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LGBTQ GLSEN Fox Partnership

In an effort to combat the discrimination and exclusion that so many young people in the LGBTQ community encounter during their high school years, 20th Century Fox Film has announced a partnership with GLSEN to create two new resources for educators and students to discuss sexual identity, coming out, and harassment. The discussion guide and lesson plan are based on the studio’s new film Love, Simon, a heartfelt coming-of-age story about 17-year-old Simon Spier coming out to his family and friends. The movie arrives in theaters in the U.S. on March 16, and the school resources will be available for free download at

“Not only have Greg Berlanti and Fox 2000 brought us a moving story about self-discovery, falling in love, and community, but with this partnership, they’re helping students and educators use this story to ensure every student can be themselves,” said Eliza Byard, GLSEN Executive Director. “Even with the recent visibility on marriage equality and the need to protect trans youth, it’s still rare for LGBTQ youth to see themselves reflected in a Hollywood feature film, much less a love story. Thank you, Greg and Fox, for sharing this story with the world, and for supporting inclusive schools for all.”

Set in a suburban high school, Love, Simon follows Spier’s journey toward embracing his identity, even as he deals with the fear of rejection from those he loves, as well as bullying and harassment at school. Berlanti directed the film as an adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, and it stars Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel, and Tony Hale. The lesson plan and discussion guides, created by Fox and GLSEN, will be available for free to educators and students across the country.

“When I first read Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker’s script for Love, Simon, I knew I had to make this movie,” Berlanti said. “I identified with Simon’s character, and I hoped we could make a movie that millions of LGBTQ youth could identify with, too. I’m thrilled to know that this partnership with GLSEN will ensure Love, Simon is a resource for creating safe and inclusive schools where every student can live fully and authentically.”

21CF has consistently sought opportunities to use its films and television programming as educational resources where possible. Recently, the company partnered with the Women’s Sports Foundation, founded by Billie Jean King, to create a school discussion guide based on Fox Searchlight’s 2017 film Battle of the Sexes, covering sexual identity and the feminist movement. Fox Home Entertainment partnered with the nonprofit Journeys in Film to create a curriculum guide for Hidden Figures, which tells the story of three African American female mathematicians during the Space Race of the 1960s.

Learn more about Fox’s latest partnership with GLSEN.

National Geographic Emma Watson International Women's Day


To celebrate International Women’s Day (Thursday, March 8), National Geographic is welcoming its first guest editor for the @NatGeo Instagram account: actor, activist and UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson. Working alongside National Geographic’s editorial team, Emma will curate the account and highlight the work of eight female Nat Geo photographers from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Australia, the U.S. and the Philippines throughout the day starting at 8 a.m. EST. Their photos cover a wide range of important topics relevant to women around the world today.

“Women photographers are often under-represented and under-celebrated,” Emma said. “I’m thrilled to mark this day by profiling the talented female storytellers and image-makers that are working hard to build empathy across borders.”

The eight photographers Emma will feature on @NatGeo on Instagram cover topics like male guardianship and the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia; the effects of displacement on women and girls running from Boko Haram in Nigeria; unequal pay for women day laborers in India’s brick industry; the hope for a better tomorrow for young girls; and more.

“We are honored to be partnering with Emma to recognize the contributions of these eight incredible women photographers, who are shedding light on important stories that make a difference in people’s lives,” said Susan Goldberg, Editorial Director of National Geographic Partners and Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic magazine. “We are eager to use our storytelling platforms and our power as a global media brand to highlight women by calling attention to their work, their stories and their causes.”

The @NatGeo Instagram account is the most followed brand on the platform and one of the top 15 most followed accounts overall. Emma (@EmmaWatson) and @NatGeo have a combined total of 129 million followers. Their collaboration to mark International Women’s Day will be amplified via Facebook Stories on the National Geographic magazine Facebook page, which reaches an additional 22 million followers.

National Geographic will publish articles related to International Women’s Day across and other Nat Geo Instagram accounts, featuring photos of and taken by inspiring women, including 2018 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Hilaree Nelson O'Neil on @NatGeoAdventure and Dr. Jane Goodall on @NatGeoWILD.

National Geographic will also begin the global broadcast premiere for the acclaimed BAFTA-nominated documentary “JANE” in the U.S. starting Monday, March 12, at 8/7c. The film about Dr. Jane Goodall, directed by Brett Morgen and featuring an original score from legendary composer Philip Glass, has won Best Documentary Awards from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, Producers Guild of America, Writer’s Guild of America, The American Cinema Editors Guild and the Motion Pictures Sound Editors Guild, as well as The Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards.

Learn more about how National Geographic is celebrating International Women’s Day this year.

*Photo and words by @newshatavakolian (Newsha Tavakolian):  In 2017, I met Fatima at the Muna camp in north-eastern Nigeria. She was this fragile girl, who did not even have the chance to talk, as her brother was quick to jump in and answer my questions. I could see a certain heaviness in her eyes. Displaced by the Boko Haram, 9-year-old Fatima and her family had been living in makeshift huts in Maiduguri for 18 months. They struggled for their most basic needs, crawling into windowless huts to sleep at night. It was so hot outside that I could not breathe well as I walked through the camp area. Men, women, and children sat outside with blank gazes in their eyes, staring into the horizon, waiting for a miracle.

National Geographic 'Evening of Exploration' Gala

National Geographic recently hosted an “Evening of Exploration” at the Natural History Museum in London, the biggest event the organization has ever held in Europe. The gala was an opportunity to celebrate National Geographic’s 130 years of groundbreaking storytelling with National Geographic Explorers, National Geographic leaders, and luminaries from across Europe and Africa.

“Understanding and informing our world has been at the heart of National Geographic since our founding in 1888 when 33 of Washington, D.C.’s, top scientific and intellectual leaders — many the millennials of their time — joined forces to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” said Gary Knell, President and CEO of the National Geographic Society, in his opening remarks. He recounted National Geographic’s history of focusing on exploring, educating and inspiring, in addition to funding many explorers and advocates.

“Today we continue to support scientists, explorers and storytellers all over the globe, and we work each and every day to shine a spotlight on the challenges facing our planet using the global presence of our media megaphone to tell the stories of the courageous men and women trying to protect our natural world,” Gary added. National Geographic has funded hundreds of explorers across Europe and Africa and continues to look for opportunities to invest in new explorers and grantees in the region.

Dr. Enric Sala, National Geographic Explorer in Residence; Adjany Costa, National Geographic Emerging Explorer; and Charlie Hamilton James, one of National Geographic’s most prominent photographers, spoke about the importance of pushing toward a healthier and more sustainable future. Dr. Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and U.N. Messenger of Peace, was the keynote speaker for the evening.

The gala dinner was co-hosted by physicist and National Geographic Magazine Guest Editor Dr. Brian Cox, and actress and campaigner Joanna Lumley. Guests from National Geographic included Gary Knell, CEO of the National Geographic Society; Declan Moore, CEO of National Geographic Partners; Jan Koeppen, President of Fox Networks Group, Europe & Africa; and Jonathan Baillie, Chief Scientist and SVP of Global Grants, along with senior platform, brand and institutional partners from across Europe & Africa.

Other guests included actress, environmentalist and fellow National Geographic Magazine Guest Editor for 2018 Lily Cole; actress, producer and National Geographic Magazine Guest Editor for 2018 Archie Panjabi; director of the Tate and National Geographic Guest Editor for 2018 Dr. Maria Balshaw; Brett Morgen, director of “Jane”; and Bryan Burk, producer of “Jane”; Sarah Sands, Editor of “The Today Programme” on BBC Radio 4; Tina Daheley, journalist and presenter for the BBC; Jo Coburn, senior broadcast journalist and host of BBC News Channel’s “The Daily Politics” show; Siobhan Kennedy, Business Editor for Channel 4 News; Christiane Amanpour, Chief International Correspondent for CNN; John Ryley, Head of Sky News; Ian King, Business Correspondent for Sky News; and theater producer Sally Greene.

National Geographic Partners returns 27 percent of its proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in science, exploration, conservation and education. The Society now has an endowment of $1.2 billion, and in 2017 it funded more than 600 grants to cover the fields of education, technology, journalism, photography and mapping.

“We have the people, the tenacity, and the organization to push forward, to advance the world’s science and research, to tell stories that build awareness and spur action, to educate and to inspire change,” Gary told the evening’s guests. If we work together we can and we will achieve our ultimate goal: a planet in balance.”

ACS: Gianni Versace Set Donations

Twentieth Century Fox Television and the production crew of FX Networks’ American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace have made donations of nearly $15,000 worth of furniture, artwork, lights and more materials used on set to the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles. The organization helps provide home improvement materials to families in need, and TCFTV provided an entire warehouse worth of items at entirely no cost. 21st Century Fox’s film and television productions regularly find new homes for leftover set materials in order to both reduce waste and support the communities where these projects work and film.

“After American Crime Story: Versace wrapped this season, our team had to find a home for many of the gently-used set pieces,” said Lisa Day, who oversees environmental sustainability efforts across Twentieth Century Fox. “Fox is dedicated to keeping as many reusable items out of the landfill as possible, so we decided to donate much of it to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles ReStores. It’s reassuring to know these set pieces will be given a second life and support a great cause.”

ReStores are nonprofit home improvement centers operated by Habitat LA that sell new and lightly used furniture, appliances, home accessories, building materials, and more at a fraction of the standard retail price. Fox donation included scores of items, including living room furniture, outdoor patio furniture, desks, dining room tables, kitchen appliances, curtains, glassware, bookcases, coffee tables, bedroom furniture, chandeliers, floor lamps, wall lamps, mirrors, TV mounts, barstools, and more, with many items featuring designs that mimic Gianni Versace’s trademark style.

TCFTV donated additional set materials to The Actors Gang, a 35 year-old theater company based in Los Angeles.

Learn more about Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles ReStores and check out the slideshow below of some of the donated items:

Fox Writers Lab 2018

21CF Global Inclusion has selected eight participants in the seventh annual Fox Writers Lab, a highly selective program for emerging TV writers with diverse backgrounds and life experiences. The writers will participate in a four-month intensive on the Fox Studio Lot in Los Angeles that focuses on developing original material, honing skills, and exploring the media and entertainment business. The program creates a strong pipeline of well-rounded talent for staffing on Fox television shows and contributes to increasing the diversity of viewpoints and ideas in the film and TV industry as a whole.

Over the course of the program, the writers will take part in a rigorous intensive on writing for television. They will receive guidance on their scripts through master classes, and will receive group career coaching and individual mentorship from creative executives at FOX Broadcasting Company, Fox 21, FX, and 20th Century Fox Television. Experienced writers, showrunners, and directors will serve as guest speakers.

Beyond helping the participants hone their craft and learn the business, the Fox Writers Lab also provides extensive resources for script development and job placement. All participants are eligible to receive priority staffing meetings for the established Fox Writers Lab Staff Writer position on Fox television shows. In addition, one writer will be named the 2018 Fox Writers Lab Fellow and will receive a development deal on his/her script. The Fellow will also receive one-on-one creative meetings with network and other Fox entertainment current and development executives.

In the seven years since its initial launch, the Fox Writers Lab has produced several notable alumni, including: Lena Waithe, Emmy-winning writer of Master of None and creator, executive producer and writer of The Chi; Ed Gonzalez, co-writer of feature film All Eyes on Me; Cindy Fang, staff writer on Rush Hour and Fresh Off the Boat; JaSheika James and JaNeika James, executive story editors on Empire; and Ester Lou Weithers, staff writer on Star and Pitch.

The Fox Writers Lab is one of many programs at 21CF that nurtures diverse voices and stories, both in front of and behind the camera. Last year, the company launched the inaugural Fox Filmmakers Lab, an initiative designed to help increase the number of female directors working in the entertainment industry. The Fox Television Directors Lab will announce its 2018 class of fellows later this year. 21CF Global Inclusion is focused on seeking and broadening diversity and inclusion efforts, talent, and perspectives throughout the organization.

Learn more about each of the eight participants in this year’s Fox Writers Lab by reading their bios below:

Anthony Florez is a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and was raised in Reno, Nevada. Inspired by the service of his father, uncles, and grandfathers, he became a third generation serviceman when he graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2008. He achieved the rank of Lieutenant and departed the U.S. Navy in pursuit of his creative passions. Anthony most recently participated in the Writers Guild Foundation’s Veterans Writing Project.

Felicia Hilario is a Mexican American screenwriter with roots in East LA. She is a graduate of both UCLA’s Professional Screenwriting Program and most recently USC’s MFA in Screenwriting Program. During her time at USC she received the Mary Pickford Scholarship, the Lionsgate-Televisa Scholarship, and the Grillo-Marxuach Family Fellowship. She currently is a Writers’ PA on GREY'S ANATOMY.

Milton Liu is a founding partner of Kulture Machine and the Director of Programs at Visual Communications (LA Asian Pacific Film Festival).  Recently, Milton released the feature AWESOME ASIAN BAD GUYS (FilmBuff) as writer/producer and the webseries JOHN HUGHES RUINED MY LIFE (funded by Tribeca) as writer/director/producer. He also wrapped his short documentary I HATE BIG PHONY on Xfinity TV. Previously, Milton was an ABC/Disney Feature Writing Fellow.  Milton is a member of the WGA.

Jenny Deiker Restivo is the winner of the 2016 Launchpad Pilots Competition, and was listed on both the 2016 Young and Hungry List and the 2017 Bitch List. A graduate of the United World College of the Atlantic and the University of Iowa, she is a writer of primarily dark genre dramas and has worked in reality television for the last nine years.

Aiah Samba is an African American screenwriter based in Los Angeles.  He studied production and screenwriting at Brooks Institute and UCLA, and has worked as a freelance writer for years.  He is currently developing an original TV drama with Overbrook Entertainment and was recently awarded a grant from Break Media to produce an original sci-fi short, Whipping Boy.  He is represented by Stories International.

Elizabeth Stamp is a native of Wheeling, West Virginia, and a graduate of Brown University. She began her career as an editor at Elle Decor and Architectural Digest. She is a contributor to The Onion and her original pilot Maternal Instinct was recently named best comedy script at the New York Television Festival. She is currently developing a comedy podcast with Audible.

Jai Tiggett is a writer and producer with a background in independent film.  She has written and created content with Al Jazeera, Codeblack, Epiphany Films, Issa Rae Productions and others.  She is a film school graduate of Florida State University and UCLA, and she was a Cosby Screenwriting Fellow at USC.  Her writing on entertainment and pop culture has appeared in Shadow & Act, Indiewire, Ebony, Women & Hollywood and Cinematiq Magazine.

Tesia Walker is a writer born in the Bronx, but raised in New Rochelle, NY. She is a graduate of Columbia University’s MFA Film Program, and the recent recipient of the Showtime Tony Cox Screenplay Competition for best episodic one-hour teleplay. Prior to film school, she participated in the NBC Page Program, and worked as a television production assistant for both ABC and FX network shows.