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Latest honor for Sidney Poitier: A film school in his name

Sidney Poitier    Academy Award
Posted at 4:58 PM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-25 19:01:14-05

NEW YORK (AP) — At 93, screen legend Sidney Poitier has achieved a new career milestone: Arizona State University has unveiled The Sidney Poitier New American Film School.

University president Michael M. Crow says the decision to name the school after Poitier, the first Black winner of a lead acting Oscar, is about much more than an emphasis on diversity.

“Arizona State University is deeply committed to the premise of inclusivity, and The Sidney Poitier New American Film School is an extension of that impact in an area of academic pursuit that will be advanced by the representation of greater diversity and perspective,” Crow said in a release.

He says it's about the filmmaker's creative energy and drive and the way he advanced his life.

“What we’re doing here is not just recognizing Sidney Poitier for his lifetime of achievements and his legacy, but naming our New American Film School for a person that embodies that which we strive to be — the matching of excellence and drive and passion with a social purpose and social outcomes, all the things his career has stood for," Crow said.

The university says it has invested millions of dollars in technology to create what's intended to be one of the largest, most accessible, and most diverse film schools.

According to the release, the new home of the film school will be located in a new state-of-the-art facility in Mesa, Arizona, and will be completed in fall 2022.