from Shadow & Act

The Sony Pictures Television (SPT) Diverse Directors program provides access for highly qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds to potential episodic directing opportunities on scripted one-hour and half-hour SPT series. This Los Angeles-based program allows its participants to shadow veteran Directors Guild of America (DGA) directors on episodes of various scripted SPT series, which could lead to their helming scripted SPT (and other) series themselves.

All program participants will meet with SPT studio creative executives, executive producers and producing directors on scripted SPT series, as well as diverse veteran DGA TV directors while they take part in an intensive episodic directing workshop and attend guest speaker events. Those participants who do well during the first season of the program may have the opportunity to be invited back to direct an episode of a scripted SPT series the following season.

Following below are the 2016 Diverse Directors Program Fellows, chosen from more than an initial 300 submissions (the first 3 names you’d recognize, as we’ve covered their work on this blog):

Erica A. Watson was a 2014-2015 directing fellow for Film Independent’s Project Involve, was selected for a Sundance Knight Fellowship, and was an artist-in-residence at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

Tahir Jetter is the producer/director of the web series Hard Times, and he directed and co-produced How to Tell You’re a Douchebag, a romantic comedy which was selected for the Sundance Film Festival in 2016.

Christine Turner’s feature directorial debut, Homegoings, premiered at Documentary Fortnight at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and opened the 26th season of the acclaimed PBS series, POV. Most recently, her short film You Can Go was selected for the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival.

— Abi Damaris Corbin’s short film, The Suitcase, was selected by the CAA Moebius festival, where it won the audience award. Corbin is engaged in production research with USC’s Entertainment Technology Center in conjunction with major studios and technology leaders including the Hollywood Post Alliance, SMPTE, and NAB.

— Susan Dynner is the producer of Free Ride, starring Anna Paquin, for which she was awarded a Film Independent producing fellowship. She was also a producer on Brick, winner of the Special Jury Prize for Originality of Vision at the Sundance Film Festival.

— Kevin Berlandi has directed commercials for brands like Nissan, Toyota, Kia, Audi, Buick, Burger King, and GMC. He also serves as a Co-Chair for the Asian American Committee at the Director’s Guild of America.

— Jabbar Raisani is a visual effects artist with two Primetime Emmys for his work on Game of Thrones (2013 and 2015). He has also served as a cinematographer and as a second unit director on multiple television and film projects.

“We are really looking forward to working with this innovative group of content creators and hope this comprehensive introduction to the business will both help propel their careers and bring fresh voices to the creative process now and in the future,” said Kim Rozenfeld, SPT’s executive vice president, U.S. scripted programming.

Congrats to the Erica, Tahir and Christine, and the rest of the 7 Fellows!

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