Creativity & The Arts

Ferdinand

To mark the release of “Ferdinand,” the newest animated adventure from Twentieth Century Fox Animation/Blue Sky Studios, parent company 21st Century Fox hosted a special sensory-friendly screening on the Fox lot in Los Angeles on the film’s opening night. The Dec. 15 event welcomed families from Fox and the Autism Society of Los Angeles who have children on the autism spectrum, as well as anyone who would appreciate the supportive environment of the screening.

“The Autism Society of Los Angeles valued the opportunity to partner on the ‘Ferdinand’ sensory-friendly screening,” said Kim Sinclair, Executive Director of the Autism Society of Los Angeles. “This safe and inclusive moviegoing experience for those with autism and developmental disabilities makes such a difference.  The theater turned up the lights and lowered the sound, helping those members of our community with sensory challenges. Our children, young adults and families were able to walk and talk freely, meet and enjoy the movie together – it was a delightful evening!”

“Providing inclusive experiences for our colleagues is an important part of our work, and we’re glad to have partnered with the Autism Society of Los Angeles to host this screening,” said Marilyn Hayes, Director, 21CF Global Inclusion.

More than one-third of all people with autism in California live in Los Angeles County, and the Autism Society of Los Angeles makes it its mission to support them. The organization’s many public programs include a monthly speaker series on topics relevant to the special needs community; government advocacy; summer camp programs for youth and adults; and annual conferences on adult housing, employment, education and more.

Learn more about 21CF’s commitment to fostering a culture and work environment where anyone from anywhere feels welcome and can thrive.


Fox GLAAD Media Awards Nominees

Eleven film and television projects from 21st Century Fox businesses received nominations for the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. The awards honor media and entertainment for fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community (LGBTQ), as well as the issues that affect their lives. The winners will be announced at two ceremonies: one in Los Angeles on April 12 and another in New York on May 5.

The full list of nominations for 21CF businesses are:

  • Outstanding Film – Wide Release: Battle of the Sexes (Fox Searchlight)
  • Outstanding Film – Wide Release: The Shape of Water (Fox Searchlight)
  • Outstanding Comedy Series: Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX)
  • Outstanding Comedy Series: Modern Family (Twentieth Century Fox Television)
  • Outstanding Comedy Series: One Mississippi (FX Productions)
  • Outstanding Drama Series: Star (FOX)
  • Outstanding Drama Series: This Is Us (Twentieth Century Fox Television)
  • Outstanding Individual Episode: “Chapter 8,” Legion (FX)
  • Outstanding TV Movie or Limited Series: American Horror Story: Cult (FX)
  • Outstanding TV Movie or Limited Series: Feud: Bette and Joan (FX)
  • Outstanding Documentary: Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric (National Geographic)

"What people see in the media has a powerful impact on how they treat others and the GLAAD Media Awards raise the bar for media to tell LGBTQ stories that accelerate acceptance," said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. "This year's nominees showcase stories that span races, genres, ages, and geographies, challenge misconceptions, and broaden understanding and acceptance of LGBTQ people across the globe."

In addition to a strong showing among 21CF’s new films and television series, this year’s awards also include the ninth consecutive nomination for Modern Family, which won the Outstanding Comedy Series category both in 2011 and 2012. FOX’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine also received its fifth consecutive nomination this year.

Learn more about the GLAAD Media Awards, including facts and figures about this year’s nominees.


Twentieth Century Fox Television - Fox Directors Lab

In its annual report on the ethnic and gender diversity of the television industry, the Directors Guild of America in November identified Twentieth Century Fox Television as the industry leader in hiring diverse voices behind the camera. The DGA Episodic TV Director Diversity Report found that women and minorities helmed 45% of the studio’s 553 episodes of television produced during the 2016-2017 season, including episodes of shows such as Empire, The Americans, This Is Us, and many more.

“I have to credit the Current team who feel personally responsible for giving more opportunities to female and diverse directors,” said Carolyn Cassidy, SVP and Head of Current Programming at TCFTV, about the report. “We’re always looking for new voices behind the camera. With the help of our production department we educate ourselves on new diverse and female directors and aim to integrate them into the pipeline at 20th. Some of our finds this season have really elevated episodes of Empire, The Exorcist and Fresh Off the Boat, to name a few. Giving these directors more chances to succeed with us is a real priority.”

Changing the Face of the TV Industry

In addition to leading the industry overall, TCFTV also hired more people of color to direct television than any other studio, with 23.3% of its episodes directed by ethnic minorities. The company was second only to Amazon at hiring women directors, with 28.9% to Amazon’s 33.5%. These figures combined to make the overall 45%. The DGA also concluded that diverse hiring increased across the industry this year to a record 22%, making 2016-2017 the most inclusive production season ever.    

21st Century Fox is committed to supporting and developing the next generation of storytellers through programs that nurture their creativity and create a strong pipeline of diverse talent to the entertainment industry. The Fox Directors Lab (FDL), for example, was launched in 2014 to increase the number of women and minority directors working in Hollywood. The program annually recruits up-and-coming directors for an intensive three-week course that includes mentorship from directors, showrunners, and executives. Participants from past years have gone on to direct episodes of American Horror Story, You’re the Worst, Snowfall, Empire, Scream Queens, and more.

Studio executives at TCFTV not only shepherd the talent that participate in programs like FDL but also take active roles in shaping the conversation about diversity in Hollywood at large. Dana Sharpless, SVP, Current Programming at TCFTV, Reena Singh, VP, Current Series at TCFTV, and Jonathan Frank, EVP, Current Programming at FX all participated in this year’s DGA Directors Development Initiative, speaking on panels and serving as mentors to young directors. Ann Calfas, EVP of Labor Relations, now serves as Co-Chair of the DGA-Producers Joint Diversity Action Committee, an industry-wide body that meets several times per year to determine the best ways to support directors with diverse voices and backgrounds at the studio level.

Championing Screenwriters and Filmmakers

Twentieth Century Fox undertakes similar efforts to increase diversity behind the camera on its film projects. This year, the studio announced it would partner with the American Film Institute on the Fox Filmmakers Lab. The program gives alumni of the AFI Directing Workshop for Women exclusive access to the studio’s production, creative, and marketing executives.  This past spring, the filmmakers pitched original ideas for a short film based on a Fox franchise or reboot to key creative executives.  In November, 21CF Global Inclusion hosted a breakfast to honor the inaugural class of 25 female filmmakers.

The group also operates the Fox Writers Lab, a fellowship program that spans film, TV, and digital storytelling. Finalists spend 14 weeks on the Fox Lot meeting the company’s creative executives, receiving feedback on their scripts, attending master classes with writers and directors, and hearing from some of the industry’s most experienced figures through guest speaker sessions. At the conclusion of the program, the participants receive staffing meetings for current Fox series and one fellow will receive a first-look development deal to option their original scripts. Many have gone on to write for Fox series such as Lucifer and Star.

Learn more about 21CF’s company-wide diversity efforts, including its suite of programs to support women and minority directors. The 21CF Global Inclusion team is currently working to launch the 2018 edition of the Fox Directors Lab, submissions for which will open in the spring.


21CF Impact Week Volunteer Community Service

For six days and nights in October, nearly 3,000 colleagues from across 21st Century Fox businesses gave back to the communities around them as part of the second annual 21CF Impact Week. Building on the success of 21CF’s first ever company-wide week of service in 2016, which was piloted in New York and Los Angeles, colleagues in 25 U.S. cities took part in 99 service activities that benefited kids, veterans, the environment, victims of Hurricane Harvey, and many more. It is estimated that these efforts, which collectively totaled more than 9,000 hours of service, made a positive difference in the lives of more than 83,000 people. The company plans to further expand 21CF Impact Week to its global locations in 2018.

“I’m honored to work for a company that made Impact Week such an ambitious, visible initiative,” one volunteer said. “I would like 21CF to continue to send the message of encouragement to employees at Fox that we are ordinary people who can do extraordinary things for other people when make a diligent community effort.”

21CF worked with local leads at each of its U.S. based businesses to organize volunteer opportunities around its Social Impact focus areas: Creativity & the Arts, Sports & Well Being, Knowledge & Exploration, Sustainability & the Environment, and Diversity & Inclusion. Service projects included preparing meals for the homeless, cleaning up parks and gardens, building school libraries, packaging supplies for military servicemen and women, and mentoring local youth, among many others. 21CF Impact Week gave colleagues the chance to build thriving communities while strengthening their relationships with coworkers and forging new connections across the business.

In total, 21CF colleagues packed 45,800 pounds of food, made and served 82,884 meals, removed one ton of trash from lakes and rivers, collected 1,019 toys, and created 9,440 backpacks, kits, and care packages, culminating in nearly 9,050 hours of service.

Learn more about Impact Week by reading our in-depth feature and by browsing #21CFImpactWeek on Twitter and Instagram.

21CF Impact Week Volunteer Community Service


Shorty Social Good Awards Fox National Geographic

21st Century Fox and National Geographic took home top honors at the second annual Shorty Social Good Awards on November 15 for developing social media campaigns that engage audiences on important social issues and empower them to take action. The winning campaigns included 21CF’s contest to award free screenings of Hidden Figures to communities across America, as well as initiatives from Nat Geo to encourage women in STEM, expand access to clean water, and inspire the genius in each of us. The Shorty Social Good Awards launched in 2016 to celebrate the power of digital storytelling tools to raise awareness and make change.

The full list of awards for 21CF businesses is as follows:

The Hidden Figures national screening series aimed to make the film available to communities where it might have the strongest impact. The film tells the “untold” story of three African American female NASA mathematicians during the Space Race of the 1960's, and it has a particular resonance for young women and women of color looking to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). 21CF invited schools, community groups, and nonprofits around the country to apply for free screenings, and distributed 3,500 free tickets throughout the spring season as a result.  

In May, National Geographic launched the Chasing Genius digital community, inspired by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Genius miniseries on the channel about Albert Einstein. Members of the community, which grew to more than 30,000 users over the summer, submitted videos detailing big ideas that could address sustainability, global health, and world hunger. The site received more than 3,000 videos, generated 230 million impressions, and sparked 3.2 million social conversations. Four winners were selected and each awarded $25,000 to develop their projects.

The Shorty Awards also recognized National Geographic for two of its partnership campaigns. Its #MakeWhatsNext campaign, a collaboration with Microsoft, won the Live Streaming Video category and aimed to recruit more young women to the STEM fields. Leading female National Geographic Explorers took part in the campaign, which celebrated International Women’s Day and included six live events in Microsoft stores across the U.S. National Geographic also partnered with Stella Artois for a water conservation campaign centered around World Water Day.

Learn more about the Shorty Social Good Awards, including the full list of winners and details on each campaign.