Founded in the Bronx in 2000, GFS teaches the art and business of visual storytelling to young people from communities traditionally underrepresented in Hollywood, giving a new generation of creative talent the chance to realise their dreams of becoming filmmakers.
Every year, the Ghetto Film School Fellows Program for high school students culminates with the International Thesis Project, a real world production experience where students create a 15-minute film in an international city. Last summer GFS students from New York and Los Angeles travelled to London where they were host by Bold Tendencies, a not-for profit creative organisation in South East London founded by Hannah Barry, and developed two London-inspired short films.
Surrounded by industry talent, students from both New York and Los Angeles will show their films as well as discuss their inspiration, experience and the ways in which their lives have been changed by this opportunity to experience the best of film-making.
Stacey Snider, Chairman and CEO, Twentieth Century Fox Film:
“We’re here to celebrate the work of our next generation of artists and to make sure they have the genuine support of people in this industry so they have the courage to not lose sight of their dreams, and more importantly, to have the tools to make those dreams come true.
My colleagues at 21st Century Fox and I have supported Ghetto Film School in the Bronx in New York for a number of years, and three years ago we helped them open a second home in Los Angeles.
Why have we been so supportive at a corporate level? The answer is really simple. This organization is built on the notion that the development and enrichment of a young person’s creative mind is crucial to that young person’s overall development, not just as a student, but as a person.
Combine that mission statement with the real-world experience that these programs deliver, and the result is a group of young people that are not only empowered to think analytically and creatively, but also ones that acquired the skills necessary to succeed in any situation.
Ghetto Film School isn’t just a film school – it’s a school that arms young people with tools to succeed, period. As a creative company, the bonus for us is that it’s teaching these skills by giving these kids a glimpse into what it means to do something you love for a living, which is the most inspirational thing I think you can do for a student of any age.
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.”
Joe Hall, Founder and President of Ghetto Film School:
“We are extremely grateful to Stacey Snider and Barbara Broccoli for hosting one of our events in a foreign country. This is big-time commitment and for that – and everything else that you do and represent as a leader in the industry – we’re incredibly grateful.
This is actually the first time we’ve brought both our student teams to one city – London. Our operations in both MacArthur Park Los Angeles and the South Bronx NYC have a screenwriting contest, about 80 students total, and they select the winning scripts to be produced abroad that summer. We thought, rightfully so it turns out, that we could pull off both productions together here because we had a brilliant community-based partner, Bold Tendencies in Peckham.
From our early conversations more than two years ago, I was thrilled to find Bold Tendencies shared our high-expectation approach to training and supporting young, emerging creative talent. The timing of the launch of their new Bold Filmmaking program was perfect for this co-venture – and I could not thank them enough for all their expertise, guidance and fortitude that made this production perhaps the best we’ve ever had.
But creativity doesn’t just happen. It is drawn out, nurtured, celebrated and sometimes cared for when it has a setback. 21st Century Fox has been our main corporate partner for over ten years, starting when we were planning The Cinema School in the South Bronx, the first film high school in the States. At each stage of our organization’s growth and development – currently reaching just over 2,000 underrepresented, diverse students and early career professionals in the NYC and LA markets, 21st Century Fox executives and employees have been there every step of the way. We are able to do all the things we do today because 21st Century Fox has taken the time to truly invest in the next generation of great American storytellers.
Last but not least, I am most grateful to our champion extraordinaire and Board Director James Murdoch who has done so much extra for all of us. He has given us his time, his insight, access to his network, his ideas, and most importantly, has always been present and focused when a charity director such as myself needed his attention. James not only supports what already exists, but builds a capacity to dream big, creating new opportunities for young creative talent that others, including the founder, were not thinking possible.”