AMPAS announced that 89th Oscars sponsor Walmart has gifted $250,000 to the Academy Foundation in support of its educational outreach initiatives. The donative will all the Academy to advance its efforts to build a more diverse, inclusive talent pool of participants across Academy programs, and put promising young people on the path to success.
“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.
The Academy Foundation manages two of the top competitions for emerging talent in the industry: the Student Academy Awards and the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. 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.
“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.”
As a first-time Proud Sponsor of the 89th Oscars, Walmart will unveil its new campaign, “Behind Every Receipt, There’s a Great Story.” The concept explores how 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 unique short films that will premiere during the telecast’s commercials on Oscars Sunday, Feb. 26, on ABC.