Fox to Provide Core Funding for James Murdoch-Mentored Young Filmmaker Program (Exclusive)

Dan Steinberg/Invision for Ghetto Film School/AP Images
From left: Jamie Hector, David O. Russell, Dascha Polanco and Joe Hall at GFS’ May 25 table read event in L.A.

After backing the expansion of the innovative Ghetto Film School to L.A. two years ago, 21st Century Fox now will fund the organization's operational costs for the next three years, freeing other donors' gifts to flow directly to programs.

21st Century Fox is furthering its commitment Ghetto Film School by granting 100 percent of the organization's core funding (for overhead and operational costs) over the next three years, a move that stands to encourage further gifts to GFS by freeing up all other donations and grants to go to programs. GFS serves more than 1,500 kids and young adults in New York and L.A. each year, providing an education to prepare them for a career in film or media.

"This is innovative philanthropy that means 100 percent of donations received during this time directly support young artists in New York and L.A.," says Joe Hall, a former social worker who founded GFS in the South Bronx in 2000 and expanded it to L.A. two years ago. "[Fox CEO] James [Murdoch] has been an incredible mentor. His exemplary dedication to things big and small at GFS is key to our further development as a sustainable organization."

In May, Murdoch and Brett Ratner co-hosted an event at Hillhaven Lodge, where Fox film and TV stars — including Joy's Dascha Polanco and New Girl's Max Greenfield — did table reads of two GFS student short-film scripts. "You had your audience laughing out loud, which is hard to do," Joy helmer and GFS board member David O. Russell commented to one of the student writers. "Considering you're 17 years old, I'd go so far as to say you have a gift."

This story first appeared in the Aug. 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.