Amazon Studios, Disney, Fox Corporation, NBCUniversal/Telemundo Enterprises, Paramount, and Warner Bros. Discovery have signed on as Founding Partners of the Roybal Film and Television Production Magnet Fund, which was established by George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Creative Artists Agency’s Bryan Lourd, to support The Roybal Film and Television Production Magnet, a specialized academy created to drive transformational change across the industry by building a more inclusive pipeline of historically underrepresented college- and career-ready students pursuing below-the-line careers in film and television.
These studios join previously announced founding partner THE HISTORY Channel/A&E Networks, along with Netflix and Sony Pictures Entertainment, in committing more than $4 million to the school, which officially opened in August with 150 students.
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Charlie Collier, CEO, FOX Entertainment; Craig Robinson, EVP and Chief Diversity Officer, NBCUniversal; and Marva Smalls, EVP, Global Head of Inclusion at Paramount and EVP, Public Affairs, Nickelodeon, have joined the Roybal Advisory Board, and will work alongside board members Clooney, Heslov, Lourd, Kerry Washington, Eva Longoria, Mindy Kaling, Don Cheadle, Nicole Avant, Working Title Films founders Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, Jim Gianopulos, and Paul Buccieri, President & Chairman A+E Networks Group. Additional members are to be announced at a later date.
“People of goodwill will always carve out common ground to meet the needs of our students, our workforce and our school communities,” Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said. “We are grateful to have the support of these extraordinary industry leaders to create opportunities for our students. The coalition will also provide Los Angeles Unified teachers with access to renowned storytellers, along with industry professionals and experts, and hands-on experience for students from underserved communities and create a pathway to employment within the industry.”
“Mil gracias to all of our partners for the investment and commitment which is creating bridges of success for our students!” Los Angeles Unified Board Member Mónica García said. “This partnership is a testament to the role we all play to create access, equity and justice for all students, especially our high and highest need scholars.”
“A year ago, ten of us set out establish a clear pathway to good-paying jobs for students in underserved communities by supporting them with a robust academic education and practical training. Today, we welcome these companies into the Roybal family. Together, our collective resources will help deliver on the promise of a more inclusive industry,” said Lourd. “Roybal is just the beginning and we welcome all those who share in our mission to join us.”
Helping to expand access and accelerate the progress of diversity and inclusion in below-the-line professions, a group of artisans, including costume designers Ruth Carter and Emilio Sosa; production designers Wynn Thomas and Korey Washington; hair and make-up artist Howard Berger; cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt; lighting director Danny Gonzalez; supervising sound editors Bobbi Banks and Glenfield Payne; film editor Michael Tronick; animation artist Vicky Pui; and visual effects producer Brooke Breton; have joined as inaugural members of the Roybal Industry Council, lending their expertise to the development and delivery of career pathways.
Overseen by Principal Blanca Cruz, the Roybal Film and Television Production Magnet provides Los Angeles Unified teachers with access to renowned storytellers, along with industry professionals and experts, and support students with an academic education and practical training, providing a foundational understanding of the media and entertainment industry, while preparing them for below-the-line professions. The magnet opened with 9th and 10th grade students and will include grades 11 and 12 over the next two years, with potential opportunity to expand the pilot program to more schools throughout the Los Angeles area.
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