WASHINGTON (Jan. 12, 2004)—Stockard Channing, Shekhar Kapur, Spike Lee, Kiefer Sutherland and Forest Whitaker have joined an illustrious group of actors, directors, producers and other film industry personalities as members of National Geographic’s All Roads Film Project advisory board.
The All Roads Film Project is a new National Geographic initiative that will provide a global platform for indigenous and under-represented minority-culture filmmakers around the world to showcase their talents and teach a broader audience about their culture. The program will host an international film festival in Los Angeles and Washington in the fall.
Advisory board members will nominate films for the festival, help identify new talent and teach master classes to aspiring filmmakers. In addition to representatives of the mainstream entertainment community, the advisory board is composed of indigenous and minority-culture filmmakers, and representatives of National Geographic.
Board members include actors/directors/producers Sutherland, Lee and Whitaker; actor Channing; Kapur, director of “Elizabeth,” “The Four Feathers” and “The Bandit Queen”; Ruth Vitale, co-president of Paramount Classics; Alicia B. Adams, vice president of dance and international programming at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; actor Lou Diamond Phillips; photographer Reza, founder of Aina World; David Beal, independent film and music executive; N. Bird Runningwater of the Sundance Institute; anchor/reporter Robert Kovacik; and Brad Yonover, film producer and CEO of Critical Mass Entertainment.
Other board members are Dylan Leiner, senior vice president of acquisitions of Sony Classics; Australian aboriginal actor/director Leah Purcell; Teresa Keleher, director of cultural affairs at the Embassy of Australia; Australian aboriginal Sally Reilly, director of the Australian Aboriginal Film Board; Maori producer/director Mereta Mita, from New Zealand; Sarah Lash, director of acquisitions for IFC Films; and Australian aboriginal film producer Bain Stewart, founder of Bungabura Productions, which he runs with Purcell.
“The aim of the All Roads Film Project is to provide indigenous filmmakers with opportunities to tell their stories in their own voices,” said Terry Garcia, National Geographic’s executive vice president for mission programs. “The project is an exciting new forum for indigenous and minority-culture storytellers to bring their lives, experiences and cultures to new audiences.”
National Geographic is now accepting submissions from filmmakers for the All Roads Film Festival; the deadline is May 31, 2004. All types of films will be considered, including feature-length films, shorts, documentaries, animation and music videos for adults, families and kids. The films can be in any language (English subtitles required), and the productions will be considered for broadcast on the National Geographic Channel, both in the United States and internationally — reaching a potential audience of more than 200 million viewers.
In addition to the film festival, the All Roads Film Project will provide up to 10 seed grants in 2004 to help indigenous or minority-culture filmmakers produce a film or video. These films will also be considered for inclusion in the film festival and for broadcast on National Geographic Channel. A filmmaker may be awarded an All Roads Fellowship of up to $100,000 the following year to complete a film project.
The All Roads Film Project will provide additional venues for these filmmakers through a series of international film evenings, showcasing productions from a variety of countries, to be held at National Geographic headquarters in Washington and hosted by the diplomatic community. The first international film night was hosted by the Australian Embassy last October; the second will be hosted by the South African Embassy in April, and the third will be hosted by the Embassy of New Zealand in May.
Founded in 1888, the National Geographic Society is one of the largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations in the world. It reaches more than 250 million people worldwide each month through its five magazines, the National Geographic Channel, television documentaries, films, books, videos and DVDs, maps and interactive media. Its Los Angeles-based feature-film and kids’ programming and production groups are involved in the All Roads Film Project. National Geographic has funded more than 7,000 scientific research projects and supports an education program combating geographic illiteracy. For more information about the Society, log on to nationalgeographic.com, AOL Keyword: NatGeo.
Information about the All Roads Film Project and the 2004 film festival is available by phone at 202-857-7660, on the Web at nationalgeographic.com/allroads, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.