Codeblack promotes diversity through endowment to support emerging screenwriters showing great promise and financial need
SANTA MONICA, Calif. and LOS ANGELES, March 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Codeblack Films, a Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) company, has partnered with the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) to create a fund to support deserving students enrolled in SCA's Writing for Screen & Television Division, the two organizations announced today. The fund is intended to encourage and educate new, diverse voices.
"We are honored that Codeblack Films and Lionsgate have decided to invest in the next generation of talented SCA writers," said Elizabeth M. Daley, Dean of the School of Cinematic Arts. "These kinds of student support funds assist the School in making a cinematic arts education possible for every young person who has something exciting to say. These are the students who will be creating the characters and stories that will have us talking in the coming years."
Primary consideration for the Lionsgate/Codeblack Films Fund for Student Support will be given to African-American students who demonstrate strong financial need as determined by the School and the University's Office of Financial Aid.
As a component of this program, Codeblack Films has also established the Codeblack Screenwriting Contest. Open to all students currently enrolled at the School, the contest will award prizes totaling $25,000 to the best feature film and television scripts that explore stories and issues targeted at African-American audiences.
"We're delighted to support diverse new voices and encourage emerging filmmakers to continue painting pictures that offer a richer and more complete portrayal of the world around us," said Codeblack Films Founder and President Jeff Clanagan. "USC's School of Cinematic Arts has a legacy of encouraging its student body to explore new perspectives, and we're excited to partner with them to continue that tradition."
Codeblack Films will make its first contribution of $50,000 to the scholarship fund next month.
Codeblack Films' Executive Vice President & General Manager Quincy Newell developed and negotiated the arrangement with USC's School of Cinematic Arts' Senior Associate Dean for Advancement Marlene Loadvine and USC's School of Cinematic Arts' Chair, Writing for Screen & Television, Jack Epps, Jr. Ph.D.
About Codeblack Films
Codeblack Films, a division of premier next generation global content leader LIONSGATE®, is a vertically integrated film production and Distribution Company focused on providing independent studios, filmmakers, globally-recognized celebrities, intellectual property rights holders and brands cross platform monetization solutions. Entertainment industry veteran Jeff Clanagan founded Codeblack Films in 2012. Codeblack Films' core objective is to super serve the global Black community with quality programming and help its content and brand partners access the enormous spending power of the rapidly growing African-American consumer market. Codeblack Films' understanding of the social context of these fast evolving market-values, attitudes, behavior and current and emerging trends -- provides the Company with a unique ability to position its content and brand partners in the center of influence.
In July 2013, Codeblack Films released the sleeper hit KEVIN HART: LET ME EXPLAIN from superstar comedian and actor Kevin Hart, which generated over $32 million at the domestic box office.
Codeblack has also released Shola Lynch's 2013 NAACP Image Award winner FREE ANGELA AND ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS, George Tillman Jr. and Alicia Keyes' critically acclaimed and NAACP Image Award nominated THE INEVITABLE DEFEAT OF MISTER & PETE starring Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson, the independent thriller REPENTANCE, starring Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker, Anthony Mackie and Sanaa Lathan and the Golden Globe nominated FRANKIE & ALICE, starring Academy Award winner Halle Berry. In October 2014 Codeblack released ADDICTED the sexy and provocative thriller based on the New York Times best-selling book by Zane. Codeblack Films has also acquired the rights to the popular Flyy Girl book trilogy, written by New York Times best-selling author Omar Tyree, and is adapting the trilogy into a feature film.
Through parent company Lionsgate, Codeblack Films' operational capabilities include motion picture production and distribution, strategic acquisitions, television programming and syndication, home entertainment distribution, digital distribution, new channel platform monetization and international distribution and sales.
About USC School of Cinematic Arts Scholarships:
The USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) provides educational opportunities for students from all economic backgrounds. SCA is committed to providing scholarships, grants, awards and other financial assistance to deserving students, so that they may focus their efforts on achieving their academic and professional goals. With more than half of current students requiring some form of financial aid, SCA offers more than 150 scholarship and grant opportunities to students in all seven of its divisions. For more information and a list of current scholarships, please visit: cinema.usc.edu/scholarships
The University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts is one of the leading media schools in the world. Founded in collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1929 over 85 years ago, the USC School of Cinematic Arts has fueled and mirrored the growth of entertainment as an industry and an art form. The School offers comprehensive programs in directing, producing, writing, critical studies, animation and digital arts, production, interactive media and games, all backed by a broad liberal arts education and taught by leading practitioners in each field. Its more than 11,000 alumni are among the world's most distinguished animators, scholars, teachers, writers, directors, producers, game designers, cinematographers, editors, sound experts and industry executives. Since 1973 not a year has passed without an alumnus or alumna being nominated for an Academy Award.
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