December 12th, 2021

CNN Film School and Genesis champion young filmmakers through student fellowship program

Earlier this year saw the launch of CNN Film School, a new editorial initiative supported by luxury automotive brand Genesis in an advertising and sponsorship partnership established by CNN International Commercial (CNNIC). The initiative explores the power of visual storytelling and is committed to inspiring the next generation of filmmakers across the globe. As part of the long-standing collaboration with Genesis, this is the third year of the student fellowship program. This year’s fellowship is crafted and organized exclusively by CNN Film School – where industry stalwarts like the Director of Squid Game and renowned filmmaker Denis Villeneuve have been featured.

The fellowship program aims to provide a group of talented young filmmakers an opportunity to develop their own short documentaries under the professional mentorship and project oversight of the CNN Film School team. Throughout the program, the students received guidance from planning to filming from their assigned CNN mentors. Their films focused on this year’s theme, “Stories Worth Telling”, and aim to inspire a blueprint for a better tomorrow and explore narratives with deeper themes such as beauty, identity, ambition and hope.

The months-long fellowship, which was awarded to four university students from South Korea and the United States, concluded with a special virtual screening event this month. It showcased the students’ passion projects for the first time and included panel discussions featuring members of the CNN editorial team, the students and executives who backed this project.

“CNN Film School is an initiative very close to our hearts. It focuses on the art of filmmaking while inspiring students at the same time. We are thrilled to see the students’ documentaries which shine a spotlight on real-life heroes changing their communities for the better. These talented filmmakers have turned their creative visions into remarkable visual stories and we hope CNN Film School empowers them on their journey,” said Ellana Lee, Senior Vice President, CNN International, Managing Editor for Asia Pacific.

Rob Bradley, Senior Vice President, CNN International Commercial, added: “As brands that value creativity and culture, the partnership between CNN and Genesis is testament to our shared passion and beliefs. Since 2016 we have partnered on several powerful campaigns and told over 150 original stories reaching millions upon millions of viewers. With the inception of the CNN Film School this year, we are delighted to strengthen our partnership as this digital establishment will provide a platform for many aspiring filmmakers.”

Four university students from South Korea and the U.S., Skyler Glover from UC Berkeley, Serge Kharytonau from New York University, and Tae-Hoe Jeong and Sae-Byeol Jeong from Korea National University of Arts, each received a US$15,000 grant to create their own short documentaries. They were mentored by CNN producers Dan Tham, Bijan Hosseini, Michelle Cohan and Sandy Thin with program oversight by Jon Jensen, Commissioning Editor for Asia Pacific for CNN’s Global Features team.

Their documentaries include films about finding friendship and community in unlikely places like a South Korean swimming pool, a San Francisco man using the power of competitive sports to break down barriers, a story about modern-day mermaids in Busan, and a disabled influencer in New York who may just disrupt the entire global fashion industry. Visit the CNN Film School website to watch their final productions.




About CNN Film School
CNN Film School is a digital series of videos and articles about the art of filmmaking. The series speaks with leading directors, journalists, technicians and talent in the film and television industry about what it takes to create outstanding stories through video. Including masterclass videos from notable filmmakers, the aim of the series is to show the magic of filmmaking and inspire and educate the next generation of storytellers across the globe.

About CNN International Commercial
CNN International Commercial (CNNIC) is responsible for the business operations of CNN’s properties outside of the United States. All commercial activities for brands such as CNN International, CNN en Español, CNN Arabic, CNN Style and CNN Business are aligned within the division. This encompasses the advertising sales, sponsorship partnerships, commercial content development, content sales, brand licensing, distribution and out-of-home operations, business development and marketing for the world’s leading international news provider. CNNIC is a recognised industry leader in international advertising sales and its use of award-winning commercial content, produced through its Create unit and driven by its advanced data usage and digital capabilities, has resulted in strong and enduring partnerships with many of the world’s most recognised brands. Its Content Sales and Licensing unit has relationships with more than 1,000 affiliates ranging from licensing the CNN brand through to content supply contracts as well as offering consultancy services. CNNIC has offices across the world, with key hubs in London, Hong Kong and Miami. For more information visit

About Genesis
Genesis is a global luxury automotive brand that delivers the highest standards of performance, design, safety and innovation while looking towards a more sustainable future. Genesis designs customer experiences that go beyond products, embodying audacious, progressive and distinctly Korean characteristics within its unique “Athletic Elegance” design identity. With a growing range of luxury models— including the G90, G80, G70, GV60, GV70, and GV80—Genesis aims to lead the age of electrification by focusing on a dual electrification strategy involving fuel-cell and battery EVs, starting with its G80 and GV60 electric models. Genesis has stated its commitment to becoming a 100% zero emission vehicle brand by 2030 and to pursuing carbon neutrality by 2035. Since its initial launch in Korea, Genesis has emerged in key global markets including North America, Europe, China, Australia, Russia, and the Middle East, establishing a strong relationship with customers around the world. For more information please visit the official website at