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.
Nat Geo announces Earth Week, premieres new season of 'Years of Living Dangerously,' unveils 'Before the Flood' trailer
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" PREMIEREEarlier 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.
20th Century Fox Film partners with American Film Institute to increase opportunities for female film directors in Hollywood
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.
Nat Geo Mundo Explorer competition grants four high school students a summer of science, travel and photography
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."
21st Century Fox celebrates 'Pitch' by partnering with Women's Sports Foundation to expand girls' access to sports
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.
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.
Vancouver Film Festival to honor 'X-Files' creator Chris Carter for achievements in environmentally sustainable production
From its first episode in 1993, The X-Files built a legacy as one of TV's most ambitious dramas, and the series and its creator are now being honored for their ambitions behind the scenes, as well.
The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) announced on August 24 that it will present Chris Carter, creator and showrunner of The X-Files, with its Industry Builder Award for his efforts to make the production of this year's X-Files event series as environmentally sustainable as possible. The production team's work behind the scenes led to major cost and carbon emission savings and promoted innovative new ways to recycle set materials. Carter will accept the award at a VIFF luncheon on October 7.
"The VIFF Industry Builder Award recognizes a key contributor to British Columbia's creative industries," VIFF said. "With a growing focus on sustainability in production and content creation across the industry, this year's award is proudly presented to Chris Carter for his exemplary sustainable production of the X-Files."
Efforts to green the production of The X-Files event series began even before shooting began in summer 2015. 21st Century Fox worked with the production team to share best practices from previous green shoots, such as 24: Live Another Day, and hired a dedicated green production consultant to help each department conserve materials and keep energy use down.
Thanks to these efforts, the production managed to divert more than 81% of its total waste from landfill, recycle 100% of the aluminum and steel used in set construction, use only lauan plywood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), replace plastic water bottles with refillable ones, avoiding the use of 45,760 plastic bottles, and recycle more than 35 tons of "dirty" Styrofoam used for set construction, breaking new ground for the industry as a whole.
These achievements were a high water mark for the series, which has demonstrated its commitment to sustainability in the past. The previous entry in the franchise, the 2008 feature The X-Files: I Want to Believe, was one of the first films to go into production following the launch of 21CF's corporate sustainability program in 2007, and it was among the first to implement the green production practices that Fox helped pioneer, such as prioritizing alternative fuels and recycling materials used on set.
"When I first started working in the business, we would just take sets and throw them away," said series creator Chris Carter in an interview on green production for the movie's DVD release. "That's changing. There is a new directive, and I think Fox is at the forefront of that directive, using recycled materials whenever possible, recycling what you do use, and looking at it as a total approach. I was very excited about that."
At the Vancouver Film Festival, Carter will also host the Sustainable Production Forum, a daylong conference featuring production executives from across the industry, as well as representatives from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the World Bank. The event comes as part of VIFF's Impact program, a screening series dedicated to socially relevant documentaries.
Read our detailed case study on The X-Files' green production practices and view the video below. The Vancouver Film Festival will run from September 29 until October 14.