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Ghetto Film School Presents GFS MasterClass with Online Videos

January 31, 2012 - The Ghetto Film School (GFS) has announced the launch of GFS MasterClass, a cutting edge initiative to bring the nonprofit’s award-winning educational model to scale, reaching thousands of teen storytellers around the world. With the help of Google and YouTube, GFS MasterClass connects professional directors with young filmmakers in a global Google+ Hangout series to improve their craft and hone their skills.

The first MasterClass, which launched on Tuesday, January 31st at Ghetto Film School’s South Bronx Post House (SBPH), featured acclaimed filmmaker Lee Daniels, who was joined by eight young filmmakers from around the world, as well as series moderator (and GFS Fellows Program graduate) Gloria Alvarez.

Additional directors in the line-up for 2012 include: Spike Jonze, (Where the Wild Things Are), David O. Russell (The Fighter), Jim Jarmusch (The Limits of Control), Tamra Davis (Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child), Ed Burns (Newlyweds), Peter Sollett (Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist), Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight), Paola Mendoza (Entre Nos), Barry Jenkins (Remigration), David Robert Mitchell (Myth of the American Sleepover), John Singleton (Abduction) and Jason Reitman (Up in the Air).

“I’ve been with Ghetto Film School from the early days, their students interned at my Harlem brownstone office, and I’m thrilled now to bring the invaluable GFS experience to young filmmakers all over the world,” said Lee Daniels.

GFS MasterClass is a monthly series hosted on Google+ Hangouts throughout the year. Sessions will stream live in hour-long segments on Google+ at, and will be available for viewing as 15-minute modules on YouTube at Each episode features a top director leading a discussion about a specific topic (e.g. “Working with Actors,” “The Core of the Story”), with series moderator Gloria Alvarez and eight young filmmakers from around the world. Participants for each episode are given creative assignments to complete and then share on Google+ and YouTube.

MasterClass takes place in a virtual environment, with directors filmed on location at various sites throughout the US, including the South Bronx Post House, the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Googleplex.

Founded in 2000, the Ghetto Film School’s mission is to educate, develop and celebrate the next generation of great American storytellers. Working with teens through their high-school years, college and beyond GFS achieves its goals through three areas of business: The Fellows Program (a 15-month immersion into cinematic storytelling), Digital Bodega (a student-operated production company) and The Cinema School (the nation's first film high school).

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