The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today a $250,000 gift from Walmart to the Academy Foundation in support of the organization’s educational and outreach initiatives. Walmart, a Proud Sponsor of the 89th Oscars®, continues its commitment to encourage and support emerging talent in the film community.
The Academy Foundation manages two of the most prestigious competitions for emerging talent in the motion picture industry—the Student Academy Awards, an international film competition for university students, and the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, an international writing competition for aspiring screenwriters. Past Student Academy Award winners include acclaimed filmmakers Pete Docter ("Inside Out"), Cary Fukunaga ("Beasts of No Nation"), John Lasseter ("Toy Story"), Spike Lee ("Do the Right Thing"), Trey Parker ("South Park") and Robert Zemeckis ("Forrest Gump"). Altogether, Student Academy Award winners have gone on to receive eight Oscars and 51 Oscar® nominations. Past Nicholl Fellows include Destin Cretton ("Short Term 12"), Jeffrey Eugenides ("The Virgin Suicides"), Susannah Grant ("Erin Brockovich"), Ehren Kruger ("Transformers: Age of Extinction") and Andrew Marlowe ("Air Force One").
This summer, the Academy will also launch a groundbreaking entertainment industry-wide summer intern and mentoring program that will expand opportunities for young professionals from under-represented communities.
"We would like to thank Walmart for this generous gift, and are grateful for their support of our educational initiatives and shared commitment to mentor the next generation of storytellers," said Academy CEO, Dawn Hudson.
"Our Oscars campaign celebrates creativity and storytelling, and we felt it was important to not only support filmmaking on the industry’s biggest night, but to lend support to future filmmakers," said Tony Rogers, chief marketing officer, Walmart U.S. "Every day our customers are telling stories with their receipts. We are proud to support the Academy’s educational programs to further empower film students from diverse backgrounds to tell their stories."
Walmart’s gift will allow the Academy to meaningfully advance its ongoing efforts to reach out and build a more diverse and inclusive talent pool of participants in all Academy programs, and begin to position promising young people for success in their respective fields.
As a Proud Sponsor of the 89th Oscars®, Walmart will unveil its new campaign, "Behind Every Receipt, There’s a Great Story," during the retailer’s first-ever sponsorship of the Oscars. The concept for the campaign is based on a single six-item receipt—when seen through an artistic lens—can tell an infinite number of stories. Walmart teamed with directors Antoine Fuqua, Marc Forster, and Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg to create three short films, each with their own unique spin, that will premiere during the telecast’s commercials on Oscars® Sunday, February 26, on the ABC Television Network.