AFI Receives $5 Million Gift From the Perenchio Foundation

Dave McNary
·1 min read

The American Film Institute has received a $5 million gift from the Perenchio Foundation, established to fulfill the charitable wishes of Andrew Jerrold “Jerry” Perenchio, who died in 2017.

The gift will fund the Perenchio Family Endowed Scholarship to support diverse voices at the AFI Conservatory.

“Though he was famously anonymous in his philanthropy, Jerry’s generosity knew no bounds,” said Bob Daly, chair of the AFI Board of Directors. “Through this endowed scholarship at the AFI Conservatory, his legacy will continue to echo across generations in tomorrow’s storytellers.”

AFI said the first AFI Conservatory Perenchio Fellows will be announced in the coming months.

Perenchio amassed a fortune by building a powerhouse TV production company and later the Spanish-language network Univision. He was among California’s most prolific philanthropists and political donors.

Perenchio made a fortune on megahits of the 1970s, particularly from the sale of the shows into syndication. With Norman Lear, he formed an entertainment consortium called T.A.T. Communications, which eventually grew into a production and distribution company that produced TV shows like “The Jeffersons,” “One Day at a Time,” “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” and “Diff’rent Strokes.”

The AFI Conservatory opened its doors in 1969 to an inaugural class that included Terrence Malick, Caleb Deschanel and Paul Schrader. Alumni include Andrea Arnold, Darren Aronofsky, Ari Aster, Sam Esmail, Brad Falchuk, Liz Hannah, Patty Jenkins, Janusz Kamiński, Matthew Libatique, David Lynch, Melina Matsoukas, Polly Morgan, Rachel Morrison and Wally Pfister.

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