National Geographic Channel has greenlighted a new documentary miniseries from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney examining the world's dwindling water supply and the actions we can take toward greater water conservation. Parched will premiere globally on Nat Geo channels in 171 countries and will receive a limited theatrical release.
"Harnessing the power of the National Geographic brand, Parched will give a 360-degree look at a global crisis that affects us all, bringing much-needed attention and social awareness to the public," said Tim Pastore, President, Original Programming and Production, National Geographic Channel. "We are thrilled to be working with Alex Gibney, who pulls no punches and delivers the kind of hard-hitting, intriguing stories that we're passionate about sharing."
Gibney explained that billions of people around the world are already suffering from a lack of access to clean water, and that National Geographic Channels' international reach is an ideal medium through which to spread vital information regarding this issue.
"With the drought crisis in California, America is starting to wake up to a future where fresh drinking water is scarce, expensive, and beyond our control," Gibney said. "With the global reach of National Geographic, we hope to stress the urgency and, now more than ever, we need to understand what's literally under the surface."
Gibney, who won an Oscar for directing Taxi to the Dark Side, will executive produce along with Stacey Offman and Lynne Kirby under Jigsaw Productions. Richard Perello is co-executive producing for Jigsaw. Matt Renner is executive producing for National Geographic Channel.
Visit Variety for more information on the documentary series.
FOX and Nat Geo Will Air Breakthrough Prize Ceremony, Celebrating Leaders in Science and Math, Hosted by Seth MacFarlane
Continuing their joint work promoting science, technology, engineering, and math, 21st Century Fox's National Geographic Channel and FOX have agreed to broadcast this year's Breakthrough Prize Ceremony, an awards show honoring the world's most prominent scientists and mathematicians. Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy and executive producer of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, will host the ceremony for the second year in a row. Nat Geo will broadcast the event live on Sunday, November 8, with a one-hour version scheduled to air on FOX on November 29.
"It is an honor to partner with the Breakthrough Prize team to celebrate the incredible men and women who are driving the world's most significant scientific advances," said Gary Newman and Dana Walden, chairmen and chief executive officers, Fox Television Group. "We hope that by showcasing these great minds and their important work to millions of viewers, we can help them inspire the next generation of scientists."
The Breakthrough Prize honors important achievements in the fields of Fundamental Physics, Life Sciences, and Mathematics. Tech industry leaders Sergey Brin (Google), Anne Wojcicki (23andMe), Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan (Facebook), Yuri Milner and Julia Milner (DST Global), and Jack Ma and Cathy Zhang (Alibaba) launched the prize in 2013, aiming to celebrate scientists and generate excitement about the pursuit of science as a career.
Committees of previous laureates select the winners from a pool of candidates nominated by the public. The winners each receive an award of $3 million, and to date, the Breakthrough Prize has awarded more than $160 million. Following the ceremony, the winners embark upon a program of public lectures and symposiums at universities and scientific organizations around the world.
"We are proud to join forces with Don and the Breakthrough Prize team not only to honor the best and brightest in science shaping the world of today, and tomorrow, but also to bring this important event to the broadest global audience possible," said Courteney Monroe, chief executive officer of National Geographic Channels U.S. "National Geographic was founded on the spirit of mavericks, and this partnership affords us the opportunity to continue this great tradition by recognizing those who are breaking barriers and expanding the limits of possibility."
This event is the latest collaboration among FOX, Nat Geo, and Seth MacFarlane, who came together to produce Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, in 2014. MacFarlane served as an executive producer and a key creative partner on the series, around which FOX and Nat Geo organized a massive international launch--across 181 countries and nearly 50 languages.
The Breakthrough Prize Ceremony will be broadcast live in the U.S. on National Geographic Channel Sunday, Nov. 8, at 10 p.m. ET/9 Central. The one-hour version is scheduled for FOX on Nov. 29, at 7 p.m.
For more information on the 2016 Breakthrough Prize Ceremony, visit The Wrap.
Photo by Kevin Winter for Getty Images.
When Team Sky's Chris Froome crossed the finish line on the Champs-Èlysèes on Sunday, cementing a 72-second lead over his nearest competitor Nairo Quintana, he became the first Briton in history to win the Tour de France twice. Team Sky, sponsored by 21st Century Fox, collected the overall team award, marking the third time the team has won the Tour in the past four years.
Froome was quick to attribute his success to his fellow riders. "Without you guys, I would not be standing up here," he said to his teammates from the winners' podium. "My utmost respect and gratitude: this is your yellow jersey as much as it is mine."
Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford, echoed Froome's sentiments in a subsequent interview: "Chris couldn't win the biggest bike race in the world without a fantastic team behind him. When you've got a group of world-class guys who are willing to sacrifice everything they've got, every single day to help Chris win. And that's what they did, they pulled together and it was an amazing thing to watch."
This emphasis on teamwork and inclusivity has long been a characteristic of both Team Sky's athletic training and its outreach efforts. Its popular SkyRide events, for example, have become a primary means for the team to inspire its fans to live healthier, more active lifestyles.
SkyRide began in 2009 as an event to encourage fans to introduce regular exercise to their daily routines. The first event offered fans the chance to participate in a special traffic-free bike ride on a 15-kilometer route through London, and more than 65,000 people attended. The events have only grown in popularity since, and they now include dozens of partner rides in cities throughout the UK every year.
Team Sky estimates that programs like these have inspired more than 1 million people in the UK to take up regular cycling.
Earlier this year, when the team competed in the Amgen Tour of California, they continued in this spirit of "Inspiration to Participation" by hosting the Soul Cycle | Team Sky Pro Challenge, a high-energy spin class at SoulCycle Beverly Hills to raise money for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. In addition, 21st Century Fox donated bikes, equipment, and Team Sky gear to local chapters of the Boys & Girls Clubs in the Los Angeles area, helping introduce new youth communities to active, healthy lifestyles.
For more information on Team Sky and its outreach efforts, visit TeamSky.com.
On Wednesday, July 22, FOX will premiere Home Free, its first reality series on homes and interior design in more than a decade. The series, hosted by professional contractor and HGTV personality Mike Holmes, challenges nine couples to renovate one run-down house per week in service of families in need. At the conclusion of the eight-week series, the winning couple will win their ultimate dream home.
Tom Forman, CEO of Relativity Television and executive producer of Home Free, says he was eager to develop a series that could have a positive impact. "I like shows I can watch with my kids, things that are pro-social without being preachy," he told Advertising Age.
The launch of the series has also given the Fox community the chance to take on their own DIY projects. Employees from across 21st Century Fox's New York businesses came together with Holmes for a Habitat for Humanity home build on July 8. Fox colleagues teamed up with the Habitat for Humanity volunteers to help renovate a house in Queens, New York, with Holmes on site leading the charge.
Home Free premiers Wednesday, July 22, at 9:00 PM ET on FOX. For more information, visit FOX.com.
Photo by Ben Hider for FOX.
On July 17, 21st Century Fox launched a $500,000 Challenge Grant to Hampton University's Scripps Howard School of Journalism. The funds will support the activities of the School's new Center for Innovation in Digital Media, which is designed to enable Hampton University students to learn about and explore new ways of gathering and distributing media content.
"This grant exemplifies 21st Century Fox's continuing mission to cultivate and nurture the next generation of storytellers on all platforms," said Julie Henderson, Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer of 21st Century Fox. "The invaluable work done by Hampton's Center for Innovation in Digital Media underscores the need to empower young people with the necessary tools to realize their dreams within the creative industries, and we are immensely proud to be a part of that process."
The Center's mission is to foster diversity within digital media, providing the industry with broader ranks of innovative and competitive talent and aspiring entrepreneurs. The grant will cover, among other initiatives, digital media projects by students, which include producing research, business plans, media products such as apps, and also assist in placing graduates in digital media jobs.
"This generous grant not only recognizes the extraordinary potential that these students possess, it also challenges other media companies to step up and acknowledge that the future of the industry is dependent upon developing a broad and diverse workforce," said Brett Pulley, dean of the Scripps Howard School. "This challenge grant will help us establish a program that will place our students among the great young minds now focused on creating new media platforms and pioneering the future of our industry."
For more information on the grant, or to inquire about contributing, visit HamptonU.edu.
On Sunday, July 12, her 18th birthday and the third annual Malala Day, Nobel Peace Prize winner and girls' education activist Malala Yousafzai--star of the upcoming Fox Searchlight documentary film He Named Me Malala--opened a new school for the young women of Syria who have been forced to leave their homes due to ongoing armed conflict. The school, based near the Syrian border in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, will welcome up to 200 girls ages 14 to 18.
"I am honored to mark my 18th birthday with the brave and inspiring girls of Syria," Malala said in a statement. "Their courage and dedication to continue their schooling in difficult conditions inspires people around the world, and it is our duty to stand by them."
Students can train to receive their baccalaureate or vocational degrees through the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education, and they can also take skills courses intended to help them find work.
In addition, the day marked the culmination of the #BooksNotBullets campaign, an online initiative asking people to post photos of themselves with their favorite book and urge world leaders to increase support for education.
"On behalf of the world's children, I demand of our leaders to invest in books instead of bullets," Malala said. "Books, not bullets, will pave the path toward peace and prosperity... To all the students, you will read new books. You will discover new ideas. You will learn together. You will dream together. And you will inspire the world."
On October 2, Fox Searchlight will release He Named Me Malala, director Davis Guggenheim's documentary on Malala's life and work. The fall theatrical release will be followed by a spring television broadcast on the National Geographic Channels, airing in 171 countries and 45 languages. The film's launch will coincide with an international advocacy and fundraising campaign to champion girls' education in partnership with the Malala Fund.
For more information on the film and how to get involved, visit Malala.org.
Photo Credit: Malin Fezehai / HUMAN for the Malala Fund
The Fox Writers Intensive, a competitive career-development program for writers from diverse backgrounds, has named Cindy Fang as its 2015 Fellow. Fang is currently in discussions for a script development deal with FOX Broadcasting Company and 20th Century Fox Television.
"Authenticity is essential to successful storytelling. That process starts with hiring writers with diverse and authentic points of view, and that's exactly who we want to engage through the Fox Writers Intensive," said Nicole A. Bernard, Executive Vice President of Audience Strategy for 21st Century Fox.
Fang was selected from a group of 10 finalists, who spent the past four months on the Fox Studios Lot in Los Angeles honing their craft, attending workshops, and meeting with senior executives from across the Fox film and television businesses, including 20th Century Fox Film, FOX Broadcasting Company, and FX Networks. The finalists also worked with top writers and producers, including Virgil Williams of Criminal Minds and Ilene Chaiken of Empire.
"The FWI program has been invaluable to me as the showrunner of Empire," Chaiken said. "Fox cultivates these individuals into excellent storytellers, and I can't speak highly enough about the benefits."
All of the finalists are being promoted across the Fox creative community and submitted for potential staffing on current and future Fox entertainment productions. To date, six of the FWI finalists have been staffed on series for 2015-16, including Empire, The Frankenstein Code, Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life, Lucifer, and Rosewood.
Visit The Wrap for more information, including the full list of finalists.
At its annual National Leadership Meeting this weekend in Washington, D.C., the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) announced the recipients of the 21st Century Fox Give a Note Grants, which will support under-funded music programs at 16 schools across the United States.
21st Century Fox announced the program in March, partnering with NAfME and the Give a Note Foundation to commemorate the finale of the groundbreaking musical TV series Glee, which sparked renewed interest and participation in school arts programs over the course of its six-year run.
"At Fox, we are incredibly proud of our support for shows like American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, Empire, and of course, Glee, which has inspired countless people to sing, dance, and get that creativity flowing," said local FOX5 anchor Lauren DeMarco, who spoke at the event on behalf of 21st Century Fox.
The company will work with the Give a Note Foundation to distribute the funds this fall, in advance of the new school year, to schools in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Houston, and Totem Falls, Washington.
"Over the course of time and educational reform and budget constraints, the school district just hasn't been able to provide the resources that it used to," said Scott Sheehan of NAfME. "These [grants] are going to have such an impact for these students and these teachers."
He Named Me Malala - Trailer (OFFICIAL)
It's here! Take a first look at He Named Me Malala a documentary about Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai's life, story and personal journey as an education activist. Pledge to see the film only in theaters this October at http://bit.ly/1IlDIMgDirected by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for "Superman"), the film shows us how Malala, her father Zia and her family are committed to fighting for education worldwide.Posted by Malala Fund on Thursday, June 18, 2015
21st Century Fox businesses have signed on as key partners in the upcoming release of He Named Me Malala, director Davis Guggenheim's documentary on the life of international girls' education activist Malala Yousafzai. Fox Searchlight will distribute the film, opening in theaters October 2, and the National Geographic Channels will air it the following spring in 171 countries and 45 languages. A global campaign for the Malala Fund will accompany the film's release.
"This is a film that leaves you not only feeling incredibly inspired but truly wanting to make a difference," said National Geographic Channels CEO Courteney Monroe. "As leaders in bringing stories of global importance to the largest audience possible, it is more than just an honor to be part of this project, I feel it is our duty. That is why we are joining this project as true partners, from the global theatrical release through our eventual television broadcast, and dedicating our collective resources to bring Malala's important journey and advocacy for girls' education to millions of people worldwide."
The documentary follows Malala's life both before and after she was attacked on her school bus in October 2012 by Taliban gunmen objecting to her activism for the rights of women and girls. She suffered multiple gunshot wounds, only to make a miraculous recovery and return to public life as an international advocate for girls' education. In October 2014, she became the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
The film's launch will coincide with an international advocacy and fundraising campaign in partnership with the Malala Fund, which awards grants to nonprofits working around the world to empower adolescent girls through a quality secondary education.
He Named Me Malala is being released by Fox Searchlight Pictures, in association with Image Nation Abu Dhabi and Participant Media, with National Geographic Channel.
For more information on the film and how to get involved, visit Malala.org.
At the Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn on Tuesday, June 9, Fox Searchlight hosted an exclusive screening of its upcoming film Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, as well as a Q&A with the director and cast, for students and alumni of the Ghetto Film School program in New York City. Ghetto Film School is a Bronx-based nonprofit that teachers filmmaking to young people from traditionally low-income neighborhoods.
"We pride ourselves on offering these students real-world access," said Derrick Cameron, the Artistic Director at GFS. "I have students telling me all the time that their interactions with filmmakers like this have inspired a particular scene or project."
For nearly a decade, Fox Searchlight has been a key partner in connecting the organization's students with prominent filmmakers. The studio has a long history of hosting similar screening events for GFS students. The Wrestler's Darren Aronofsky, I Origins' Mike Cahill, and Beasts of the Southern Wild's Behn Zeitlin are just a few of the directors who have participated in the past.
In keeping with this tradition, Me and Earl director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, as well as cast members Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, RJ Cyler, and Katherine C. Hughes hosted a master class-style Q&A following the screening. With no moderator, the students were allowed to interact with the creative team directly, and many took the opportunity to ask intricate questions about the production process.
"You're all filmmakers, so we can talk about this," Gomez-Rejon joked before describing the film's climactic sequence in great technical detail.
"You can design a scene and be prepared as you think you can be, but it doesn't always work," he advised the young filmmakers. "A lot of times, the movie will tell you what it wants."
For the students, the event provided an opportunity to learn directly from top practitioners of the craft. Jade Elliott, a recent graduate of GFS who attended Tuesday's screening, said the process of meeting these and other filmmakers "makes the magic of film doable."
"If anything, it motivates me more to get it done," Elliott said. "It makes my dreams and aspirations more attainable."
21st Century Fox is a proud sponsor of Ghetto Film School and in 2014 co-sponsored the launch of GFS Los Angeles. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl opens in select markets on Friday, June 12.