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21CF donates $100,000 to flood relief efforts in Louisiana, FOX stars rally public support

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Louisiana has been an important production hub for 21st Century Fox and the film and television industry as a whole, which is why the company saw an urgent need to respond to the damage and casualties caused by the unprecedented rains there last week. Today, 21CF is donating $100,000 to help the disaster relief efforts in the affected communities, where our production teams have lived and worked.

The donation will be directed to the Louisiana Association of United Ways' (LAUW) Flood Fund, which has been set up to distribute flood relief donations to six local United Way member organizations operating across the region. The LAUW determines which local chapters have the greatest need and is particularly focused on the post-emergency recovery work to come.

Two of Ryan Murphy's shows, FX Networks' American Horror Story and FOX's Scream Queens, have filmed in Louisiana, as will the upcoming Katrina: American Crime Story.

"After shooting two series in New Orleans, I feel particularly connected to the state of Louisiana and the wonderful and talented people I've met there," Ryan said. "We want everyone affected by these devastating floods to know that we see you and that help is on the way."

Scream Queens cast members, including Jamie Lee Curtis and Emma Roberts, joined the cause by calling on viewers to help the relief efforts:

The severe flooding in Louisiana has caused at least 13 deaths and damaged approximately 60,000 homes, and the state reports that about 102,000 survivors have registered to receive federal aid from FEMA. The American Red Cross estimates that the response will cost $30 million or more.

"More than 100,000 families throughout south Louisiana are working through the shock of the unnamed storm that flooded our state, while they clean up and come to terms with their devastating losses," said Sarah Berthelot, president and CEO of the LAUW. "Louisiana United Ways are coordinating efforts to help meet the unmet needs of families and their communities, now and in the future. The Louisiana Association of United Ways is grateful for the generosity and partnership of 21st Century Fox during our tremendous time of need in Louisiana."

Over the years, 21CF's film and television studios have had a number of productions in Louisiana, most recently 20th Century Fox Film's Fantastic Four and upcoming X-Men movie featuring Wolverine.

To donate, go to the LAUW's website or text "HELPLA" to 313131.

Corporate, Fox Filmed Entertainment, Fox Networks Group (incl. FOX, Cable, Sports, etc.), Sports & Wellbeing, Sustainability

21st Century Fox celebrates 'Pitch' premiere by forging new partnerships to support women's achievements in sports and beyond

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On September 22, Ginny Baker - the fictional first female player in major league baseball - made her television debut to widespread acclaim in FOX's new drama Pitch. To honor her inspirational story, the network has partnered with LeanIn.Org for a campaign featuring the series' cast and crew in conversation about the struggles they've faced and the strides they've made as women in male-dominated industries. 21st Century Fox also partnered with the Women's Sports Foundation to help female athletes around the country break barriers in their own communities and take their athletic achievements to new heights.

The LeanIn.Org campaign launched last week with a video series of Pitch 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. "We already have enough stuff working against us. We need to support each other."

In her own life, Bunbury pointed to her mother as a treasured source of support: "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."

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Corporate, Diversity, Fox Networks Group (incl. FOX, Cable, Sports, etc.), Sports & Wellbeing

Nat Geo announces Earth Week, premieres new season of 'Years of Living Dangerously,' unveils 'Before the Flood' trailer

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At Climate Week NYC 2016, National Geographic announced its first ever Earth Week, a week of programming dedicated to climate change that will launch ahead of the U.S. presidential election this fall. Nat Geo also premiered the second season of climate change series "Years of Living Dangerously" and unveiled the trailer for Leonardo DiCaprio's critically acclaimed documentary "Before the Flood."

Here's a recap of what National Geographic announced and presented at Climate Week NYC 2016:

EARTH WEEK TO BEGIN OCT. 30

In front of more than 800 guests representing businesses, governments and environmental organizations from around the world who had gathered on Wednesday at the American Museum of Natural History for the world premiere screening of the new season of "Years of Living Dangerously," National Geographic Global Networks CEO Courteney Monroe announced Earth Week, an entire week of National Geographic Channel programming dedicated to the topic of climate change. Earth Week begins Sunday, Oct. 30, and will air in 171 countries and 45 languages.

The premiere of the second season of the Emmy Award-winning "Years of Living Dangerously" will air at 8 p.m. on the first night of Earth Week, followed by the commercial-free television premiere of Academy Award-winning filmmaker Fisher Stevens and environmental activist, U.N. Messenger of Peace and Academy Award-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio's documentary "Before the Flood" at 9 p.m. (an encore will air at 10:30 p.m.).

"Now, the timing of our Earth Week programming event is no coincidence - it is intended to bring climate change to the forefront of the conversation ahead of the U.S. elections," Courteney said. "But for us, climate change transcends politics. It is beyond an American issue. It is a global, human issue that demands attention from leaders in the highest offices all across the world."

She added that National Geographic believes it's its duty to inform voters on these issues "and encourage people to vote in November like our lives depend on it - because when it comes to climate change, they actually do."

 

"YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY" PREMIERE

Earlier in the week, at the Opening Ceremony for Climate Week NYC 2016, National Geographic Channel President of Programming Tim Pastore unveiled a short teaser video for "Years of Living Dangerously" produced by filmmaker James Cameron.

"From executive producers James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the series this year once again features an A-list line up of celebrity correspondents as they explore a wide array of topics including carbon pricing, the California water crisis, the future of electric vehicles, species extinction, climate migrants, deforestation and super storms," Tim said.

"We are the first generation to experience the effects of climate change and the last generation in a position to do something about it," Courteney said at Wednesday's premiere. "Think about that for a moment. We hope, like us, you'll see this not as cause for despair but as an opportunity - a call to action - for all of us alive at this pivotal moment to take the bold steps necessary to create a flourishing future for generations to come. As a mother of two young children, nothing resonates with me more."

"The idea of this is: Let's communicate to people that we all have to work together - Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Decline to State - everybody should work together," said Years of Living Dangerously Executive Producer Arnold Schwarzenegger. "It's not conservative versus Democrat. There is no conservative air. There is no liberal air. We all breathe the same air."

Arnold was joined by many of the series' celebrity correspondents in attendance, including Gisele Bundchen, Bradley Whitford, America Ferrera, Joshua Jackson and Ian Somerhalder.

 

"BEFORE THE FLOOD" TRAILER During her remarks Wednesday evening, Courteney also debuted the trailer for "Before the Flood," which National Geographic Channel acquired in August.

"Before the Flood [presents] a riveting account of the dramatic changes now occurring around the world due to climate change," she said. "This incredibly engaging film follows Leo's personal journey as he travels to five continents, as well as the Arctic, speaking to scientists, world leaders and local residents to gain a deeper understanding of this complex issue."

For the past decade, 21st Century Fox has been committed to reducing its environmental impacts, growing sustainably and inspiring others to take action. From leading the film and television industry in sustainable production practices, to investing tens of millions of dollars in renewable energy generation and carbon offsetting, 21CF is addressing the climate change impacts of its own operations. With the unrivaled reach, bold storytelling and scientific resources of National Geographic, the company will engage a global audience to take action as well. Courteney spoke to this opportunity, noting "[W]e believe in the power of storytelling to inspire people to change the world... Truly great storytelling can connect with audiences in really profound ways. This is especially true when it explores themes that transcend our differences - and reflect universal values - like the human connection to nature."

Learn more about National Geographic's announcements and see the Earth Week schedule, which begins Oct. 30.

The second season of "Years of Living Dangerously" will air on National Geographic Channel on Sunday, Oct. 30, at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.

"Before the Flood" will premiere in theaters on Friday, Oct. 21. The documentary will air globally on National Geographic Channel on Sunday, Oct. 30, at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.

Audience engagement, Fox Networks Group (incl. FOX, Cable, Sports, etc.), National Geographic Channel, Sustainability

20th Century Fox Film partners with American Film Institute to increase opportunities for female film directors in Hollywood

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Twentieth Century Fox Film is partnering with the American Film Institute to open more opportunities on major studio films for female directors. The initiative will provide alumnae of the AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women (DWW) -- the AFI's female filmmaker training program -- the opportunity to direct short films based on the Fox studio's film franchises.

"The dearth of female directors is not a matter of passion or talent," said 20th Century Fox Film Chairman and CEO Stacey Snider, who made the announcement today. "Instead, it's often a question of access and resources. We're excited to offer these to talented women filmmakers who then can build upon this practical work experience."

The studio is inviting the DWW graduates to build the narrative world of Fox's film franchises, which will include the creation of sample work in genres like action and science fiction, where female filmmakers are particularly underrepresented.

To kick off the partnership, 35-50 alumnae will be selected for the initiative, and 10 finalists will pitch their ideas to 20th Century Fox Film executives. One or more filmmakers will be chosen to turn their concept into a short film.

Fox will finance, produce and distribute the short films, which the filmmakers will add to their portfolios. The filmmakers will also have the opportunity to pitch the studio separate films in the future.

Across our businesses, 21st Century Fox is working to increase opportunities for talented individuals from communities traditionally underrepresented in Hollywood. Programs include the Global Directors Initiative and the FOX Writers Intensive; a longstanding partnership with the Historically Black Colleges and Universities; along with our support for Ghetto Film School, a nonprofit that teaches filmmaking to diverse young students from historically underserved communities. These efforts focus on building a more inclusive and long-term pipeline of talent to our television and film productions.

Creativity & The Arts, Diversity, Fox Filmed Entertainment

Nat Geo Mundo Explorer competition grants four high school students a summer of science, travel and photography

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National Geographic's education initiatives are known for bringing students a global perspective on nature and the environment, and this summer, four top high school students got the chance to see the world for themselves as part of the Nat Geo Mundo Explorer competition.

The competition, a joint effort between DIRECTV and 21st Century Fox's Nat Geo Mundo channel, launched in January as a way to expand opportunities for young people to participate in National Geographic Student Expeditions. The program matches student groups with a National Geographic Explorer, who then guides the students through original research and photography projects at one of more than 40 locations across the globe. Nat Geo Mundo Explorer offered full scholarships to the Student Expeditions program and allowed the winners to select any of the available trips.

Following a three month application and review period, experts at National Geographic selected the following four winners, two from the U.S. and two from Latin America:

  • Claudia - A junior at Southside High School in Alabama, Claudia traveled to Nepal this summer to work with local communities repairing homes and villages damaged in earthquakes. She also hiked the Himalayan foothills, practiced meditation with Buddhist monks, and helped conservationists care for elephants in Chitwan National Park.
  • Ethan - A senior at Bob Jones High School in Madison, Alabama, Ethan travelled to Peru for a twenty-day photography journey, documenting both the ancient and contemporary culture of the region.
  • Domenica - A sophomore from Ecuador, Domenica travelled to India on a photography expedition, working with National Geographic's Sandesh Kadur to document India's rural and mountain communities. She also worked at the Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservation and Care Center in Rajastan.
  • Lucia - A junior for Uruguay, Lucia travelled to Tanzania, living in a rural village at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. She studied wildlife conservation in the region and assisted a National Geographic project to build a "boma" fence and help preserve Africa's lion population.

"I am so grateful to AT&T, Nat Geo Mundo and National Geographic for making this trip happen and for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime experience," said Domenica. "I will treasure it forever and look forward to returning to India, and its wonderful people, down the road."

Visit NatGeoMundoExplorer.com for more information.

Knowledge & Exploration, National Geographic Channel

21st Century Fox celebrates 'Pitch' by partnering with Women's Sports Foundation to expand girls' access to sports

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Ginny Baker, the fictional first female player in major league baseball, will make her way to television this fall on FOX's newest drama Pitch, and to celebrate her inspirational story, 21st Century Fox has announced a new partnership with the Women's Sports Foundation (WSF) to help break barriers for girls in their own communities and take their athletic achievements to new heights.

The partnership will support WSF's leading efforts to champion women in sports. Founded by sports icon Billie Jean King in 1974, the organization conducts research to further understand the physical and emotional benefits for girls who participate in athletics, and works directly with leagues, schools, and nonprofits on the local level that are trying to get and keep girls in the game.

Specifically, 21CF's contributions will support WSF's scholarship and grant programs, which allow female athletes across a range of skill levels to pursue the sport they love. Its Sports 4 Life initiative, for example, 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 sports programs.Recent recipients include Atlanta's Soccer in the Streets program, providing soccer programs for Hispanic young women, and Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), which provides after-school programming for LA youth in academics, arts, and athletics.

WSF also supports schools and grassroots organizations through its GoGirlGo! program, an award winning curriculum and sports education program. In addition, its Travel & Training Fund gives aspiring female champions the financial support they need to dedicate themselves to athletic competitions around the world. WSF also awards sport-specific grants to female athletes in judo, auto racing, and more.

As part of 21CF's support of the foundation, the company is screening a highlight reel of WSF's work at each "Pitch Night at the Ballpark" event. The campaign offers baseball fans a chance to attend an advance screening of the Pitch pilot episode at 55 baseball venues across the country following a regular season game. After the game concludes, attendees are welcomed onto the field for family activities such as Kids Run the Bases and player meet-and-greets. Along with the pilot, the venue highlights the vital work the foundation is doing to expand opportunities for young women and girls through this video:

FOX Sports, a division of 21st Century Fox, 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 Sports also supports WSF's Annual Salute to Women in Sports, a gala recognizing the world's top female athletes.

Learn more at the Women's Sports Foundation's website.

And be sure to check out the video below of kids reacting to the first female MLB player. Pitch premieres Thursday, Sept. 22 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

Corporate, Diversity, Fox Networks Group (incl. FOX, Cable, Sports, etc.), Sports & Wellbeing