In 2014, 21st Century Fox and Ghetto Film School jointly founded GFS Los Angeles, an education center dedicated to giving young people from historically under-served areas the chance to realize their dreams of becoming filmmakers. GFS students get hands-on industry experience, writing scripts, pitching story ideas, shooting on location, and editing a finished product. 21st Century Fox companies have opened their doors to ensure GFS's filmmaking education is comprehensive, providing students with unprecedented access to filmmakers, executives, and talent. Together, GFS and 21CF are developing, celebrating, and opening new avenues for the next generation of great American storytellers.
Initially founded in 2000 in the South Bronx, Ghetto Film School gives teens the chance to express their creativity in unique and imaginative ways, while imparting critical skills like improvisation, problem-solving, and teamwork. Its Fellows Program is a free, 30-month college level immersion course in cinematic storytelling and production training, providing students a thorough education on all facets of moviemaking. Hollywood visionaries from David O. Russell to Lee Daniels have become actively involved, guest-lecturing and mentoring the budding filmmakers. In 2014, 21st Century Fox upped its long-time support by bringing the NY-based program to Los Angeles - and GFS LA was born. Headquartered in MacArthur Park, the new school offers its rigorous Fellows program free of charge to a new group of creative young people from high schools across the city.
21st Century Fox donates financial and in-kind support for GFS LA, bolstering the school's curriculum by involving executives and talent as mentors and guest lecturers. Fox Networks Group CEO Peter Rice was on hand at the launch of the school, meeting with students and promoting the program to the MacArthur Park community; once class began, among the students' first projects was the development of promotional shorts for the "Every Simpsons Ever" campaign on FXX. The students reviewed the channel's creative brief, developed concepts, and pitched to the FX Networks marketing team. After receiving the green light, the students worked in teams of three to shoot six 30-second spots, with plans to put the winning team's promo on-air - a major achievement for a group of up-and-coming high school students.
After graduation from the program, GFS alumni are given access to 21st Century Fox recruiters to ensure they are considered for relevant positions at the company, giving a direct line into the industry and an opportunity to put their skills to use.
From its hundreds of current students to its thousands of alumni, the Ghetto Film School has changed lives every day for the past 17 years. Its innovative and ambitious filmmaking curriculum empowers young people from diverse communities that traditionally have been underrepresented in the industry. GFS's platforms use filmmaking to nurture their creativity, hone skills like collaboration and public speaking, build their confidence, and challenge them to achieve new levels of understanding of themselves and the world. The partnership with 21st Century Fox will enable GFS to positively impact new communities, providing a pipeline for bringing diverse, creative voices to the industry and giving many more young people a pathway to success.