“For three years, HRFS has been teaching and mentoring students as they begin or build upon their careers in film. To be able to offer students the opportunity to study here and lessen the financial pressure is paramount to the success of this school. We’re so thankful to NBC for supporting our initiatives and the voices we believe are the future of comedic entertainment,” says HRFS Chair Trevor Albert.
“As the home of classic hit comedies such as ‘The Office,’ ‘The Golden Girls, ‘Parks and Recreation’ and ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ and an industry leader in developing underrepresented talent through our pipeline programs, NBC has launched the careers of many of today’s beloved comedic talent in front and behind the camera. So it was a natural expansion of our longstanding relationship with The Second City to create this new scholarship for aspiring diverse comedic filmmakers at the Harold Ramis Film School. Our shared goal is to continue to give opportunities to underrepresented talent so they can be among the next generation of comedy greats,” said Karen Horne, Senior Vice President, Programming Talent Development & Inclusion, NBC Entertainment and Universal Television.
Eligible candidates for the Emerging Voices Scholarship are required to have a high school diploma or GED and be at least 18 years old. Diverse candidates are highly encouraged to apply. (The Harold Ramis Film School defines diversity as any group of underrepresented cultural voices including ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion.)
Applications for the fall 2019 start date are due on May 15th. Students who are accepted into the program are eligible for the Emerging Voices Scholarship and can submit their applications by the June 15th deadline. To apply for the yearlong program, visit the HRFS website and for more information on the scholarship, contact the HRFS office.
Since HRFS opened in 2016, over 200 students have graduated from the program. They have gone on to work in the entertainment industry at Powderkeg (Paul Feig), The Cloudland Company (Peter Tolan), Pen15 (Deb Liebling), EPIX and the Viacom Directing Fellowship at Nickelodeon, among others. HRFS graduates’ short films have been presented at festivals including Austin Comedy Short Film Fest, Black Laurel Festival, Portland Comedy Film Festival, Golden State Film Festival, Chicago Comedy Film Festival, and numerous others.
About The Second City
Since opening its doors 1959, The Second City has grown to become the world’s premier comedy club, theater and school of improvisation, entertaining 1 million theatergoers a year around the globe. Alumni of The Second City’s resident stages, touring companies, and theatrical divisions include some of the biggest names in entertainment, and in addition to the sold-out shows playing nightly on resident stages in Chicago and Toronto, the comedy empire has staged productions with a wide range of illustrious creative partners and theatre companies, including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Goodman Theatre, Center Theater Group Los Angeles, Portland Center Stage, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, La Jolla Playhouse, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, and even the Chicago Bulls.
About Harold Ramis
Harold Ramis joined The Second City Mainstage in 1969, writing and performing in six revues over four years. A Chicago native, Ramis’s exceptional stage work led him to roles on The National Lampoon Show and SCTV. Ramis turned his focus to film when he created a script for National Lampoon’s magazine which was turned into the screenplay for Animal House, the box office record-breaking comedy of 1978. After co-writing Meatballs, starring Bill Murray, Ramis turned his focus to directing with Caddyshack, which he also co-wrote. Continuing a streak of successful films, Ramis’ work on Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day solidified his status as a legendary American filmmaker. Says Harold: “Comedy and tragedy co-exist. You can't have one without the other. I'm of the school that anything can be funny if seen from a comedic point of view.”
About Harold Ramis Film School
The Harold Ramis Film School is the only film school in the world focused entirely on comedy. They educate writers, performers, directors, and filmmakers through the collaborative styles of comedic content creation embraced by The Second City and alumnus Harold Ramis. In the spirit of Harold Ramis, they encourage students to work from the top of their intelligence. At the film school, students are exposed to great comedic films, literature and inspired teachers to help nurture their emotional and intellectual storytelling abilities. Students are immersed in comedy training, film history, writing and film production classes to give them the context in which to create. Students will graduate the program with produced content be it a screenplay, sitcom pilot, hour-long pilot, or short film. Applicants to the program are in the emerging stage of their careers as filmmakers. This program is designed for people with a comedic point of view and a desire to create content.