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Amy Adams makes school a top priority

Women's Impact Report: Lifetime Impact Honorees

Who: Amy Adams — who first gained wide attention for her Oscar-nominated turn in “Junebug” and subsequently in such films as “Enchanted,” “Doubt” and “Julie and Julia” — will next star in “The Fighter” (due out in December) opposite Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale. She recently wrapped “On the Road,” playing an emotionally damaged junkie and the wife of Old Bull Lee (Viggo Mortensen).

What: Ghetto Film School was founded in 2000. Since then, more than 400 young people in New York City have participated in Ghetto Film School programs and workshops. Located in the South Bronx, the programs offer students courses on production and cinema studies free of charge. Thesis projects have taken students as far away as Paris and Uganda, and big-name directors — including David O. Russell, Spike Jonze, Jim Jarmusch and Wes Anderson — regularly drop in to volunteer. “That’s what’s so wonderful about the school,” Adams says. “They invite professionals to come and serve, to host seminars, and through this they give kids access to an industry that seems sort of impenetrable.”

Why: “I was really interested in getting into the film industry when I was younger but it wasn’t available to me where I lived,” says Adams. “It seemed like this unattainable goal. When I heard these kids’ stories, I so identified with having the desire but not having the funds or access to education.” She adds: “It’s the question I get asked the most: ‘How did you get started?’ For me, I got lucky. So many people don’t know how to get their foot in the door, and that’s why this program really spoke to me.”

What’s Next: Adams has been visiting on Skype with Ghetto Film School students. She hopes to become more involved by serving on jury panels and maybe even acting in a student’s thesis project. “I want to be as hands-on and involved as possible,” Adams explains. “I want to be a resource for the kids. I’m hoping that I can help them connect with the industry in some way. The kids are so refreshing; they’re a positive voice for their generation. They’re so hard working and ambitious and intelligent and well-spoken.”

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