21st Century Fox launches 21CF Impact Week, gives colleagues opportunities to volunteer in local communities across the U.S.
As part of 21st Century Fox's commitment to making a positive impact in the local communities where its colleagues live and work, the company is launching 21CF Impact Week. The inaugural week of nationwide service starts today.
Colleagues based in New York, Los Angeles and select cities across the U.S. will volunteer at schools, parks and community centers. Service opportunities include a Rocky Horror-themed hike for charity, an ice cream social and sing-along night at a senior assisted living center, packing and donating military and school supply care packages, a science scavenger hunt for kids at the American Museum of Natural History, and several other volunteering events. Over 1,000 colleagues are expected to participate in the pilot program this year.
At the company's recent All Hands meeting, 21CF Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch and CEO James Murdoch touched on the importance of giving back to our communities.
"It's important for our colleagues to know that 21CF is more than just a commercial enterprise; we are a company that considers the impacts we have on the world around us," 21CF Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch said.
"We're a business that believes its long-term health is tied to the positive social impact we make on the communities we serve, and we encourage all our colleagues to join in the effort," 21CF CEO James Murdoch added.
Check back here next week for a recap, photos and videos from this year's 21CF Impact Week.
Leonardo DiCaprio and National Geographic Channel screen climate change documentary 'Before the Flood' at the United Nations
Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for National Geographic
Academy Award-winner and U.N. Messenger for Peace Leonardo DiCaprio, along with executives from the National Geographic Channel, welcomed U.N. diplomats, top Hollywood talent, and more to the United Nations Headquarters in New York City on October 20 for a red carpet screening of Before the Flood, DiCaprio's forthcoming documentary about the worsening effects of climate change on global communities and ecosystems. The film, which follows DiCaprio as he travels the world interviewing individuals from every facet of society about the climate, will premiere on 21st Century Fox's National Geographic Channel on Sunday, October 30, at 9/8c in 171 countries and 45 languages.
"I'd like to salute Leo for a powerful piece of art, a real call to arms, and also an offering of hope for the future," said Piers Sellers, Director of Earth Sciences, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, during a post-screening panel discussion with DiCaprio, Before the Flood director Fisher Stevens, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. "We need to get more people out of this feeling of 'Oh, it's just too late...' I want to see political action, and I think what you have done here is going to be a major pull for that."
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed the audience, as well, publicly thanking DiCaprio and his team for their work on the film. Also in attendance were actors Mark Ruffalo, Edward Norton, Shailene Woodley, Bridget Moynahan, Josh Charles, and more. The event fell on the eve of the October 21 theatrical release of Before the Flood, which will screen in theaters in New York and Los Angeles before the global broadcast premiere.
DiCaprio and Stevens, along with the leadership at National Geographic, have also spoken about their desire to release the film in the weeks leading up to the U.S. Presidential Election and to bring climate change to the forefront of the political conversation. To accomplish this, National Geographic Channel partnered with Rock the Vote and theSkimm to host voter registration events and screenings of Before the Flood at 50 college campuses this fall, with a goal to register 50,000 new voters. Nat Geo also plans to make the film available for free during the week leading up to the election, streaming on platforms such as iTunes, Facebook, YouTube, and NatGeoTV.com.
"Climate change is the most critical and urgent problem facing our world today, and it must be a top issue for voters this Election Day," DiCaprio said. "Fisher and I set out to make a film that not only educates people about the challenges we face if we fail to act, but one which also shows the solutions we can implement if we find the political will to do so... Bringing this film to college campuses is a key component to engaging young voters to hold our leaders accountable."
The global broadcast premiere of Before the Flood on October 30 will also kick off Nat Geo's first ever Earth Week, six straight days of primetime programming dedicated to climate change. Earth Week includes the second season premiere of the climate change documentary series Years of Living Dangerously, which features Hollywood correspondents such as David Letterman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Cecily Strong. Years premieres on October 30, as well, and the week will continue with nature documentaries, encore presentations, and more.
Learn more about Before the Flood, and check out the full panel discussion with President Barack Obama, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, and DiCaprio from the film screening at the White House earlier this month.
'The X-Files' creator Chris Carter earns Vancouver Film Festival award for environmental efforts on set, delivers keynote at Sustainable Production Forum
Photo by 20th Century Fox/Rex Features
At a Vancouver International Film Festival luncheon on October 7, The X-Files creator Chris Carter accepted the festival's 2016 Industry Builder Award for his role in leading efforts behind the scenes to make production as environmentally sustainable as possible. Beginning with initiatives on the set of 20th Century Fox's The X-Files: I Want to Believe in 2007 and continuing through to this year's six-episode event series, the work led by Carter and his crew has resulted in major savings in both costs and carbon emissions and developed new strategies to recycle set materials. The initiatives were bolstered by 21st Century Fox's corporate sustainability program, which is dedicated to reducing environmental impacts across global operations.
"The X-Files is at the forefront of sustainable production, something of which I'm very proud," Carter said during his acceptance speech. "We reused, repurposed or recycled 81% of the materials on the [event series]. That takes such a combined effort by so many people from the bottom to the top."
Beyond its total waste diversion rate of 81%, The X-Files event series also recycled 100% of the aluminum and steel used in set construction, mandated the exclusive use of Forest Stewardship Council-certified lauan plywood, and replaced plastic water bottles with refillable ones, an initiative that avoided the use of nearly 46,000 plastic bottles. In addition, the production recycled more than 3 tons of "dirty" Styrofoam used for set construction, breaking new ground for the industry as a whole.
Carter also delivered the keynote address at the festival's Sustainable Production Forum, a day-long conference for film and television production professionals that included presentations from executives at 20th Century Fox and more. His speech covered the considerable environmental production assets available in Vancouver, including hydroelectric power and multiple innovative green vendors, and emphasized the entire crew's role in making environmental efforts successful, from transportation and set design to props and costumes.
"This can be done through a spirit of cooperation, sharing, and mindfulness," Carter said. "Every choice we make in production as an energy choice, whether it's using biofuels in our generators or simply turning off our vehicles if we stop to talk on the phone."
Learn more about Carter's award, as well as his speech at the Sustainable Production Forum, and check out the video below on The X-Files' green production practices:
STAR Plus kicks off 'Nayi Soch' campaign to salute star cricket players' mothers, drive progress for Indian women
STAR India has long been an example of a company that embeds purpose in what it does, in particular when it comes to advancing the societal roles of women and girls. In its latest campaign, STAR India's No.1 Hindi general entertainment channel, STAR Plus, has recruited three of India's biggest cricket stars for a series of television promos to combat stereotypes and push the agenda for the country's half-billion women. The campaign is part of a brand partnership with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) called "Nayi Sochi" ("New Thinking").
In the three promos, Indian cricket superstars MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane each replace the last name on the back of their jerseys with their respective mother's names. The goal is to convey that these real-life stars have become who they are today in large part because of their mothers, and that others also draw their identity as much from their mothers as they do from their fathers, a notion that pushes against societal norms in the country.
"We at STAR India are very happy to partner with BCCI for an iconic brand initiative of 'Nayi Soch'," said Sanjay Gupta, managing director at STAR. "STAR Plus has been a lighthouse brand for women. We have always put women first, told their stories and are now set to take it to the next level - by challenging orthodoxy and stereotypes that come in the way of progress for women."
The promos were unveiled on Oct. 16, during the India-New Zealand ODI series.
The campaign builds on STAR India's long tradition of using its media platforms to advocate for the rights of women and girls. On-air, Aamir Khan has dedicated multiple episodes of his social awareness series Satyamev Jayate to issues affecting Indian women, including sexual violence and female feticide, and in honor of International Women's Day in 2015, STAR Sports launched the #CheckOutMyGame campaign celebrating women in sports. The company also developed the VithU smartphone app, allowing women to send out GPS distress signals when they fear they are in danger of assault. The app has seen millions of downloads since its launch in 2013.
Tony Brown, executive director of community youth organization Heart of Los Angeles; Joe Hall, Ghetto Film School founder and president; and James Murdoch, 21st Century Fox CEO and GFS board member. (Photo by: Alex Berliner)
At Ghetto Film School's first annual Fall Benefit in Los Angeles on Thursday, Oct. 6, 21st Century Fox CEO and GFS board member James Murdoch was honored for his involvement in the nonprofit, which gives young, aspiring storytellers in historically underrepresented communities an immersive film education and hands-on industry experience. 21CF, founding sponsor of GFS's expansion to Los Angeles in 2014, is now funding all of GFS's core costs for the next three years and has been a longtime supporter of the program. Beyond financial backing, 21CF provides the students access to filmmakers, executives and talent from its many film and television companies.
"I'm tremendously humbled to be honored by Ghetto Film School tonight and am grateful to have been part of their expansion from New York to the heart of this industry in Los Angeles," James said during his remarks. "But the real honor belongs to the GFS staff and its students, and all of you here who are supporting the next generation of great American storytellers."
He went on to talk about the natural fit between 21CF and GFS because of their "shared belief in the power of stories and storytellers, and the vibrancy that diversity brings to the business of ideas."
The Fall Benefit was GFS's first gala in L.A. since opening its campus there in June 2014. GFS was founded in the South Bronx, New York, in 2000.
"GFS provides a unique pipeline for original and underrepresented voices," James said. "It is creating a new pathway into Hollywood that is so badly needed. And while we have a collective responsibility to open the gates, we have an even bigger opportunity to bring some of the world's brightest and most passionate new storytellers into the fold."
Tony Brown, executive director of community youth organization Heart of Los Angeles, was also honored at GFS's Fall Benefit.
The event was hosted at Academy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer's home in Santa Monica, California. Guests included Bradley Cooper, J.J. Abrams, David O. Russell, Brett Ratner, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Rachel Roy, Sterling K. Brown, Terry Crews and Hannah Simone.
To learn more about the partnership, watch our new video about GFS and 21CF below. It was filmed and directed by Digital Bodega, GFS's full-service boutique production company based in the South Bronx that employs GFS program graduates and sends 100 percent of its profits back to GFS.
About Ghetto Film School: GFS serves more than 1,000 talented and motivated individuals ages 14-35 annually, free of charge. It cultivates a largely untapped group of next generation creative thinkers through two tracks: a pre-professional, narrative filmmaking educational model; and an early career talent pipeline for opportunities in the creative and media sectors. The organization's national creative education model uses multimedia storytelling and production training to develop broad-based 21st century skills. Students are equipped for top universities and the modern workforce by studying this industrial, collaborative process through their Fellows Program, The Cinema School, Digital Bodega and The Roster.
Xploration Outer Space, the space-themed educational series for kids and teens airing on Fox TV Stations nationwide, scored two major wins at the Cynopsis Kids !magination Awards on September 27. The half-hour series from Steve Rotfeld Productions was recognized by Cynopsis Media as the year's Best Educational Series/Special on STEM subjects, and its #StudentAstronaut contest earned the award for Best Social Media Campaign. Xploration Outer Space is part of Xploration Station, a three-hour block of STEM programming airing Saturday mornings on Fox TV Stations.
"Former NASA employee Emily Calandrelli takes kids on an out-of-this-world journey in this series seen in more than 100 million homes," Cynopsis Media wrote on their website. "Through stunts including a ride in the 'vomit comet' to experiments with space balloons and rockets, the show opens viewers' imaginations to the endless possibilities of outer space."
Cynopsis also recognized the series' #StudentAstronaut contest, a digital competition that ran this spring in which high school and college students vied for an all-expenses-paid trip to Sanford, Florida to train like an astronaut, experience zero gravity, and ultimately appear on an episode of the show. Applicants submitted short videos to the Xploration Station Facebook page explaining why they think space exploration is important. The winner was University of Maine student Samuel Borer, a double major in physics and mathematics.
"We believe that contests like this can inspire the next generation to pursue careers in science," said Steve Rotfeld, president of Steve Rotfeld Productions. "This is a unique opportunity to engage students in a real world experience that makes science fun and exciting."
Cynopsis also awarded Xploration Outer Space sister series Xploration Awesome Planet, hosted by Philippe Cousteau, and Xploration Earth 2050, the multiple Emmy-nominated series hosted by artist and futurist Chuck Pell, with honorable mentions in the Best Educational Series/Special - STEM and Best Educational Series/Special categories, respectively. Rotfeld himself received honorable mention in the Executives and Showrunners category.
These three series, along with three additional shows, are currently airing on Saturday mornings on Fox TV Stations across the country. Also comprising Xploration Station are Xploration DIY Sci, hosted by YouTube star Steve Spangler, Xploration Nature Knows Best, hosted by marine biologist Danni Washington, and Xploration Weird but True, hosted by Charlie and Kirby Engleman, produced in partnership with Nat Geo Kids.
Learn more about the Cynopsis Kids !magination Awards, including a full list of winners, and catch up with past episodes of all six Xploration Station series on Hulu.