Gates Foundation funds 8 UCLA students' films about public education

A partnership between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided funding for eight UCLA film students' projects about pressing issues within public education, it was announced today.

"The Gates Foundation's efforts on behalf of education are truly heroic, and no issue could possibly be more important,'' said Teri Schwartz, dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

"At TFT, we proudly share the profound belief of Bill and Melinda Gates in the power of education to not only vastly improve the lives of individuals, but also to enlighten, engage and inspire change for a better
world,'' she said.

Support from the foundation enabled eight UCLA film student teams to write, produce and direct three-minute films about pressing education issues in America.

TFT Digital Media Chair Barbara Boyle, who secured the financing, oversaw the project with support from Film Department faculty and staff.

The students selected for the projects were from the graduate programs of the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media and worked together in teams of three, including a writer, director and at least one producer.

"We are extraordinarily grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for supporting and funding this project,'' Boyle said. "Public education is one of the vital issues today as we must seek to provide educational
opportunities to further generations. We are delighted that our young artists are a part of this effort.''

Boyle said the student films "explore the critical role of teachers, opportunities for the non-traditional student, and the role of inspired, forward thinkers in creating educational opportunities.''

The eight UCLA TFT films are available for audiences to view online at www.tft.ucla.edu/profiles/scholarship/gates-films/ .