20th Century Fox Film

STEP documentary

In anticipation of Fox Searchlight’s upcoming documentary, STEP, 21st Century Fox is partnering with Tumblr in support of Step Up, an after-school mentoring program for young women in under-resourced communities.

STEP, directed by Amanda Lipitz and distributed by Fox Searchlight, chronicles the true-life story of a girls’ high school step team against the background of the heart of Baltimore. Though the world seems to be working against them, these young women are empowered by their teachers, counselors, families, and each other as they fight to achieve their dreams of winning the step championship and getting accepted into college. STEP explores the emotionally inspiring meaning of sisterhood and perseverance through the story of these remarkable young women.

For the girls in the documentary, step is life—the outlet that keeps them united and fighting, and the means through which they stay focused as they prepare to be the first in their families to go to college. In the spirit of their determination, 21CF and Tumblr want to learn more about what energizes people to achieve their dreams. Beginning on Monday, July 31, for every post shared with the tag #StepisLife, 21CF will donate $1 to Step Up to support mentorship programs for high school girls. Step Up empowers girls living or going to school in under-resourced communities by sharing tools needed to become confident, college-bound, and career-focused.

Step is Life

To support Step Up, think about what keeps you going and moving forward by filling in the message “___ IS LIFE!” and post a selfie, text, video, or piece of art. For every use of #StepisLife across Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram between July 31 and August 6, 21CF will donate $1 to Step Up, up to $25,000.

Fox Searchlight is hosting a series of free screenings across the country, and STEP opens in theaters on August 4th.

STEP cast with U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)

21st Century Fox and Fox Searchlight Pictures recently hosted a Washington, D.C., screening of the upcoming documentary “STEP,” which will hit theaters Friday, Aug. 4. The film tells the inspiring story of the “Lethal Ladies” step dance team at the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women as they navigate the ups and downs of their senior year of high school, several aiming to become the first in their families to attend college. Following the screening, the audience enjoyed a panel discussion with “STEP” director Amanda Lipitz and the entire cast.

The screening for the documentary, which is set in Baltimore, was attended by U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D- MD). 21CF EVP of Public Affairs Chip Smith and Fox Searchlight Pictures President Nancy Utley were also in attendance.

“21st Century Fox is a global media company that produces content which runs the gamut from blockbuster films, to breaking news and TV shows, to the world’s largest sporting events,” Chip remarked at the event. “But ultimately, all of the work we do is about one thing: telling stories that matter to people. And we’re here tonight to share one of those stories with you. ‘STEP’ is a celebration of the life-changing power of education and the arts, and we’re thrilled to support this project.”

Noting that he was a proud graduate of the Baltimore public school system, Sen. Cardin praised the film’s positive message: “This is a story about hope for our future. And after seeing the incredible young women in this film, I have no doubt that our future is in very good hands.”

Check out more photos from the event, as well as the trailer for “STEP”:

Women@Fox Launch Event

On Friday, May 19, 21st Century Fox launched “Women@Fox,” a group focused on fostering female leadership and initiatives that fuel the professional development of women across 21CF. Women@Fox began on the Fox lot in Los Angeles, with developing plans to roll out diversity and inclusion efforts across the entire company, beginning in North America.

An estimated 1,000 people, including 21CF Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch, attended the event, which featured participation from across the company, including Twentieth Century Fox Film Chairman and CEO Stacey Snider and Twentieth Century Fox Television Chairman and CEO Dana Walden, who participated in a panel moderated by FX Networks and FX Productions Development EVP, Gina Balian.

When asked for a piece of advice they would offer to women, Stacey said, “Whatever position you might be in…go a little bit further. Consider what the bigger mandate of your business is and try to see how you can really contribute to that mandate.”

In addition, the event featured remarks from Twentieth Century Fox Television CIO, Alex Grimwade; Fox Diversity and Inclusion SVP, MyKhanh Shelton; and Twentieth Century Fox EVP of Tech and Creative Strategy, Cristina Mancini.

MyKhanh told the crowd, “Diversity is really great for business…teams with different perspectives, backgrounds, and frameworks to see the world are better positioned to identify and solve the most complex problems of our day. And at Fox, we tell the stories of our time.  [We need those stories to be told by a] wide range of voices and perspectives.”

Women@Fox is an expansion of the employee resources available to all levels within 21CF, from those just entering the industry and beginning their careers, to women rising through the ranks, to senior executives looking to transform their teams while mentoring the next generation. Check out photos and a video from the event below.

(Anacani Munoz/Fox)

Salem WGN Fox TV Studios Set

The Salem Set. Photo by Casey Rackham for Screener

Fox 21 Television Studios and the production crew on the horror thriller series Salem recently donated more than $200,000 worth of set materials to the city of Shreveport, Louisiana, where the series has filmed each of its three seasons. The donation will go toward the city’s efforts to repurpose an abandoned community center into an environmentally sustainable aquarium. The new building is set to become the first in the state’s history to achieve LEED Platinum certification and will receive $166,000 worth of lumber used to construct Salem’s sets, as well as individual set pieces such as water wells, foam trees, and foam rocks that can be used in the aquarium’s exhibits.

“Normally, 90% of [these sets] would go straight into a dumpster, so the workers who made all this beautiful stuff are ecstatic that it’s going to be repurposed for a change,” said Jim Hays of LA House of Props, who received the donation and is working with his team to build shipwreck and submarine installations in the new aquarium. “We’ve got these big curved structural pieces that look like the inside of a hull of a ship… It’s just amazing.”

The Shreveport Aquarium is slated to open in late summer and will be one of the state’s most environmentally sustainable buildings. The structure will draw on renewable energy, utilize high-efficiency equipment, and feature a state-of-the-art system to recycle the water used in the exhibits, which will contain more than 3,000 animals representing more than 270 different species. Salem’s donation consists of materials from all three seasons of the show and will enhance the aquarium’s mission to promote ocean education and conservation.

Rendering of new Shreveport Aquarium Rendering of the new Shreveport Aquarium by Kevin Bryan Architect

21st Century Fox’s film and television studios regularly donate leftover set materials to not only reduce the amount of waste the productions send to landfill but also support the communities where the projects film. When Glee wrapped after six seasons, Twentieth Century Fox Television donated thousands of pounds of rigging gear to Los Angeles schools and gave the show’s entire auditorium set to local theater and arts organizations. Fox’s studios donated more than 78 tons of set materials in 2015 alone.

The company has also consistently given back to communities across Louisiana in particular, due to the large number of films and TV series that have filmed there, including FX’s American Horror Story, FOX’s Scream Queens, 20th Century Fox’s Logan, and more. In August 2016, following a period of heavy rain in the area, 21CF donated $100,000 to the Louisiana Association of United Way’s flood relief efforts and enlisted the Scream Queens cast to record a PSA calling on viewers to help. The state continues to be an important production hub for the entertainment industry.

Learn more about the Shreveport Aquarium, and watch the video below for a behind the scenes look at how the Salem set will live on:

Hidden Figures curriculum guide

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has partnered with the nonprofit Journeys in Film to release a free Hidden Figures curriculum guide for the classroom.

Hidden Figures—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, and was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and Best Supporting Actress for Octavia Spencer’s portrayal of Dorothy Vaughan. The powerful story behind Hidden Figures has made waves around the world and is encouraging young women, especially young women of color, to follow their dreams and pursue studies and careers in STEM.

Inspired by past and present women working in STEM, the classroom curriculum guide highlights the dedication, confidence, and academic excellence that these three women conveyed in the film. The guide is made up of eight comprehensive, standards-aligned lesson plans for middle school-aged students, and is interdisciplinary, offering various lenses through which students can approach the social issues raised by the film.

“The first few lessons in this guide will help students understand the context in which the events of Hidden Figures occur. In the spirit of Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughn’s creative determination, Journeys in Film’s lessons trace the increasing animosity between Communist nations and the West, the pressure-filled context in which the women at Langley were working, the logistics of the U.S. space effort and the vital role served by the “human computers” portrayed in the film. Students will also research the Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board of Education in the timeline of key events during the Civil Rights Movement, which provide a deeper understanding of the actions activists and ordinary citizens undertook to end segregation,” said Journeys in Film.

21st Century Fox recently completed the “The Search for Hidden Figures” contest to uncover the next generation of female leaders in STEM, and distributed over $200,000 in scholarships to two grand prize winners and ten runners-up. In partnership with AMC Theatres, 21CF has also organized free screenings around the U.S. to celebrate February’s Black History Month and March’s Women’s History Month, and schools and community groups were invited to apply for free hometown screenings as well. “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, 21CF’s Senior Vice President of Social Impact.

Teachers can download the Hidden Figures curriculum guide for free from Journeys in Film, and beginning in May, high schools can also request free DVDs to screen the movie for students across the U.S.

Hidden Figures is now available on Blu-Ray, DVD, and Digital HD.