Entertainment Weekly Scholarship supports media students

It’s a bit of an understatement to say that the people who put ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY together are enthusiastic about, well, entertainment. But we also have a long-standing commitment to nurturing creativity in the arts. From our ongoing sponsorship of the Sundance Film Festival to our own editorial internship program, EW supports the development of new talent. This year, in keeping with this mission, we’ve initiated a special scholarship program for students of film and television at four leading universities across the country: New York University, the Rhode Island School of Design, the University of California at Los Angeles, and the University of Southern California. Recipients were selected, based on merit and financial need, by a faculty committee at each school. I’m pleased to present the first winners:

Laurie H. Hutzler is finishing her M.F.A. in screenwriting from UCLA (she also holds a degree in law). She is editing her first short film, Killing Song, which she wrote and directed. ”The scholarship was a real boost,” Hutzler says. ”Any time someone picks you out of the crowd, it gives you confidence in your work.”

Amy Elliott, 27, applied her scholarship to her graduate film studies at USC. She’s currently developing an educational TV program for children. ”This type of support is invaluable,” says Elliott. ”Now that I have a budget, I can spend more time focused on my work. It’s a godsend.”

Catherine McCarthy, 29, a grad student at NYU’s film school, is completing her master’s thesis, a short film about family life. The scholarship, she says, was ”extremely helpful. It’s difficult to get funding, especially for short narrative films. If there were more programs like this, it would give the industry more incentive to support short films.”

Gregg Watt, 30, a RISD film student, is finishing his documentary about South Africa’s political and social conflicts. ”We don’t get to know the people who live next door, much less on the other side of the world,” Watt says. ”Filmmaking makes that possible.”

We congratulate these recipients. EW is honored to support their promising careers. We hope this program helps talented students turn their visions into reality. And who knows, maybe someday you’ll see these names in another part of this magazine.