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Showtime, T. Howard Seek Films

Showtime will partner with The T. Howard Foundation to sponsor a student-film competition for minority and female students.

The diversity-focused telecommunications organization also plans to honor Showtime Networks Inc. chairman Matt Blank and National Cable & Telecommunications Association senior vice president communications and public affairs Rob Stoddard during its annual fundraising dinner in New York, set for next April 12.

The winner of the “The T. Howard Foundation Student Film Competition” — featuring five- to 10-minute shorts submitted by people of color and women — will receive a 10-week, organization-funded apprenticeship at Showtime, according to T. Howard president Curtis Symonds.

Showtime will also provide an airing of the winning piece, according to Symonds, who was recently named chief operating officer of the Women’s National Basketball Association’s Washington Mystics, but will continue his work at T. Howard.

“We’ve always tried to reach outside the box to offer up more opportunities to minorities,” said Symonds.

The T. Howard Foundation Student Film Competition follows similar ventures that Showtime has sponsored with graduate students from New York University’s Kanbar Institute of Film and Television and the University of California Los Angeles School of Theater, Film and Television. The competition also augments the network’s ongoing efforts to develop and support minority filmmakers through its Black Filmmakers Showcase and Latino Filmmakers Showcase.

As for the fundraising dinner next spring, Blank will be lauded for his efforts and achievements in support of diversity within the telecommunications industry. Stoddard, the first non-network cable-industry executive to be honored by the DBS-focused T. Howard Foundation, will receive the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in fostering such cable outreach initiatives as Cable In The Classroom, which has benefited children of color.

The T. Howard Foundation places minority students from colleges around the country in summer internships within the direct-broadcast satellite and cable-television industries.