Tag: USC Film School

George Lucas Gives USC Film School a $10 Million Endowment for Black and Latino Students

George Lucas and wife Mellody Hobson (photo via vulture.com)
George Lucas and wife Mellody Hobson (photo via vulture.com)

The George Lucas Family Foundation has gifted $10 million to the USC School of Cinematic Arts to provide financial support to African-American and Hispanic students.  The money is a part of the foundation’s 2006 pledge to the film school and represents the largest single donation for student support in the school’s history.

Minority students on both the graduate and undergraduate levels will receive priority consideration for financial support, which will also be split evenly between male and female students, who will be known as George Lucas Scholars or Mellody Hobson Scholars.

“Hispanic and African-American storytellers are underrepresented in the entertainment industry,” Lucas said. “It is Mellody’s and my privilege to provide this assistance to qualified students who want to contribute their unique experience and talent to telling their stories.”

The first recipients will be awarded financial support for the fall of 2016.

The announcement came from dean of the USC film school, Elizabeth M. Daley, who said in a statement: “We are so grateful to George and Mellody for their continued support of the School of Cinematic Arts, and in particular for this amazing gift, and their recognition of the need to encourage the Hispanic and African-American storytellers of tomorrow.”

The Lucas Family Foundation’s gift is a part of a greater fundraising campaign at the University of Southern California, which is a multiyear plan to raise $6 billion dollars to continue the university’s various educational efforts.

article by Mia Galuppo via hollywoodreporter.com

Director Ryan Coogler Brings Heart, Talent to ‘Fruitvale’

director Ryan Coogler poses for photographers during a photo call for the film "Fruitvale Station" at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France. Coogler’s “Fruitvale Station” _ his first dramatic feature and first project since graduating with a master’s degree in 2011 _ won both jury and audience awards at the Sundance Film Festival, and attended the Cannes Film Festival. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, file)
Director Ryan Coogler poses for photographers during a photo call for the film “Fruitvale Station” at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France. Coogler’s “Fruitvale Station” _ his first dramatic feature and first project since graduating with a master’s degree in 2011 _ won both jury and audience awards at the Sundance Film Festival, and attended the Cannes Film Festival. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, file)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ryan Coogler is back on the University of Southern California campus for the first time since becoming one of the country’s most promising young filmmakers, and he heads straight to the camera-rental center where he worked as a student. He runs into a former classmate, who high-fives and congratulates him, then asks for a photo. Coogler sheepishly obliges.

“This is inspiring, right here!” the younger man says as he snaps an iPhone shot of himself and Coogler. “Thank you, bro!”  Coogler gives the student his email address, then looks for his old boss, the equipment manager, who tells the 27-year-old filmmaker that he’s set a new standard for success at USC’s film school, which counts Ron Howard and George Lucas as alumni.

There’s no doubt he has. Coogler’s ”Fruitvale Station” — his first dramatic feature and first project since graduating with a master’s degree in 2011 — won both jury and audience awards at the Sundance Film Festival, where the Weinstein Co. outbid a dozen studios to distribute it. Originally called simply “Fruitvale,” the film opens Friday in New York and Los Angeles, and around the nation later this month. Oscar buzz has already begun.

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