Blige, Furtado enrolled at mtvU
EmptyMTV's 24-hour college network, mtvU, on Thursday unveiled its on-air, online, mobile and on-campus programming for the spring, including a new series featuring Mary J. Blige, Nelly Furtado and others sharing details of their struggles with mental health.
In "Half of Us," recording artists including Blige, Furtado, Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy and Max Bemis of Say Anything discuss their personal struggles with serious mental health issues — including depression, bipolar disorder and suicidal thoughts — in an effort to encourage college students dealing with the same issues to seek help. Two of the episodes are directed by filmmaker Joel Schumacher.
The show is part of mtvU and the Jed Foundation's "Half of Us" campaign, designed to reduce the student suicide rate, fight the stigma of mental health on college campuses and get students the help they need.
Meanwhile, in partnership with Epic Records, mtvU also has greenlighted a series inspired by the music of up-and-coming singer-songwriter Ronnie Day. "The Ronnie Day Project," which will be entirely shot, directed and produced by college students, will feature a "visual narrative" of Day's debut album.
The network also has joined with the Fulbright Program to search for the inaugural Fulbright-mtvU Fellows. As many as four college students will be sponsored to travel abroad for a year and study "how music can serve as a global force for mutual understanding." The fellows will be selected by the Fulbright Program and mtvU, with input from Fiona Apple, Common, James Mercer of the Shins and other artists.
In addition, "Best Film on Campus," a new online "farm system" for student filmmakers, will offer students the chance to receive a development deal with MTV Films, an appearance at the 2007 MTV Movie Awards, a showcase at the Tribeca Film Festival and exposure on mtvU and mtvU.com
The network broadcasts to 750 colleges nationwide.