A slew of summer blockbusters are getting ready to hit the big screen, but not before Blake Lively, Anna Faris, Melissa Leo and Marisa Tomei hit the Ghetto Film School Spring Benefit's red carpet. The stars were on hand to give out college scholarships aimed at developing youth into tomorrow's next film greats to students of the independent film organization.
Since getting her big break as Bridget in "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" at age 18, Blake Lively pretty much spent her whole young adult life in the spotlight, starring in "Gossip Girl" and tomorrow hitting the big screen alongside Ryan Reynolds in "The Green Lantern." Fellow young actress Anna Faris got her start at age 16, and has since made a splash in movies like the "Scary Movie" series and the critically acclaimed "Brokeback Mountain." Thanks to Ghetto Film School, more than 50 young people with dreams of following in their footsteps have been awarded more than $320,000 to pursue their education and artistic pursuits.
This week's benefit, which honored David O. Russell who directed "The Fighter," handed out an additional $20,000 and celebrated 11 years of educating and developing film's next generation of award-winning directors and actors. “I think this model of education could go on to hold a lot of promise for the rest of the country,” GFS founder Joe Hall said. “Whether or not [the students] go on to become a filmmaker, the skills we teach--how to negotiate with an adult to use their bodega for a set--we’re preparing kids for the kinds of jobs where this economy is gonna be in 20 years.”
With such a dedicated founder, supportive celebrities and a comprehensive program, graduates of GFS might just be hitting the big screen soon too!
Watch one of the school's productions, "Dead On," and learn more about GFS below.
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