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Mattel’s Ynon Kreiz to receive 2023 IFF Industry Leadership Award

Mattel’s Ynon Kreiz to receive 2023 IFF Industry Leadership Award

Ynon Kreiz, Mattel Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, who has transformed the company and spearheaded its global blockbuster film, Barbie, will receive the 2023 IFF Industry Leadership Award at the 36th ISRAEL FILM FESTIVAL in Los Angeles Opening Night Gala on November 1st.  Meir Fenigstein, founder and executive director of the Israel Film Festival, made the announcement.

Fenigstein noted: “Ynon Kreiz’s visionary leadership and incredible achievements at Mattel, most recently Barbie’s triumph at the worldwide box office, are exciting beyond imagination. In just over five years, Ynon has transformed Mattel into an 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 in Los Angeles runs November 1st – 15th, 2023. The Opening Night Gala on November 1st 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.

Kreiz joined Mattel in 2018, a leading global toy company and owner of one of the strongest portfolios of children’s and family entertainment franchises in the world. He has led a multi-year 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 movie, Barbie, a box office juggernaut and cultural phenomenon, has broken records for Warner Bros. Pictures and filmmaker Greta Gerwig, surpassing the billion-dollar mark in just over 17 days in release. In Israel, the film debuted as the highest-grossing movie of 2023 to date.

Kreiz added: “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. I am honored to be receiving this award from an organization whose mission I so strongly support.”

Prior to joining Mattel, Kreiz was Chairman and CEO of Maker Studios, a global leader in short-form video content and one of YouTube’s largest multichannel networks. Prior to Maker Studios, he was Chairman and CEO of the Endemol Group, the world’s largest independent television production company. Before Endemol, he was a General Partner at Balderton Capital (formerly Benchmark Capital Europe), one of the leading early-stage startup investors in Europe. Prior to Balderton, Kreiz co-founded Fox Kids Europe NV where he served as Chairman and CEO.  

Israeli-born Kreiz received a BA degree in Economics and Management from Tel Aviv University and an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management. He serves on the Board of Directors of Warner Music Group and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the UCLA Anderson School of Management as well as the Paley Center for Media. He is also a member of Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of America’s leading companies and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Executive Branch. 

The mission of the Israel Film Festival is to shine a spotlight on Israel’s thriving film and television industry and enrich the American experience of Israel’s social and cultural diversity by premiering Israeli features, thought-provoking documentaries, and television dramas, as well as through conversations with visiting Israeli filmmakers. For nearly four decades, the Festival has presented more than 1,200 feature films and brought hundreds of Israeli filmmakers to the U.S. to share their art. © 2023 The ISRAEL FILM FESTIVAL is a presentation of the IsraFest Foundation, Inc. a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. 

Among the Sponsors of the 36th ISRAEL FILM FESTIVAL in Los Angeles are David Wiener and Family, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Molly & Israel Weinberg, Deadline, Lamar Advertising, New Regency, The Rubenstein Family Foundation, Cheryl & Haim Saban, The Steve Tisch Foundation, LA County Department of Arts and Culture, Lendistry, Israel Film Fund, Variety, Rabinovich Foundation, INSYNC Plus and the Consulate General of Israel, Los Angeles, to name a few.

About The Author

Rebecca Ash

Rebecca is the Editorial Director at Total Licensing Ltd. She can be reached at

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