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Shorty Awards Logo Hidden Figures Malala

The Ninth Annual Shorty Awards on April 23 recognized recent social impact campaigns from 21st Century Fox for their innovative and effective use of social media to engage audiences. 21CF’s Search for Hidden Figures contest, which distributed more than $200,000 in scholarships to women in STEM, and the Stand with Malala campaign, which drove support and awareness of the Malala Fund and its fight for girls’ education, won their respective categories.

“Tonight is the night we recognize the individuals and organizations producing great content on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Snapchat, Musicly, Instagram, and for the last time ever, Vine,” host Tony Hale joked during his opening remarks. “But what makes this award show so unique is that it pays tribute to those who are using social media as a force for positive change.”

The Search for Hidden Figures contest, for which 21CF partnered with PepsiCo, asked young women, students and professionals, to submit videos explaining the importance of the STEM fields to themselves and the rest of the world. The winners received scholarships and additional training from the New York Academy of Sciences. The contest won the Multicultural Community Engagement category.

21CF and National Geographic’s Stand With Malala campaign, which launched around the global, commercial-free broadcast premiere of Davis Guggenheim’s documentary He Named Me Malala, won for best Facebook Partnership. The campaign asked viewers to change their Facebook profile to a special video that transformed profile pictures into yearbook photos and then dissolved female users’ profile pictures from the page, representing the millions of girls who are out of school worldwide. For every post, 21CF donated $1 to the Malala Fund for a total of $50,000.

Fox Home Entertainment’s campaigns for Deadpool, “Deadpool Gets All the Likes” and “Deadpool’s Global Domination,” also received awards, as did the studio’s “From Deadpool with Love” campaign in the Branded Content category, and the “Ryan Reynolds IS Deadpool” campaign in the Multi-Platform Campaign category. FX’s Atlanta was awarded Silver in the race for Best GIF. 

Sawhorse Media founded the Shorty Awards in 2008 to celebrate the best content across the social media landscape. The awards for individual influencers represent the public votes of more than 5 million internet users, as well as scores from the Real Time Academy of Short Form Arts and Sciences, which assembles leaders in technology, journalism, business, and culture. The awards for brands and organizations are judged solely by the Real Time Academy.

Learn more about the Shorty Awards, including the full list of winners at this year’s awards, and watch the entire April 23 ceremony.


During its inspiring upfront presentation on Wednesday evening, National Geographic presented its ambitious 2017-18 slate of premium, groundbreaking content. The “Further Front,” which was hosted at the Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, included the presentation of seven new unscripted series, one new scripted series, three feature documentaries and a number of returning series.

“In our industry, we are all in the business of ideas and storytelling,” said 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch in his opening remarks. “We believe Nat Geo’s distinction in the media landscape of storytellers is that its stories are driven by purpose. Fueled by the authenticity and excellence of our partners – photographers and explorers who work tirelessly to challenge our perspectives – Nat Geo inspires and connects people, and opens our eyes wide to science and the natural world.”

National Geographic Global Networks CEO Courteney Monroe reflected on the network’s far-reaching programming the past year, including “MARS,” “Before the Flood,” “Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric,” “The Story of God With Morgan Freeman” and “Genius,” which premieres April 25.

“In a word, we’ve gone further: further to entertain you further to captivate you and further to elevate our brand of creatively ambitious premium programming,” she said before presenting National Geographic’s slate of 2017-18 content.

National Geographic’s 2017-18 upfront slate includes “Race,” a new unscripted series from Shawn Carter (Jay Z) and The Weinstein Company; a new six-part documentary series from Katie Couric; “The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman,” an expansion of the Emmy-nominated “The Story of God”; a new Dr. Jane Goodall biopic; and the return of “Genius,” “MARS,” “Explorer” and “StarTalk With Neil deGrasse Tyson.”

To end the presentation, National Geographic EVP for Sales and Partnerships Brendan Ripp spoke with National Geographic Photography Fellow Cory Richards via a live Skype feed. Cory, who was about to begin his second trip up Mount Everest, was asked to share what the National Geographic brand means to him: “National Geographic really represents the investment in the planet, the future of the planet and the future of the human family. We have to look further beyond ourselves to see how integrated we are and how connected all of this is. Using our exploration, education and storytelling to bring that together hopefully inspires the rest of the world to care the same way we do.”

Yesterday, National Geographic also announced three new scripted development projects; “Earth Live,” a two-hour live broadcast hosted by Jane Lynch; The National Geographic Further Community, a new digital venture; and Nat Geo WILD’s 2017-18 upfront slate.

Read more about National Geographic’s Further Front announcements, and see more photos from the event here.

Cory Richards, National Geographic photographer


Hidden Figures

In celebration of February’s Black History Month and March’s Women’s History Month, 21st Century Fox and AMC Theatres invited schools, community groups, and non-profit organizations to apply for special screenings of Academy Award-nominated Hidden Figures. Over 7,000 groups applied for free screenings, resulting in approximately 3,500 free tickets distributed across the U.S.

The winning groups represent a diverse range of organizations, from Girl Scout clubs to college STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) initiatives to public elementary and middle schools. 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.

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 was 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, with over $220 million in box office receipts and a Home Entertainment DVD release on April 11, 2017.

“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.

Meet the Hidden Figures free screening winners:

  • 75th Street Elementary School; Marina del Rey, CA
  • CCEO YouthBuild; Torrance, CA
  • Booker T. Washington Senior High, Astronomy Magnet Program; Miami, FL
  • COPE Center North High School; Miami, FL
  • Jack and Jill of America; Orlando, FL
  • John Hopkins Middle School; Tampa, FL
  • Teen Girls in Tech, YWCA; Atlanta, GA
  • Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta; Atlanta, GA
  • Off the Street Club; Chicago IL
  • Chicago Youth Programs; Chicago, IL
  • Thread; Baltimore, MD
  • EMBODI Male Mentoring Program, Delta Sigma Theta; Baltimore, MD
  • Kingdom Kare; Columbia, MD
  • East Kentwood High School; Grand Rapids, MI
  • JJ Hill Elementary School; Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
  • Urban TEC; Kansas City, MO
  • Crossroads Corp.; Charlotte, NC
  • Quail Hollow Middle School; Charlotte, NC
  • Ranson IB Middle School; Charlotte, NC
  • Coulwood STEM Academy; Charlotte, NC
  • Brooklyn Democracy Academy; Brooklyn, NY
  • The Campus/Social Work Diva; New York, NY
  • Marie Curie School for Medicine, Nursing & Health Professions; New York, NY
  • Brian Piccolo Middle School; Harlem, NY
  • The Jewish Board Mann Center-RTF; Port Chester, NY
  • Moms2B at OSU; Columbus, OH
  • Noble Academy; Columbus, OH
  • Breakthrough; Philadelphia, PA
  • Gilbert Spruance Elementary School; Philadelphia, PA
  • Harmony Community Development Corp.; Dallas, TX
  • Rice University IBB Girls STEM Initiative; Houston, TX
  • West Seattle YMCA 21st Century Community Learning Center; Seattle, WA
  • Milwaukee Community Cyber High School; Milwaukee, WI

 

This is the second set of free screenings organized by 21CF and AMC Theatres across the U.S. 21CF also recently completed “The Search for Hidden Figures” contest to uncover the next generation of female leaders in STEM fields, and gave over $200,000 in scholarships and awards to encourage young women to pursue careers in STEM.


Ghetto Film School in London

(L-R Barbara Broccoli, Kyra Peters, Ray Gurrola, Gillian Lyons, Emma Thompson, Stacey Snider, Keith Burrus)

On Tuesday, March 21, students from 21st Century Fox partner Ghetto Film School and South London creative non-profit Bold Tendencies held a special screening in London for Ghetto Film School’s 2016 Thesis Films, Ghost of a Chance and Genesis. The short films are the product of almost a year of cross-country and international collaboration between students in Los Angeles, New York, and London. The event brought out the good and the great from London’s film industry, including Academy Award-winning actress Emma Thompson, The Darjeeling Limited actress Amara Karan, actor Babou Ceesay, model and actress Lily Cole, and filmmakers Matthew Vaughn and Ol Parker. The night was hosted by Twentieth Century Fox Film Chairman and CEO, Stacey Snider, and producer Barbara Broccoli, best known for her work on the James Bond film series.

Founded in the South Bronx 17 years ago, Ghetto Film School (GFS) has since expanded to MacArthur Park in LA with the help of 21CF, and currently engages over 1,500 people annually through its two tracks: a pre-professional narrative filmmaking education program, and an early career support network for professional already working in the creative media industries. Every year, the GFS Fellows Program takes high school students from communities traditionally underrepresented in Hollywood through 30 months of intensive instruction from leading filmmakers, mentorship from industry experts, and exposure to the business behind film and television. The fellowship culminates in the Thesis Film Project, a six-month short film production experience in which students travel abroad to create a 15-minute movie in collaboration with a cast and mentoring crew local to that city.

As part of 21CF’s commitment to developing the next generation of creative talent around the world, the company has supported GFS for many years, funding the first program outpost in LA and providing curriculum support, mentors and access to resources, executives, and talent. 21CF is also funding all of GFS’ core costs for the next three years.

In 2016, GFS partnered with Hannah Barry and her Peckham-based non-profit, Bold Tendencies, to bring the Fellows Program to London. The partnership marked the first time GFS shared its curriculum with another organization to develop young filmmakers outside of the U.S., and the first time that the Bronx and LA fellows collaborated on their thesis projects abroad. The two organizations connected seamlessly and inspired Bold Tendencies to create Bold Filmmaking, a course offered to 14 to 18 year-olds from local state secondary schools in London. Seven students were selected for the inaugural 2016 Bold Filmmaking class, out of which one student secured an acting agent, two were selected to join the British Film Institute Future Film Academy, and the group’s short film Single Russian Ladies in your Area was screened at the 2017 London Short Film Festival.

The GFS Thesis Project began as a three-month writing contest in which all fellows completed and submitted a script, collectively picked the top script as a team, and then pitched themselves for the Director position as well as various other crew positions—camera operator, script supervisor, editor, sound designer, etc. Local London-based teens from Bold Tendencies’ new Bold Filmmaking program helped prepare for the visit and created original behind-the scenes content during the GFS Thesis Film productions. Bold Tendencies also helped with logistics, budget management, and supplies, and worked with Sky to provide first class equipment and a “mentorship crew” of industry professionals who gave guidance and technical advice to the students during production.

After scripts for the two films were chosen by the students in May 2016, a cast of Hollywood greats including Stacey Snider, Max Greenfield, Mariah Carey, Lee Daniels, and Simon Helberg gathered in LA for a table reading with the students. The event was co-hosted by 21CF CEO and GFS board member James Murdoch, and served as a celebration of the organization, as well as a chance for students to receive feedback from top Hollywood talent and directors.

"This script is very funny. You had your audience laughing out loud, which is hard to do," said filmmaker and GFS board member David O. Russell to high school student Gillian Lyons, who wrote one of the scripts.

The students presented their final films on March 21 at the BAFTA in London, with welcoming remarks from Stacey Snider and Joe Hall, Founder and President of Ghetto Film School. “The result [of GFS] is a group of young people that are not only empowered to think analytically and creatively, but also one that has acquired the skills necessary to succeed in any situation – they’ve practiced teamwork; they’ve learned to take contructive criticism from their peers; they’ve learned to take risks and push boundaries; they’ve even gone through writer’s block!” said Snider before the two films began.

Ghost of a Chance, written by Lyons and directed by Niko Baur, follows a failing playwright who finds and steals the last written work of William Shakespeare, whose ghost comes back to haunt him on opening night. Genesis, written by Romeo Ortiz and directed by Kyra Peters, unravels the story of what inspired a young Jack the Ripper, the disturbed man who became one of London’s most notorious serial killers in the late 1800’s.

Following the screenings, Hannah Barry of Bold Tendencies moderated a Q&A panel discussion with the GFS students involved in each film. “Ghetto Film School showed me exactly the path that I wanted to take. Prior to coming to GFS, I wanted to be an author but…they showed me there are so many more things you can do as a writer—you don’t have to just write a book, you can create a whole narrative piece that you can actually see before your eyes, and that was just amazing to me. It’s a lot of fun to make this movie magic,” remarked Keith Burrus, a GFS student who operated the cameras on Genesis.

“What makes it even more impactful is the fact that Ghetto Film School’s programs are embedded in specific local communities, so they earn the trust of both students and their parents and are truly part of the landscape of those local creative communities. It also ensures that the stories the students tell are diverse and authentic – two things the creative world needs to embrace now more than ever,” said Snider.

Watch Ghost of a Chance and Genesis today, and learn more about Ghetto Film School's visit to London below.


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.