As part of Walmart’s first-ever sponsorship of the Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Art and Sciences announced Thursday a $250,000 gift from the retailer to the Academy Foundation in support of its educational and outreach initiatives.

“We would like to thank Walmart for this generous gift, and are grateful for their support of our educational initiatives and shared commitment to mentor the next generation of storytellers,” Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said.

This summer, the Academy will introduce an industry-wide intern and mentoring program that aims to expand opportunities for aspiring filmmakers in under-represented areas, according to the Academy. The program will supplement the existing Student Academy Awards and the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, managed by the organization for emerging talent in the film industry.

Past winners of those competitions include filmmakers Pete Docter, Spike Lee, Robert Zemeckis and Trey Parker. Student Academy Award winners have gone on to receive eight Oscars and 51 Oscar nominations.

“Our Oscars campaign celebrates creativity and storytelling, and we felt it was important to not only support filmmaking on the industry’s biggest night, but to lend support to future filmmakers,” said Tony Rogers, chief marketing officer of Walmart U.S. “Every day our customers are telling stories with their receipts. We are proud to support the Academy’s educational programs to further empower film students from diverse background to tell their stories.”

Walmart will unveil its campaign, “Behind Every Receipt, There’s a Great Story,” during the telecast of the 89th Oscars on Sunday. The campaign, consisting of three short films, focuses on a single six-item receipt and the countless stories that could surround it. To create the three-part sponsorship debut, the retailer partnered with directors Antoine Fuqua, Marc Forster, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, according to the Academy.

— City News Service


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