George Clooney, Kerry Washington, Don Cheadle to Co-Found Film School for Underserved Communities

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George Clooney, Don Cheadle, Kerry Washington, Mindy Kaling, Eva Longoria and more will co-found a film school for underserved communities beginning in fall 2022.

The Roybal School of Film and Television Production will give students robust academic education, practical training and access to renowned storytellers and other industry professionals and experts from Hollywood. The school will also offer a dedicated internship initiative.

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“Our aim is to better reflect the diversity of our country. That means starting early. It means creating high school programs that teach young people about cameras, and editing and visual effects and sound and all the career opportunities that this industry has to offer,” Clooney said in a statement. “It means internships that lead to well-paying careers. It means understanding that we’re all in this together.”

Overseen by principal Blanca Cruz, the school will start with ninth and 10th grade students and expand to 11th and 12th grades over the next two years. There is potential opportunity to expand the pilot program to more schools in the Los Angeles area.

Grant Heslov, Nicole Avant, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner of Working Title Films and Creative Artists Agency’s Bryan Lourd will also serve as founders with Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner. All the founders will serve on the Roybal School of Film and Television Production Advisory Board.

“This effort will help open the doors of opportunity for a diverse group of students from underserved communities,” Superintendent Beutner said in a statement. “This groundbreaking program will help prepare students for good-paying jobs in the film and television industry by integrating practical industry experience and internships for students into the curriculum. Physics is involved in the choice of a lens by a cinematographer, math is part of the foundation for a musical score in a film, critical thinking skills are needed to design a set, screenwriters needs a foundation in literacy, and a make-up artist needs to know the chemistry of the different materials they might use – all of this will be tied into the curriculum at the school. We are excited to have the support of these extraordinary industry leaders to create opportunity for children in the Los Angeles area.”

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