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Contact(s):
Alicia Alston
phone: 973-802-4446
19 October 2015

Prudential partners with the American Black Film Festival and Acclaimed Actress Tasha Smith to bring acting workshop to Newark residents

NEWARK, N.J., October 19, 2015 - This month, Prudential Financial, Inc partnered with the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), The Newark Office of Film and Television (NOFT), and acclaimed actress and director Tasha Smith to assist local aspiring actors in honing their craft by bringing the Tasha Smith Actor's Workshop (TSAW) to Newark's Ironbound Film and Television Studios (Ironbound Studios) on Saturday, October 17. In addition to providing aspiring actors the opportunity to learn valuable skills of the trade and enhance their artistic talent, the move aligns with Prudential’s support of NOFT’s goal to establish Newark, NJ as a leading destination for film, TV, digital media and entertainment productions.

Prudential has underwritten the cost for 200 registrants who each submitted their headshots and bios through an early social media campaign in order to participate in the full day session. The TSAW workshop, which follows Prudential’s sponsorship of the ABFF this summer, is a multi-level seminar that teaches students proven methodology, character development and improvisation exercises. Top performers from the workshop will be invited to a private reception to network with some of the television and film industry’s top decision makers.

“Both ABFF and Tasha Smith have their roots in New Jersey,” said Lata Reddy, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility and President, The Prudential Foundation. “This partnership allows us to collaborate with premier industry players and elevate the role of the arts in our city. Ironbound Studios is more than just a facility; it houses new creative jobs and creates opportunities for neighboring small businesses."

Ironbound Studios is one of a few Stay-and-Shoot™ studios in the United States that offers affordable, fully serviced, managed and furnished residential accommodations to go along with production sound stages.

The workshop intends to help establish Newark as a prime location for actors and productions. “Newark has a rich history in the arts. Developing the City’s talent ensures this legacy continues to grow.” said Jeff Friday, ABFF chief executive officer who was born and raised in Newark. “At ABFF, our goals in the industry are rooted in social responsibility, supporting aspiring actors, filmmakers and industry executives through the festival’s multifaceted program” said Mr. Friday. “Our partnership with Prudential and The Tasha Smith Actor’s Workshop exemplifies the type of creative impact that can revolutionize both Newark’s workforce and position it as a hub for film production.”

An NAACP Image Award nominee, Smith is a Camden, NJ native, and is well-known for her roles in Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married?” film series and the hit television show “Empire.” For more information about the TSAW program, visit www.tsaw.com.

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader with more than $1 trillion of assets under management as of June 30, 2015, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential’s diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. In the U.S., Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit www.news.prudential.com.

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