Yari gets DeSantis biz award


"Crash" producer Bob Yari has received the 2007 Louis B. Mayer Motion Picture Business Leader of the Year award from the DeSantis Center for Motion Picture Industry Studies at Florida Atlantic University, honoring his contributions to the industry as an executive and entrepreneur.

In 2002, Yari founded the indie Yari Film Group, which now has an annual budget of more than $400 million and a slate of 10-15 films. His producing credits include "The Illusionist" and the Oscar-winning "Crash."

Upcoming releases include "The Accidental Husband," starring Uma Thurman and Colin Firth, and "The Sophomore," with Mischa Barton and Bruce Willis.

Yari received a degree in cinematography and started his career in Hollywood working as producer and director. He shifted to real estate before returning to the movie business.

Yari was presented with the Mayer Award at a dinner in Los Angeles that concluded the DeSantis Center's ninth annual Business and Economic Scholars Workshop in Motion Picture Industry Studies.

Since its inception in 1998, the annual award has honored Amy Pascal, Alan Ladd Jr. and Mike Medavoy, among others.