of Film and Television. Over the last two years, his investment has helped enhance curriculums, attract and expand top-level talent, boost its capacity to offer scholarships, provide new, state-of-the-art equipment and building renovations, and forge new international collaborations.

"Year after year, The Steve Tisch School of Film and Television attracts creative and talented students who seek a rich academic grounding combined with freedom to explore and dare," said Prof. Joseph Klafter, TAU's president. "The School's innovative offerings provide exciting and unique opportunities to aspiring students looking to make a lasting impact in the industry. We thank our honoree, Steve Tisch, for his investment in the future of our students and for helping to strengthen Israel's influence on the cinematic arts globally."

"Filmmaking has tremendous power to enlighten, educate and entertain," said Tisch. "I am pleased to support a university that is at the forefront of nurturing creative visionaries and supporting the aspirations of tomorrow's great talents in the worlds of film and television. I cherish my association with Tel Aviv University and am honored by this recognition."

The gala will be vice-chaired by a number of entertainment industry luminaries, including: Matthew C. Blank, Len Blavatnik, Ari Folman, Eytan Fox, Allen J. Grubman, Bryan Lourd, Leslie Moonves, Richard Plepler, Haim and Dr. Cheryl Saban, and Chris Silbermann.

Among the evening's speakers will be Prof. Jacob Frenkel, chairman of JPMorgan Chase International and chairman of TAU's Board of Governors.

"In line with Steve's vision to offer aspiring storytellers a world-class education, the School of Film and Television at Tel Aviv University has emerged as a global magnet for film and television," said Gail Reiss, president and CEO of AFTAU. "We are thrilled to recognize Steve for his investment in the School and to celebrate its outstanding accomplishments. Many of our graduates have attracted international renown for the quality of their artistic achievements and we are committed to expanding their ranks and continuing to breed industry leaders across all disciplines."

Steve Tisch: Philanthropist, film producer and leader

Steve Tisch is a partner at Escape Artists Productions and is a co-owner and chairman of the New York Football Giants, the only person with both an Academy Award® and a Super Bowl ring. He received his Academy Award® as a producer of Forrest Gump, which won the Oscar® for Best Picture in 1994, and has received two Super Bowl rings as Chairman of the Giants.

For more than three decades, Tisch has successfully produced compelling stories in film and television, from the critically acclaimed television movie The Burning Bed to Risky Business, the sleeper hit that helped launch Tom Cruise's career. Other notable films include The Pursuit of Happyness, The Weather Man, The Taking of Pelham 123, The Back-Up Plan, Hope Springs, American History X, Snatch, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, The Equalizer and Southpaw.

Tisch has long been a leader in the philanthropic sector and generously contributes his time and resources to a variety of organizations. Tisch is on the Boards of The Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University. He is the naming benefactor of the sports and fitness center at his alma mater, Tufts University, and of the UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT program.

In 2014, Tisch served as the first honorary chair of the Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival at TAU, long ranked among the top three student film festivals in the world. Established in 1986 by TAU Film & TV students, the prestigious Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival is now the largest in the world.

In 2015, TAU announced a $10 million gift from Tisch to transform the University's renowned Department of Film and Television into The Steve Tisch School of Film and Television.

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