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Announcing The Joel Schumacher Mentorship Award

by Zach Mandinach on January 12, 2021

MTV Entertainment Group endows the inaugural Joel Schumacher Mentorship Award at tonight’s Gothams for LGBTQ+, and Black, Indigenous, Students of Color in media and entertainment

Fund honors Schumacher’s longtime collaboration with MTV’s beloved creative director Sophia Cranshaw

New York, NY (Monday, January 11, 2021) – Jeff Sharp, Executive Director of The Gotham Film and Media Institute (formerly IFP), announced at tonight’s Gotham Awards that ViacomCBS’ MTV Entertainment Group will underwrite the newly-created Joel Schumacher Mentorship Award in honor of the legacy and social consciousness of the versatile film director, screenwriter and producer and his passion for mentoring young people.

MTV’s prolific history with Schumacher on award-winning social impact campaigns and his partnership with the global youth brand’s beloved creative director, Sophia Cranshaw, inspired the $150,000 donation that will enable four undergraduate students to attend the Gotham EDU summer program on full scholarship beginning in Summer 2021. The 8-week curriculum will offer workshops to hone career development and technical skills, master classes hosted by industry decision makers and insight from mentors. The Schumacher scholarships will be awarded to people of color and individuals from LGBTQ+, Black and Indigenous communities.

In addition to creating such iconic films as Flatliners, Phone Booth, The Lost Boys, and St. Elmo’s Fire, Schumacher conceived and produced several campaigns focused on anti-violence, LGBTQ+ sexual health, voting rights, online bullying, depression, and suicide alongside Cranshaw, who died of breast cancer in 2016. Together, they won the Governors Award Emmy® in 2006 for “Campaign for Darfur,” a public service announcement narrated by Alicia Keys calling for action against the genocide and the abuse of women and girls in Western Sudan and a Peabody® for the brand’s mental health campaign, Half of Us, which still endures today.

Under the leadership of President Chris McCarthy, the MTV Entertainment Group consists of nine content brands – MTV, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, Smithsonian Channel, Pop TV, CMT, VH1, TV Land, Logo and their respective content studios – as well as MTV Documentary Films.

About The Gotham Film & Media Institute

The Gotham Film & Media Institute champions the future of storytelling by connecting artists with essential resources at all stages of development and distribution. The organization fosters a vibrant and sustainable independent filmmaking community through its year-round programs, which include Gotham Week, Gotham Labs, and the Gotham Awards, as well as the award-winning Filmmaker Magazine.