Kids stay in exec’s focus

Goldsmith-Vein devotes time to special projects

Group leader draws talent | Gotham builds new model on tooned-up frame | Gotham builds slate | Kids stay in exec’s focus

Just as Ellen Goldsmith-Vein has done much to realize projects that delight children, she’s also reached out on behalf of children in need through a long list of organizations and individuals who endeavor to make their lives better.

Goldsmith-Vein is being installed on the board of girls-empowerment nonprofit Girls Inc., plus she’s a past board member of Idyllwild Arts, Free Arts for Abused Children and Women in Film. She’s also a strong supporter of Karen Bass, former speaker of the California State Assembly, congressional candidate in the state’s 33rd district and advocate for better services for foster children.

The producer currently sits on the board of Ghetto Film School, an intensive program that focuses on a small group of film students each year who might not otherwise have access to the facilities and industry network provided there.

“You’d think with everything Ellen does that it would be hard for her to give so much time and energy to us,” says Ghetto Film School executive director Joe Hall, who was introduced to Goldsmith-Vein by director David O. Russell. “But she’s always there for me, she always responds, and she’s been an incredible mentor.”

Goldsmith-Vein was so inspired by the school that she’s scheduled to teach a class there. It’s that kind of access and interaction that make learning there unique, according to director Spike Jonze.

“These kids are incredibly focused already, so when they get to ask people working in the business how to do things, it only means they’ll be able to get their projects going faster,” says Jonze.

Much like Goldsmith-Vein, Hall is focused on long-term relationships. When the kids go into the world after the program, the executive director hopes they will then take their place in a supportive network for the next group of kids.

“We’re trying to create support for the next generation of storytellers,” says Hall. “With Ellen’s help, it’s going to be a lot easier.”

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