Jerry Perenchio's Foundation Donates $5 Million to AFI

Jerrold Perenchio
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The donation will be used to create the Perenchio Family Endowed Scholarship to support diverse voices at the AFI Conservatory.

The American Film Institute has received a $5 million gift from the Perenchio Foundation, the organization announced Wednesday.

Said to be donated as a way to "fulfill the charitable wishes" of the late Andrew Jerrold 'Jerry' Perenchio, the sum will be used for the Perenchio Family Endowed Scholarship to support diverse voices at the AFI Conservatory. The first round of fellows will be announced in the coming months, per AFI.

“Though he was famously anonymous in his philanthropy, Jerry’s generosity knew no bounds,” said Bob Daly, chair of AFI's board of directors. “Through this endowed scholarship at the AFI Conservatory, his legacy will continue to echo across generations in tomorrow’s storytellers.”

The AFI Conservatory kicked off in 1969 with an inaugural class that included Terrence Malick, Caleb Deschanel and Paul Schrader. The conservatory now offers a two-year MFA degree in six filmmaking disciplines. Alumni include Andrea Arnold, Darren Aronofsky, Ari Aster, Sam Esmail, Brad Falchuk, Liz Hannah, Patty Jenkins, Janusz Kamiński, Matthew Libatique, David Lynch, Melina Matsoukas, Polly Morgan, Rachel Morrison and Wally Pfister, among others. 

Perenchio died in 2017 at the age of 86. Known as a preeminent Hollywood dealmaker, Perenchio bought and sold Univision, partnered with Norman Lear and promoted culture-shifting sporting events. He was also known as a quiet philanthropist who amassed an impressive art collection during his lifetime. The AFI gift from the Perenchio Foundation follows an August donation of $5.5 million made in Perenchio's name to Fresno State University that will help further the education of students in need.