20th Century Fox Television’s hit series Fresh Off The Boat has partnered with Six-Word Memoirs on a new crowd-sourced book: Six Words Fresh Off The Boat: Stories of Immigration, Identity, and Coming to America (September 2017). This newest compilation in the bestselling series will feature the personal, complex, and profound emotions that generations of immigrants have felt as they built new lives in America.
“Fresh off the Boat reflects and celebrates the immigrant experiences of millions of people across generations. With this crowd-sourced book elevating voices from all across America, we hope to inspire anyone who identifies with the subject matter directly or through the lives of past generations to share their story in six words,” said Steven Melnick, Head of Marketing at 20th Century Fox Television. His six-worder: “Grandma's Sunday greeting: gotenyu zisa boychickel,” which translates from Yiddish to “Dear God, what a sweet boy.” Other examples—
Carried few possessions and many dreams.
Sister pretends she can't use chopsticks.
Feuding with three family members? Persian.
Fresh Off the Boat, now in its third season on ABC, is loosely based on the memoir of entrepreneur and restaurateur Eddie Huang. The show follows a Taiwanese-American family as they adjust to a new life in 1990’s suburban Florida. The Six-Word Memoir Project was started by Larry Smith in 2006 when his tweet, “Can you describe your life in six words?” went viral around the world.
Fans can submit their own immigrant stories at sixwordmemoirs.com/FOTB through February 15 to be considered for publication in the book.
On the latest episode of the GreenBiz 350 podcast, GreenBiz executive editor Joel Makower interviewed 21st Century Fox’s VP of Social Impact Vijay Sudan about the company’s efforts to green its film and television productions. Vijay spoke about the studio’s recent production achievements, such as 24: Live Another Day’s success at becoming the first TV series to use 100% FSC-certified lumber for set construction, as well as the company’s ongoing efforts to manage waste.
“There’s a baseline of behind-the-scenes work that has continued for decades,” he said. “As we move forward from looking at our energy and carbon issues, we’re really looking at what goes into a production and what the environmental impacts are... we’re looking at waste issues and how we responsibly dispose of those materials and reuse them.”
National Geographic harnesses the power of storytelling to share science, adventure and exploration programming from all reaches of the world, and through the launch of a new fellowship program, the company will support the next generation of filmmakers whose work shares those same core goals.
At its Second Annual Filmmakers Reception at this year’s Sundance Film Festival on January 22, National Geographic Global Networks CEO Courteney Monroe announced the creation of the Further Filmmaker Fellowship, a grant program supporting young documentarians who embody the company’s spirit of exploration. The fellowship, a partnership with the Sundance Institute, was named for National Geographic’s global brand tagline “Further,” which symbolizes the desire to take risks, never settle, be radical about facts and always be hungry for more.
“At National Geographic, we believe in empowering visionaries who take risks to tell compelling stories that break through and matter,” Monroe said. “We are excited to partner with an emerging filmmaker to take us even further in our quest to explore the world and all that’s in it—whether big or small. We are thrilled to collaborate with Sundance Institute in a way that contributes to the next generation of storytellers.”
Over the course of the year, an award-winning team of executive producers at National Geographic will work with the Sundance Institute to identify a filmmaker who exemplifies the “Further” brand values Monroe describes. The fellowship builds on National Geographic’s long history of creating opportunities for the next generation of storytellers, including Nat Geo WILD’s Wild to Inspire short film contest, now in its fourth year, and the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, which gives young scholars the chance to hone their communications skills during a year-long expedition abroad.
The creation of the Further Filmmaker Fellowship comes shortly after the launch of the National Geographic Documentary Films banner, which was announced January 13. The banner will focus the company’s efforts to release an estimated four feature-length documentaries per year, following the success and wide digital release of Leonardo DiCaprio’s climate change film, Before the Flood. Monroe has said that the documentaries will tackle critical contemporary subjects such as climate change, the water crisis, space exploration, race and more.
“Those are the issues that are really organic to the National Geographic brand. Who better to tell these stories?” she said during an interview with Variety. “We want to be making timely, issue-oriented, very provocative films with the very best documentary filmmakers in the business… We reach 730 million people around the world. That’s really powerful to filmmakers, who want their stories to be told on the grandest stage possible.”
Corporate responsibility consultant and writer Susan McPherson spoke with industry leaders across multiple business sectors in a January 19 article for Forbes about the trends in CSR they see for the year ahead. Liba Rubenstein, 21CF's newly appointed SVP of Social Impact, was among those interviewed, and she discussed the business world's unique capacity to bring about social change, as well as the importance of clear, captivating storytelling to a successful CSR strategy:
"The world's most respected companies focus not only on doing meaningful, measurable work in their communities, but also on telling compelling, multidimensional stories about who they are and why Social Impact is core to their identity," she said. "They're also taking advantage of exciting mediums like virtual reality (VR) to increase empathy and understanding. A dry CSR report isn't going to move the needle anymore - we all have to be storytellers."
Nearly 10,000 young women from middle and high schools across Los Angeles County gathered at the University of Southern California’s Galen Center on January 10 for an exclusive screening of Hidden Figures, the hit film from 20th Century Fox that tells the true story of three female African American mathematicians who played crucial roles in the Space Race of the 1960’s. The LA Promise Fund for Public Schools organized the screening, which featured appearances by cast members Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe and Aldis Hodge, along with producer Pharrell Williams, all of whom spoke about their hope that the Hidden Figures story will inspire more women and women of color to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
“When I first heard what the story was about, which is three African American women who help get our first man into space, I thought it was fiction,” Spencer said during a Q&A with the cast. “When I realized they were real women who made real contributions, which we are still feeling the effects of today, I wanted to be a part of telling their stories so that we will never have people not getting the recognition that they so richly deserve… You are the master of your fate. Remember that.”
The LA Promise Fund invited female students from more than 100 public schools to the screening as part of its Girls Build LA initiative, which challenges young women from across LA County to use STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) principles to effect social change. The event featured a full day of speakers and presentations, including from Diana Trujillo, a Hispanic-American immigrant from Colombia who now works for NASA as the Activity Lead for the Mars Curiosity Rover, and Dr. Knatokie Ford, Senior Policy Advisor at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy, who emceed the program.
“Take a look around. You all represent the depth and the diversity of LA County, and I am so very inspired to look at all your beautiful faces and all this amazing potential that you represent,” Ford said. “I hope that you will not only be entertained by this amazing film you’re about to see, but I also want you to be encouraged, and I want you to be inspired to think that you can do it too.”
This event was supported by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans and by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.
21st Century Fox previously partnered with the LA Promise Fund in September 2015 for the West Coast premiere of He Named Me Malala, the documentary about the life of international girls’ education activist and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Malala Yousafzai. The event brought together nearly 7,000 girls from middle and high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District and featured a special video appearance by First Lady Michelle Obama. Following the screening, students were treated to a festival on the L.A. Live Plaza, where 21CF organized a selfie campaign, encouraging girls to make a pledge to #StandWithMalala and take action in their schools and communities.