Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith Aim to Help Young Women Filmmakers with NYU Donation
Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett-Smith are continuing to do what they can to bring light to and alleviate issues within the entertainment community.
The pair’s most recent contribution to the diversification of Hollywood comes in the form of a $30,000 donation to NYU’s undergraduate film program, with the money’s primary aim to help fund the projects of future female filmmakers and student television projects. “Will and Jada Smith have a strong desire and commitment to the education of tomorrow’s storytellers, and we’re thrilled that they have decided to support some of out standout students and programs,” said Joe Pichirallo, chair of Tisch’s undergraduate film and TV department.
According to Variety,the funds from the grant will be set aside to “finance two student-created pilots developed through Tisch’s television production class, which instructs students about the intricacies of cooking up original pilots. Two of the shows they create will be selected to receive grants of $10,000.”
The leftover money was awarded to five female winners from the student-run Fusion Film Festival, each of whom received $2000.
Recently, the Smiths were met with a bit of controversy after highlighting Hollywood’s diversity issues and boycotting the Oscars, with some accusing the couple of only being motivated to speak out because Will didn’t receive a nomination for his performance in Concussion. “Is it time that people of color recognize how much power, influence, that we have amassed, that we no longer need to ask to be invited anywhere?” Jada passionately asked in a video posted to her social media. “Maybe it’s time that we recognize that if we love and respect and acknowledge ourselves in the way in which we are asking others to do, that that is the place of true power. Begging for acknowledgement, or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power — and we are a dignified people, and we are powerful.”
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