Arizona State University Names Its Film School After Sidney Poitier

Arizona State University has announced that it will name its film school after legendary actor Sidney Poitier. The Sidney Poitier New American Film School will serve students in three cities across Arizona and California.

"I said 'What about Sidney Poitier?' He was the first name that popped into my head,” Arizona State University alumnus Michael Burns told The Hollywood Reporter.

"He is one of the most elegant men I have ever met in my life, and wicked smart."

Poitier is well known for his work across the world of entertainment. In 1964, he became the first Black actor to win Best Actor at the Academy Awards for his work on Lillies in the Field. During his career, he also starred in films like A Raisin In The Sun, The Defiant Ones and A Patch of Blue. Not to mention, he directed films like Stir Crazy and Buck and the Preacher. More recently, he served on the Walt Disney Company's board of directors and ambassador of the Bahamas to Japan.

"He was born in Miami, but really raised in the Bahamas, he then comes to this country, he finds his path, he finds his art, and it's all through work and effort and creativity, and that's what we're after," Arizona State University President Michael Crow added.

The Sidney Poitier New American Film School will open its new facility in Mesa, Arizona next fall. Arizona State University is also opening a Sidney Poitier New American Film School campus in Los Angeles, California.

"We've decided to grow the institution and diversify the institution by not becoming more selective, because selectivity is creeping social disruption in a negative way," Crow explained.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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