9:10am PT by Chris Gardner
'Cops and Robbers' Team to Donate Film Profits to Initiate Scholarships at HBCUs
The filmmakers behind Netflix’s animated short Cops and Robbers — a spoken-word response to police brutality and racial injustice in America that is executive produced by Jada Pinkett-Smith and Lawrence Bender — have committed to making an impact beyond the screen.
Co-directors Arnon Manor and Timothy Ware-Hill confirm that they are using profits from the film to initiate scholarships at historically Black universities Alabama State and Morgan State. Ware-Hill, who also appears in the film as it blends from live-action to animation, says, “The film had a zero-dollar budget, and everyone who contributed and collaborated on it did so for the important message and the cause, with no compensation. We made a promise from the start that if any monies come in from the film, we will donate all of that to organizations that empower and help Black lives.”
They add that the goal of the scholarships is to help students who bring awareness to social justice issues like civil rights, LGBTQ+ rights, Black Lives Matter, gender equity, immigration and others. (Financial details of the scholarships were not disclosed.) They’ve also donated to the Equal Justice Initiative, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Higher Heights Leadership Fund, the Movement for Black Lives, and Know Your Rights Camp.
Adds Manor: “It was important to us that the phrase Black Lives Matter became more than a hashtag, but an action. Through these donations, we hope that Cops and Robbers will affect Black lives for the better.”
A version of this story first appeared in the Jan. 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.