Recent News

Hidden Figures, 21st Century Fox

In celebration of Black History Month, 21st Century Fox and AMC Theatres are joining forces to provide free screenings of Academy Award nominated film Hidden Figures in communities across the country. The film – starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe – tells the 'untold' story of three African American female NASA mathematicians during the Space Race of the 1960's. Hidden Figures has been nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and Best Supporting Actress for Octavia Spencer’s portrayal of Dorothy Vaughan. Hidden Figures continues to inspire audiences across the country, having already crossed $144 million in box office receipts. 

The screenings are intended to build broader awareness of the true story on which the film is based, and inspire younger generations to follow their dreams. The powerful Hidden Figures story has been particularly impactful in encouraging young women, and especially women of color, to pursue studies and careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. "I believe seeing this movie will give us girls the inspiration we need to say, I can be a mathematician, an engineer or better yet, an astronaut,” said Taylor Richardson, a 7th grade student from Florida who loves science and wants to be an astronaut herself.

Free screenings will be held on Saturday, February 18 at 10am in the following cities: Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; The Bronx, NY; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Detroit, MI; Los Angeles, CA; New Orleans, LA; Philadelphia, PA; Oakland, CA; St. Louis, MO; Miami, FL; and Washington, DC. Tickets will be distributed on a first come, first served basis and can be reserved at https://www.amctheatres.com/hidden-figures-group.

“As we celebrate Black History Month and look ahead to Women’s History Month in March, this story of empowerment and perseverance is more relevant than ever. We at 21CF were inspired by the grassroots movement to bring this film to audiences that wouldn’t otherwise be able to see it – audiences that might include future innovators and barrier-breakers – and we wanted to support and extend that movement,” said Liba Rubenstein, 21st Century Fox’s Senior Vice President of Social Impact.

In addition to February 18th’s free screenings, 21st Century Fox and AMC Theatres invite school and community groups and non-profit organizations to apply for additional special screenings to be held in their towns. Groups can apply at http://21.cf/HiddenFigures for consideration. The application deadline is February 28, 2017 and winners will be notified in March 2017.

“The storytelling and message that Hidden Figures carries is endearing and inspiring, and based on the remarkable community support this movie has received, we have witnessed first-hand the powerful impact it is having on audiences,” said Elizabeth Frank, EVP and Chief Content & Programming Officer, AMC. “We’re honored to partner with Fox to help further the reach of this message to moviegoers across the country.”

21st Century Fox also recently completed “The Search for Hidden Figures” contest to uncover the next generation of female leaders in STEM fields. More than $200,000 in scholarships and awards were distributed. More information on the contest is available here.


On February 20, 2017, Nat Geo WILD launched its seventh annual ‘Big Cat Week’, a week of premiere programming and activities dedicated to telling the stories of nature’s fiercest felines—lions, tigers, cheetahs, panthers and more—around the world. ‘Big Cat Week’ is an extension of the Big Cats Initiative (BCI), a long-term commitment by 21st Century Fox’s National Geographic to stop poaching, save habitat and sound the call that big steps are needed to save big cats around the world. The initiative was co-founded by big cat experts Dereck and Beverly Joubert, and supports protection efforts through assessment, on-the-ground conservation, education, and global public-awareness campaigns—since 2009, BCI has supported over 95 innovative grants to protect seven iconic big cat species across 27 countries.

The Big Cats Initiative Sister School Program is an interactive learning opportunity that connects classrooms in the U.S. and abroad with students living near big cat populations across the African continent. One such classroom is P.S. 205, the Fiorello Laguardia School located in the Bronx, which is paired with Gudigwa Primary School in Botswana. Through photos, letters, and virtual assemblies over the last three years, the two schools have created substantial cross-cultural exchange and discussion about the decline of big cats in the wild and what that means for the ecosystem around them.

Last Thursday, P.S. 205 students helped Nat Geo WILD kick off ‘Big Cat Week’ by spending some time with the Jouberts themselves, who live in Botswana and work closely with Gudigwa Primary School. After a special screening of their new documentary, Soul of the Cat, the Jouberts spoke to nearly 400 4th and 5th graders about the history, purpose, and progress of BCI, their role as explorers and filmmakers, and the world of students at Gudigwa, which P.S. 205 has raised $1,500 for through classroom fundraisers. At the end of the presentation, students gave the Jouberts letters to take back to students at Gudigwa and participated in an auditorium-wide ROAR for big cats around the world, while being reminded that even people who live in New York City far from big cat populations can make a difference in protecting them.

Dereck and Beverly Joubert are award-winning filmmakers from South Africa who have been filming, researching, and exploring in Africa for over 25 years. Their coverage of unique predator behavior has resulted in 22 films (and five Emmys), 10 books, six scientific papers, and many articles for National Geographic magazine. As Explorers-in-Residence with National Geographic, the Jouberts are now focused on developing solutions to halt big cat endangerment, which has seen the number of lions in Africa drop from 450,000 to 20,000 in just 50 years.

“We no longer have the luxury of time when it comes to big cats,” says Dereck. “They are in such a downward spiral that if we hesitate now, we will be responsible for extinctions across the globe. If there was ever a time to take action, it is now.”

Learn more about ‘Big Cat Week’ and the Big Cats Initiative.


Star India TED Talks TV Series Hindi Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan

Through a groundbreaking partnership with TED, the nonprofit dedicated to sharing talks from the world’s leading thinkers, 21st Century Fox’s STAR India has announced its latest pro-social television series, TED Talks India: Nayi Soch (“New Thinking”). The show will feature speakers presenting big ideas in Hindi in TED’s signature format, with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan serving as the host. The series marks the first time TED will collaborate with a major network and star to produce a TV series featuring original TED Talks in a language other than English.

“At STAR, we have always believed in pushing the boundaries with new ideas, creativity and fresh thinking,” said Uday Shankar, Chairman & CEO, STAR India. “Nobody reflects this belief more than TED and we are thrilled to collaborate with them in bringing the power of ideas to our audiences with TED Talks India: Nayi Soch. In an age of high volatility the role of ideas to fuel positive change cannot be overstated. We are delighted to have Shah Rukh Khan share our vision and lend his charisma to this exciting endeavor.”

TED Talks India: Nayi Soch will air on Star Plus, STAR’s flagship channel and its #1 Hindi general entertainment channel. TED will unveil more details about the series, including its official release date and the initial lineup of speakers, at its annual conference in Vancouver in April.

“The sheer size of Star TV’s audience, with more than 650 million viewers, makes this a significant milestone in TED’s ongoing effort to bring big ideas to curious minds,” said Juliet Blake, head of TV at TED and executive producer of the series. “Global television is opening up a new frontier for TED.”

The new series is the latest chapter in STAR’s long history of producing compelling, socially relevant content that sparks conversation and drives change. The best known example of the company’s commitment to social progress is Satyamev Jayate (“Truth Alone Prevails”), an Oprah-style talk show in which Bollywood star Aamir Khan travels the country exploring India’s most pressing social issues, from the caste system to water scarcity to LGBT rights. The series raised more than $45 million for its NGO partners over the course of its three seasons, and at one point STAR estimated the show had reached 3 out of every 4 Indians who watch TV or own a mobile phone.

Shankar spoke about SMJ’s impact on Indian culture, as well as his company’s investment in using the power of its programming to drive change, at the Paley Center for Media in New York in 2014. "Each business contributes its own share to society, but there's a certain amount of premium that society places on media businesses," he said. "I've always felt—and my bosses have always encouraged me—to challenge the status quo... Our job is to question, to focus the spotlight on what we feel needs to be observed more closely."

Since SMJ, STAR has continued to support socially-minded programming, such as Amitabh Bachchan’s series Aaj Ki Raat Hai Zindagi, which celebrated personal stories about those making a difference in their communities. The company has also led a number of recent awareness and activism campaigns, such as October’s promos in which cricket players replaced their last names on the backs of their jerseys with their mothers’ names. Previously, STAR launched the #CheckOutMyGame campaign to support women in sports and developed the VithU smartphone app, allowing women to send out GPS distress signals when they fear they are in danger of assault.

“Star India’s legacy of using television as an instrument of social change, and TED’s unequivocal drive to showcase simple but unique ideas in an effort to spark debate and conversation are a very powerful combination,” said Khan. “I believe TED Talks India- Nayi Soch will inspire many minds across India. It is a concept I connected with instantly, as I believe that the media is perhaps the single most powerful vehicle to inspire change. I am looking forward to working with TED and Star India, and truly hope that together, we are able to inspire young minds across India and the world.”

Learn more about TED Talks India: Nayi Soch.


Ghetto Film School, 21st Century Fox Social Impact

Ghetto Film School, an award-winning nonprofit and 21st Century Fox partner, is currently recruiting for its 2017-19 Fellows Program. The Fellows Program is an immersive narrative filmmaking program for high schoolers based in NYC or LA, and free of charge for all students. 

Ghetto Film School (GFS) provides high school students with a substantive and rigorous filmmaking program to develop the next generation of great American storytellers. GFS graduates go on to enroll at prestigious universities and enter the creative industry with impressive professional experience. GFS New York was created in 2000 by Joe Hall, and after years of tremendous growth with interest from the Hollywood community, 21CF helped launched GFS Los Angeles in 2014. 

“What Joe and his team have built in the Bronx has delivered real results from an incredible focus and a feel for storytelling," said James Murdoch, 21CF CEO. “They’ve discovered talented kids and have made a difference in their lives."

The Fellows Program is a 30-month pre-professional program for young storytellers ages 14-18. Students receive 1,000 hours of hands-on training in screenwriting, camera operation, editing, and sound mixing from leading filmmakers and industry experts on live sets and in studios. They develop short films, commercials, and other creative content, and have the chance to shoot abroad in locations like London and Tokyo and screen their films at venues such as the Lincoln Center. Throughout the program, students also undergo college application advising and test prep support, as well as connections to paid internships at top media and creative companies.

Simone Walker, a 15-year-old high school student from LA who participated in the 2013-15 Fellows program, said, "I see myself going into the film industry as a producer or an assistant director, but education comes first... Being 15, college is something I've spent a lot of time thinking about but not having a good idea of what I had to do or how it worked. The program really helped me to understand what college is and what I've got to do to succeed in it.”

Interested students in NYC or LA should visit https://www.ghettofilm.org/ for details; applications must be submitted by March 15, 2017 for consideration.

21CF GFS 2016 Final from 21CF Impact on Vimeo.


naacp image awards taraji henson janelle monae octavia spencer

21st Century Fox businesses took home a collective 11 trophies from the 48th NAACP Image Awards on February 11, scoring wins for acting and directing on film and television projects such as Empire, Atlanta, The People v. O.J. Simpson, This Is Us, and Hidden Figures. The ceremony, which celebrates the accomplishments of people of color across the media landscape, was broadcast live on TV One and was hosted by Anthony Anderson.

A complete list of 21CF businesses wins is as follows:

  • Outstanding Motion Picture – Hidden Figures (20th Century Fox)
  • Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture – Taraji P. Henson, Hidden Figures
  • Outstanding Television Movie, Limited Series or Dramatic Special – The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX)
  • Outstanding Directing in a Dramatic Series – John Singleton, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
  • Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Limited Series or Dramatic Special – Courtney B. Vance, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
  • Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series – Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us (20th Century Fox Television)
  • Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series – Taraji P. Henson, Empire (FOX)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – Jussie Smollett, Empire
  • Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series – Donald Glover, Atlanta (FX)
  • Outstanding Song (Traditional) – Kim Burrell and Pharrell Williams, “I See a Victory,” Hidden Figures soundtrack
  • Outstanding Literary Work (Nonfiction) – Margot Lee Shetterly, Hidden Figures

“There are roles you accept that scare you. And this one did because I failed math,” Henson said during her acceptance speech for her role as Katherine G. Johnson in Hidden Figures. “I made it my mission to do this film. This film was very important. It was bigger than me.”

Both Hidden Figures and The People v. O.J. Simpson were the focus of recent social impact campaigns. Hidden Figures has become a rallying cry for diversity in STEM, screening at the White House in December and serving as the basis for the Search for Hidden Figures scholarship contest last fall. 21CF also partnered with the LA Promise Fund to screen the film for nearly 10,000 young women in LA middle and high schools. Last year, the company took The People v. O.J. Simpson on a screening tour of HBCU campuses around the country.

21CF received 34 total nominations, including nods for FOX’s Lethal Weapon and Pitch, National Geographic’s StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson, 20th Century Fox Television’s Fresh Off the Boat and The Carmichael Show, and Fox Searchlight’s The Birth of a Nation.

"The Image Awards is the premier showcase for art and advocacy reflecting the depth and diversity of the African-American experience," said Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO, NAACP. "It is an American prism through which we see a breadth of culture and color reflected in film, television, music, and literature in ways that reveal our shared humanity. At a moment when America is so divided, the Image Awards represents an hour that brings us together.”

Learn more about this year’s NAACP Awards, and view the full list of winners.