Friday, September 24, 2010

Waiting for "Superman" Gets New Pledge Pal

Press release:


NewSchools Venture Fund Joins “Pledge Progress Meter” at the 150,000 Pledge Level

HOLLYWOOD, CA (September 23, 2010) – Paramount Pictures, Participant Media and Walden Media jointly announced today NewSchools Venture Fund has joined the “Pledge Progress Meter” for the award-winning documentary film WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN” at the 150,000 pledge level. The Fund has committed to investing $5 million in entrepreneurial organizations to create high quality public education opportunities for more of America’s children.

NewSchools is committed to transforming public education through powerful ideas and passionate entrepreneurs so that all children – especially those in underserved communities – have the opportunity to succeed. To achieve this goal, they support education entrepreneurs, help them grow their organizations to scale, and help connect their work to broader systems change. These entrepreneurs increase the supply of new high-quality schools, teachers, and tools that serve students. They also contribute to the momentum toward more significant improvement within the existing system.

“The most pressing domestic issue today is the achievement gap that blunts the potential of low-income children and steals from our national economy. WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN” will help our country recognize the urgency for each of us to take action, in exactly the same way that ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ did,” said Ted Mitchell, President and Chief Executive Officer of NewSchools Venture Fund and President of the California State Board of Education.

NewSchools is the sixth major organization to join the “Pledge Progress Meter.” FirstBook, OfficeMax®,, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Adopt-A-Classroom / Jones New York in the Classroom have already committed to making a difference in education.

WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN” directed by Davis Guggenheim (“An Inconvenient Truth”) will be released under the Paramount Vantage banner and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It examines the crisis of public education in the United States through multiple interlocking stories. Designed to start a national conversation, the movie and corresponding “Take the Pledge” campaign aim to inspire everyone to create innovative and long-term solutions to help change the course of our kids’ lives for the better. The “Pledge Progress Meter” launched in May as a way for non-profits, foundations and corporations to match individual pledge levels with powerful action items aimed at helping both students and public schools.

The film opens in New York and Los Angeles on September 24, nationwide in October.

The film is produced by Lesley Chilcott, with Participant Media’s Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann serving as executive producers. It is written by Davis Guggenheim & Billy Kimball.

For more information about the NewSchools Venture Fund, please visit

For more information about the movie, or to take the pledge go to

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About Paramount Pictures Corporation
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. The company's labels include Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Digital Entertainment, Paramount Famous Productions, Paramount Home Entertainment, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., Paramount Studio Group, and Worldwide Television Distribution.

About Participant Media
Participant Media is a Los Angeles-based entertainment company that focuses on socially relevant, commercially viable feature films, documentaries and television, as well as publishing and digital media. Participant Media is headed by CEO Jim Berk and was founded in 2004 by philanthropist Jeff Skoll, who serves as Chairman. Ricky Strauss is President.

Participant exists to tell compelling, entertaining stories that bring to the forefront real issues that shape our lives. For each of its projects, Participant creates extensive social action and advocacy programs, which provide ideas and tools to transform the impact of the media experience into individual and community action. Participant’s films include The Kite Runner, Charlie Wilson’s War, Darfur Now, An Inconvenient Truth, Good Night, and Good Luck, Syriana, Standard Operating Procedure, The Visitor, The Soloist, Food, Inc., The Informant!, The Cove, The Crazies, Oceans, Furry Vengeance, CASINO JACK and the United States of Money, Countdown to Zero and Waiting for “Superman.”

About Walden Media
Walden Media specializes in entertainment for the whole family. Past award-winning films include: the "Chronicles of Narnia" series, "Journey to the Center of the Earth", "Nim’s Island" and "Charlotte’s Web." Upcoming films include "Ramona & Beezus" based on the best-selling book series by Beverly Cleary and starring Selena Gomez, and the latest installment in "Narnia" franchise: "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader."

About NewSchools Venture Fund
NewSchools Venture Fund seeks to transform public education through powerful ideas and passionate entrepreneurs so that all children – especially those in underserved communities – have the opportunity to succeed. As a national nonprofit venture philanthropy firm, NewSchools supports education entrepreneurs, a special breed of innovators who create new nonprofit and for-profit organizations that redefine our sense of what is possible in public education. Founded in 1998, NewSchools has invested in more than 35 nonprofit and for-profit organizations and raised nearly $150 million. NewSchools takes an active role with each venture in our portfolio to help them create sustainable organizations that generate breakthrough results at scale for the students they serve. In addition to this direct support to entrepreneurs, NewSchools also connects their work to the broader public education reform movement to catalyze systems change.

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