LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Participant Media announced the formation of a distinguished fellowship, “The Jake Eberts Fellowship for Social Impact Filmmaking,” in honor of acclaimed producer Jake Eberts at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television (TFT) for graduate students focused on feature film development, social media and digital post-production with an emphasis on stories that inspire and compel social change. Participant Media has made a five-year commitment to underwrite the fellowship at TFT in recognition of the profound and lasting impact made in film by Oscar®-winning producer Jake Eberts. Throughout his career, Jake was extraordinarily successful at bridging cultures and fostering collaborations between filmmakers, actors and investors from all over the world.
“I can’t think of a better way to honor his memory than through this fellowship program in his name that will provide UCLA/TFT graduate students with hands-on, practical experience working on entertainment projects that inspire and accelerate change, which is what Jake devoted his life to.”
In a career that spanned more than four decades, Eberts financed or produced more than 50 films, garnering 65 Academy Award® nominations and 27 Oscars®, including nine Best Picture nominees and four Best Picture winners Chariots of Fire, Gandhi, Driving Miss Daisy and Dances With Wolves. His films have grossed more than $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office.
“Jake was a role model, a mentor, and embodied the values that are at the very core of Participant’s mission. He was an enthusiastic champion from the earliest days and a dear friend,” said Participant Founder/Chairman Jeff Skoll. “I can’t think of a better way to honor his memory than through this fellowship program in his name that will provide UCLA/TFT graduate students with hands-on, practical experience working on entertainment projects that inspire and accelerate change, which is what Jake devoted his life to.”
This annual fellowship program will provide six graduate students, selected by UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television faculty, with a full-time, paid experience at Participant Media to actively participate in the creation of socially relevant content. Students will work with a mentor at Participant and a TFT faculty advisor, and will be involved in the process of social impact filmmaking from development through production, post production and marketing.
“We are honored to be the home for this extraordinary new fellowship program for social impact filmmaking that pays tribute to Jake Eberts and the humanistic ideals that underscore all of his magnificent films,” said Dean Teri Schwartz. “It’s a great privilege to partner with Participant Media, a company whose values and mission are in total harmony with ours at TFT. This program will allow us to nurture our extremely talented students and develop the next generation of storytellers whose works will not only entertain, but inspire change for a better world.”
Eberts’ wife Fiona said, “Jake would be absolutely thrilled to know that the type of films he believed in will be fostered through this collaboration between UCLA and Participant. He had a great respect for Jeff Skoll and Participant’s mission and the kind of movies they bring out. Our whole family are very touched by this fellowship in his name and could not be more delighted with this wonderful way to honor Jake’s memory.”
A celebration, hosted by Schwartz, Skoll and Berk, to announce the fellowship program and pay tribute to Eberts, was held Tuesday evening at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television with Eberts family members in attendance, along with other celebrity and industry guests.
About Participant Media
Participant Media (www.participantmedia.com) is an entertainment company that focuses on documentary and non-documentary feature films, television, publishing and digital content about the real issues that shape our lives. For each of its projects, Participant creates social action and advocacy programs to transform the impact of the media experience into individual and community action. Participant’s online Social Action Network is TakePart (takepart.com). Founded by Jeff Skoll in 2004, Jim Berk serves as CEO. Participant’s films include The Kite Runner, Charlie Wilson’s War, An Inconvenient Truth, Good Night, and Good Luck, The Visitor, Food, Inc., The Cove, Countdown to Zero, Waiting for “Superman,” The Help, Contagion, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Lincoln, Promised Land, No and Snitch.
About UCLA School of TFT
The vision of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television is to serve as a premier global interdisciplinary professional school that develops outstanding humanistic storytellers, industry leaders and scholars whose diverse, innovative voices enlighten, engage and inspire change for a better world. Consistently ranked as one of the top elite entertainment and performing arts institutions in the world, the School offers an innovative curriculum that integrates the study and creation of live performance, film, television and the digital arts. Our distinguished graduate and undergraduate programs include acting, directing, writing, producing, animation, cinematography, lighting design, set design, costume design, sound design and Moving Image Archive Studies, and offers PhDs in Theater and Performance Studies and Cinema & Media Studies. For more information, visit www.tft.ucla.edu