Schindler’s List with a Chinese Twist”

No time to write a longer post because I have to teach in a few minutes, but I thought that Thomas Heath’s Washington Post article about businessman Ted Leonsis’s decision to produce films with a social bent. Leonisis, who calls his concept “Filmanthropy,” explains that “You raise the money around your charity and make something that can drive people to understand an issue….It brings together philanthropy and understanding how media works. You’re going to see a lot of people doing this because a studio probably wouldn’t do a story like this.”

Leonisis’s concept sounds a lot like Jeffrey Skoll’s Participant Productions, which I discussed a little over a year ago (although Skoll’s project explicitly invokes political activism). Not much to add right now. Obviously I’m not going to complain if Leonisis bankrolls a few good movies, but I think this connection between film and philanthropy needs to be investigated a little more carefully (especially when Leonisis describes his first film as “Schindler’s List with a Chinese twist”).

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