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Fox Pitch Youth Sports Baseball Equipment Donation

20th Century Fox Television has donated $25,000 worth of sports equipment to Sylmar Independent Baseball League, Inc. (SIBL), a nonprofit youth baseball and softball league serving communities in Los Angeles. The donation consists of gear used during the production of FOX’s drama series Pitch, which chronicled the fictional story of the first female player in the major leagues. 21st Century Fox worked with the series for nearly a year to create campaigns and forge partnerships that promote the achievements of female athletes and expand access to sports for women and girls across the country.

Located in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, SIBL has served Sylmar and its surrounding communities for more than 60 years, providing sports programming for children 16 and under. This past season alone, the organization taught more than 450 young athletes the fundamentals of baseball and softball, as well as the values of sportsmanship and teamwork, and multiple teams won division titles across the state. Newly elected LA City Councilmember Monica Rodriguez connected Fox with SIBL, which is located in her district.

The donation marks the end of nearly a year’s worth of social impact efforts surrounding Pitch, reflecting the role that inspirational stories play in providing the motivation and encouragement necessary for young athletes to succeed. In September 2016, 21CF announced it would expand the company’s existing support of the Women’s Sports Foundation. The company partnered with WSF’s Sports 4 Life program, which awards grants to schools, parks and recreation departments, nonprofits, or amateur sports leagues that encourage the participation and retention of African-American and Hispanic girls ages 11-18 in developmental programs.

FOX Sports has supported the Women's Sports Foundation since 2014, partnering with other sports networks to contribute a collective $2 million to the foundation's work. FOX also supports WSF's Annual Salute to Women in Sports, a gala recognizing the world's top female athletes.

In addition, FOX partnered with LeanIn.Org for a digital campaign featuring the cast and crew of Pitch in conversation about the struggles they’ve faced and the strides they’ve made as women in male-dominated fields. The video series featured series stars Kylie Bunbury and Ali Larter, as well as executive producer Helen Bartlett, all speaking about the value of positive representation of women on screen.

"Growing up, watching certain things [on television] made an impact on me and my life, so I think representation of women is important on TV; it's vital," Bunbury said before talking about the support she always found from her mother: "She always reassured me that I'm capable of anything and that I'm enough. That's the message of this show, and it's not just for women; it's for everyone: you are capable. You are enough."

Learn more about 21CF’s commitment to Sports & Well-being.


Leonardo DiCaprio "Before the Flood"

21st Century Fox businesses have received a total of four nominations from the Environmental Media Association, whose awards honor film and television productions that increase public awareness of environmental issues and inspire personal action to correct them.

21CF’s National Geographic earned two nominations in the Documentary Film category for From the Ashes and Before the Flood. From the Ashes, produced with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, takes on compelling stories to explore the reality of coal’s role in climate change, as well as human health and the economy, while offering solutions that could help revive struggling mining towns and protect the environment. Before the Flood follows Leonardo DiCaprio across five continents as he explores the effect of climate change on local communities around the world, as well as the political and social forces standing in the way of possible solutions.

Nat Geo focused on getting the film’s important message seen as widely as possible. In addition to broadcasting the documentary in 171 countries and holding screening events at the White House with President Obama and at the UN with Secretary John Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, Nat Geo made Before the Flood freely available across a record-breaking number of linear, digital, and social platforms. Nat Geo also hosted free screenings that doubled as voter registration drives across 50 college campuses in the months leading up to the US presidential election. With more than 60 million viewers worldwide, Before the Flood is the most watched Nat Geo film ever, and one of the most watched documentaries in history.

Nat Geo also won a third nomination in the Reality Television category for Years of Living Dangerously’s “Collapse of the Oceans.” The documentary TV series features respected journalists and celebrities who travel around the world interviewing people affected by, and offering solutions to, the impacts of climate change. At the premiere of the second season of the series, held at the American Museum of Natural History for more than 800 guests, National Geographic Global Networks CEO Courteney Monroe remarked, "Truly great storytelling connects with audiences profoundly. This is especially true when it explores themes that transcend our differences and reflect universal values, like the human connection to the planet. And on the important topic of climate change, National Geographic, given its reach and reputation, is in the unique and enviable position to tell stories with real potential to make a difference in the world.”

FOX’s The Simpsons also received a nomination in the TV Comedy category. The animated series, which will soon start its record-breaking 29th season, has won eight previous EMA awards including last year for its episode “Teenage Mutant Milk-Caused Hurdle.” A prize this year would mark the third consecutive win for the show.

"This year's remarkable slate of nominees is a testament to the continued dedication and commitment that the entertainment community has on the environmental issues we are facing," said EMA President and CEO Debbie Levin. "The EMA Awards will not only further amplify the voices and messages of each of these programs and films, but also inspire a new generation of activists in the film, television and new media community to produce environmental content; it is through these channels where storytelling has the power to educate and ignite change."

Over 70 Fox film and television projects have also received an EMA Green Seal, which recognizes progress and leadership in sustainable production.

The 2017 annual Environmental Media Association Awards Ceremony will take place in Los Angeles on September 23, and will be hosted by Jaden Smith, an EMA member.


STEP documentary

In anticipation of Fox Searchlight’s upcoming documentary, STEP, 21st Century Fox is partnering with Tumblr in support of Step Up, an after-school mentoring program for young women in under-resourced communities.

STEP, directed by Amanda Lipitz and distributed by Fox Searchlight, chronicles the true-life story of a girls’ high school step team against the background of the heart of Baltimore. Though the world seems to be working against them, these young women are empowered by their teachers, counselors, families, and each other as they fight to achieve their dreams of winning the step championship and getting accepted into college. STEP explores the emotionally inspiring meaning of sisterhood and perseverance through the story of these remarkable young women.

For the girls in the documentary, step is life—the outlet that keeps them united and fighting, and the means through which they stay focused as they prepare to be the first in their families to go to college. In the spirit of their determination, 21CF and Tumblr want to learn more about what energizes people to achieve their dreams. Beginning on Monday, July 31, for every post shared with the tag #StepisLife, 21CF will donate $1 to Step Up to support mentorship programs for high school girls. Step Up empowers girls living or going to school in under-resourced communities by sharing tools needed to become confident, college-bound, and career-focused.

Step is Life

To support Step Up, think about what keeps you going and moving forward by filling in the message “___ IS LIFE!” and post a selfie, text, video, or piece of art. For every use of #StepisLife across Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram between July 31 and August 6, 21CF will donate $1 to Step Up, up to $25,000.

Fox Searchlight is hosting a series of free screenings across the country, and STEP opens in theaters on August 4th.


Fox Writers Lab Finalists

Photo by Saman Assefi Photography

Fox Inclusion recently announced writer Keely MacDonald has received a script development deal from Fox Broadcasting Company after being named this year’s Fox Writers Lab Fellow. She joined Fox as a research intern on Sleepy Hollow in 2012, and eventually earned the opportunity to write the episode “Insatiable” in season 4.

MacDonald was chosen from a group of 13 experienced finalists  at the Fox Writers Lab, a 14-week program hosted by Fox Inclusion that gives its finalists direct access to Fox writers, directors, and executives to further their screenwriting skills on the Fox Lot in Los Angeles. The Writers Lab is one of several programs at 21st Century Fox created to empower new storytellers and strengthen the pipeline of diverse talent in the industry. At the conclusion of the program, now in its sixth consecutive year, one fellow is named as the Fox Writers Lab fellow and awarded a purchase and development deal on their original script, or a first-look deal with 21CF-affiliated entities.

This year’s Writers Lab cohort participated in “Pitchfest”, where they presented their own unique ideas to network and studio executives. The content consisted of either an original comedy or drama pilot script completed under the leadership of producer Sheila Hanahan-Taylor of Practical Pictures and Kelly Kulchak, head of Current Programming at DreamWorks Animation.

The 2017 Fox Writers Lab Finalists, along with MacDonald, included: Arielle Diaz, Brad Marques, Elizabeth Oyebode, Erick Castrillon, Esteban Arango, Jennifer Graham Imada, Lauren Tyler, Mellori Velasquez, Nicky Young, Pilar Valdes, Tania Lotia and Yasemin Yilmaz. These experienced writers were chosen from nominations submitted by arts organizations, showrunners and talent representation from across the country, and will be promoted throughout the Fox creative family for staffing on current and future film and TV productions.

“Fox Writers Lab has become an increasingly crucial component of our staffing process. There are so many talented writers, with so many different points of view. Those diverse viewpoints help make our programming smarter, stronger and, ultimately, more reflective of Fox’s viewership,” said Terence Carter, EVP of Drama Programming, Development and Event Series at Fox.

Keely MacDonald - Fox Writers Lab Fello


STEP cast with U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)

21st Century Fox and Fox Searchlight Pictures recently hosted a Washington, D.C., screening of the upcoming documentary “STEP,” which will hit theaters Friday, Aug. 4. The film tells the inspiring story of the “Lethal Ladies” step dance team at the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women as they navigate the ups and downs of their senior year of high school, several aiming to become the first in their families to attend college. Following the screening, the audience enjoyed a panel discussion with “STEP” director Amanda Lipitz and the entire cast.

The screening for the documentary, which is set in Baltimore, was attended by U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D- MD). 21CF EVP of Public Affairs Chip Smith and Fox Searchlight Pictures President Nancy Utley were also in attendance.

“21st Century Fox is a global media company that produces content which runs the gamut from blockbuster films, to breaking news and TV shows, to the world’s largest sporting events,” Chip remarked at the event. “But ultimately, all of the work we do is about one thing: telling stories that matter to people. And we’re here tonight to share one of those stories with you. ‘STEP’ is a celebration of the life-changing power of education and the arts, and we’re thrilled to support this project.”

Noting that he was a proud graduate of the Baltimore public school system, Sen. Cardin praised the film’s positive message: “This is a story about hope for our future. And after seeing the incredible young women in this film, I have no doubt that our future is in very good hands.”

Check out more photos from the event, as well as the trailer for “STEP”: