NBCUniversal has chosen the directed the 2020-2021 lessons for the Female Forward and the Emerging Director Program. The scripted directing initiatives intention to extend illustration of feminine and ethnically various male and non-binary administrators, respectively, by making a pipeline into scripted tv. The announcement was made by Janine Jones-Clark as Executive Vice President, Inclusion – Talent & Content, NBCUniversal Film, Television and Streaming.
Both initiatives stay distinctive throughout the trade in that they’re the one community packages to ensure that taking part administrators will helm an episode of primetime tv by the conclusion of this system. Program administrators shadow on as much as two episodes of their assigned NBC scripted collection earlier than receiving an in-season project to helm an episode of the identical collection.
Female Forward and the Emerging Director Program will grow to be constructing blocks for a cross-functional administrators initiative below the Global Talent Development & Inclusion group that can service the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, the leisure tv networks, streaming platforms and Universal Studio Group. To be eligible for the packages, finalists are required to have directing expertise of their respective fields of experience, together with characteristic movies, music movies, commercials, digital content material and theater. Candidates can don’t have any a couple of scripted tv directing credit score.
“Creating a unified model for all of our directing initiatives is step one in creating a transparent and expansive method to illustration within the director’s chair throughout NBCUniversal’s movie, tv and streaming platforms,” mentioned Jones-Clark. “By sharing assets throughout NBCUniversal’s huge portfolio, we have now an amazing alternative to construct on the successes of our present movie and tv packages, broaden their attain and exponentially improve impression in our firm and throughout the trade”
The new class of Female Forward administrators and the NBC collection they’re set to direct are Maureen Bharoocha (Superstore), Lara Everly (Good Girls), Jean Lee (New Amsterdam), Kantú Lentz (Chicago Fire), Afia Nathaniel (Chicago Med), Kay Oyegun (This Is Us) and Pratibha Parmar (Law & Order: SVU). Juan Avella will direct an episode of The Blacklist as a part of the Emerging Director Program.
Due to present manufacturing constraints and security protocols, it has but to be decided whether or not all the administrators will have the ability to shadow and direct on their respective reveals this season. If they don’t seem to be in a position to safely fulfill this system curriculum this season, they’ll shadow and direct an episode on an NBC scripted collection within the 2021-22 season.
“While the format of our directing packages has shifted to accommodate these distinctive circumstances, our dedication to giving underrepresented voices their time within the director’s chair has not wavered,” mentioned Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta, Co-Presidents, Scripted Programming, NBC Entertainment. “We are thrilled to usher on this newest cohort of administrators and are excited to see them add to the wealthy legacies each packages have established.”
For the third consecutive yr, an advisory council of celebrated tv administrators helped choose the taking part administrators and can mentor them throughout this system. With critically acclaimed director Lesli Linka Glatter serving as chair, the advisory council contains Norberto Barba, Liz Friedlander, Pam Fryman, Nisha Ganatra, Peter Horton, Jaffar Mahmood, Gail Mancuso, Solvan “Slick” Naim, Ken Olin, Sharat Raju, Julie Anne Robinson, Millicent Shelton, Michael Spiller and Jason Winer.
The packages’ annual workshops kicked off with a collection of digital periods in partnership with the Alliance of Women Directors. They are designed to reinforce the administrators’ experiences in this system, masking subjects starting from time administration when on set to private branding and dealing with actors.
This marks the third yr of Female Forward whereas The Emerging Director Program is in its eleventh yr. Eight members of the inaugural class of Female Forward had been invited again to direct extra episodes of NBC reveals, together with The Blacklist, Chicago Fire, Good Girls and Superstore. Their skills can be seen on Netflix’s The Babysitter’s Club, Fox’s Prodigal Son and Peacock’s upcoming Saved By the Bell revivial. Kim Nguyen, from the second class, directed an episode of Fresh Off the Boat quickly after finishing this system whereas Livi Newman, an alumna of the inaugural class, will direct the forthcoming characteristic adaptation of the best-selling novel Where the Crawdads Sing.
The Emerging Director Program was NBC’s first scripted directing program. It counts celebrated administrators Kat Coiro, Hanelle Culpepper, Rashaad Ernesto Green and Nzingha Stewart amongst its alumni.
Read the bios of the chosen administrators for the packages under.
Juan Avella – The Blacklist
Juan Avella is an LA-based bilingual author and director initially from Caracas, Venezuela who focuses on gritty thrillers and style tales set in multicultural worlds. Avella’s two award-winning brief movies, Hijo Por Hijo (2017) and Her Body (2018), had been completely distributed by HBO after profitable pageant runs; the latter is presently streaming on HBO Max.
He holds a Screenwriting MFA from the AFI Conservatory, the place he received the William J, Fadiman Award for excellence
in screenwriting for his crime thriller Bolichicos. This challenge was additionally the recipient of the 2019 TFI Sloan Film Fund grant from the Tribeca Film Institute, and the script was included in The Black List’s 2019 inaugural Latinx List.
Avella is about to direct Bolichicos in 2021 with Axel Kuschevatzky and Diego Nájera producing. His work has been supported by the Time Warner Foundation, Film Independent, and NALIP.
He is represented by the Gersh Agency and Thruline Entertainment.
Maureen Bharoocha – Superstore
Maureen Bharoocha is a Los Angeles based mostly author/director. She not too long ago directed her third characteristic movie, the arm-wrestling comedy Golden Arm set to premiere on HBO in 2021. Bharoocha spent three seasons as a section director on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and has directed over 50 brief movies and industrial spots.
Bharoocha began her profession together with her brief movie, Abajee (shot on the streets of Karachi) which premiered on the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in 2009. Bharoocha was then commissioned by Sprinkles Cupcakes to create a movie collection through which she wrote and directed ten shorts based mostly on their cupcake flavors.
Bharoocha is half Irish Catholic and half Indian-Pakistani-Burmese Muslim. Because of her combined background, she enjoys telling tales about sophisticated characters and mixing genres. She was chosen as one in all IndieWire’s Rising Female Directors of 2020, named on HBO’s 2018 Directors List, and nominated for the SXSW 2020 Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Visionary Directing Award.
She is represented by Grandview, CAA and Ginsburg Daniels Kallis.
Lara Everly – Good Girls
Lara Everly is a director, born and raised in Los Angeles, who celebrates female-driven comedy and dramedy. She loves bringing comedy to sudden subjects and exploring the charged area the place comedy meets drama.
As a filmmaker, her narrative movies and documentaries have performed the movie pageant circuit, together with Santa Barbara, Napa, Austin, Bentonville, Vail and the year-long Lunafest, successful awards and procuring distribution on Amazon and iTunes. Everly has written and directed for a variety of platforms together with Disney, Netflix Family, Oprah, Refinery29, Funny or Die, Scary Mommy, Awestruck and Babycenter. Her authentic pilot Embaby is a present finalist on the Slamdance Screenplay competitors and was finalist within the 2020 Sundance Episodic Lab.
Some highlights embody The Play Date, a darkish comedy about gun security that she co-wrote and directed, which garnered two million views on-line. Her documentary brief movie, Free to Laugh, concerning the energy of comedy after being launched from jail, was acquired by Comedy Dynamics/ New Wave Entertainment; they’re additionally connected to distribute a characteristic model. She directed Patriettes, an all-female musical pilot presentation a few mock authorities summer season camp for youngsters in addition to Milk Money, a 10-episode portrait-driven doc collection that explores the rising price of elevating youngsters. Her directing has been commissioned for broadcast commercials and high-profile manufacturers together with Walmart, Little Tikes, Swing Left, Bloomlife, Schwarzkopf, Geico, Diono and a number of other style strains.
She is represented by Echo Lake Entertainment.
Jean Lee – New Amsterdam
Jean Lee is a Korean American author/director from Allentown, Pennsylvania. A lover of world cinema and common tales, Lee has directed in seven languages spanning 9 nations and 5 continents.
Most not too long ago, Lee’s characteristic directorial debut, Pecado Original, was picked up by HBO and is the first-ever Paraguayan and American co-production.
Her sci-fi motion collection proof-of-concept, Strong, is in post-production with assist from the AFI DWW, Google, the Sundance Institute, the Knight Foundation, and Panavision. Lee can also be in submit on a VR docuseries, “The Heart Of Puerto Rico,” which received the 2020 AT&T Film Award and follows a gaggle of Puerto Rican artists within the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Her magical realism brief, Cahaya, which was shot in Jakarta, Indonesia, premiered at Berlinale Film Festival.
Lee can also be an alumnus of the 2014 Film Independent Directors Lab, 2015 AFI Directing Workshop for Women, the 2016 Blacklist/WIF TV Writers Lab, the 2017 Fox Filmmakers Lab, 2018 NALIP TV Writers Lab, and the Ryan Murphy HALF program, by way of which she had the privilege of shadowing Gwyneth Horder-Payton on “American Horror Story.” In 2019, she was named one of many “Top 25 Screenwriters to Watch” by Moviemaker Magazine and Austin Film Festival.
Lee graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and earned her MFA at NYU Tisch Asia as a Jacob Javitz Fellow. In her spare time, she will be discovered having fun with blueberry donuts and freshly steamed dumplings.
She is repped by Jennifer Au Management
Kantú Lentz – Chicago Fire
Kantú Lentz is a Peruvian filmmaker who creates movies that happen in alternate realities with magical realism components. She not too long ago directed the award-winning brief movie Jack and Jo Don’t Want to Die commissioned by the Shatterbox Anthology Series starring Justin Kirk (Weeds, Angels In America) and Olivia Edward (Better Things) which premiered on the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival.
Lentz is an AFI DWW, Sony Television Diverse Directors Program & Viacom Viewfinder Emerging Directors Program with AwesomenessTV alumni. Her movie “Coche Bomba” was one in all 5 tasks chosen by the Tribeca/Chanel ‘Through Her Lens’ fellowship in 2019.
For the previous 3 years, Lentz directed over 50 political adverts for One Vote at a Time, which creates in-kind marketing campaign movies for democratic candidates who consider in gun security laws. In branded content material and commercials, she has labored with manufacturers & shoppers corresponding to New Balance, TUMI, Ulta Beauty, LG, Refinery 29, Vice Media and YouTube Originals.
Her comedic video Rollercoaster Break-up starring Moses Storm (Sunnyside, Unfriended) went viral and presently has eight million views and counting.
Lentz is presently creating the feature-length model of Jack and Jo Don’t Want to Die with Level Forward and Refinery 29/VICE.
Afia Nathaniel – Chicago Med
Pakistani-American filmmaker Afia Nathaniel loves pushing the boundaries of narrative storytelling. Her debut characteristic movie Dukhtar (Daughter) premiered at Toronto (2014) changing into Pakistan’s Official Submission for Foreign Language Film on the 87th Academy Awards. The movie performed to important acclaim in over 20 nations to rave evaluations and have become the Critics’ Pick (Village Voice) and the People Magazine’s Pick of the Week. The movie has received a number of awards together with the Adrienne Shelly award for Directors, Audience Award at Creteil, Best World Feature at Sonoma and Best Director + Best Feature Film at SAIFF.
Dukhtar was nominated for a Gotham award (2013) and the Women Film Critics Circle award (2015) for the “Best Foreign Film by or About Women”. Nathaniel’s screenplay for Dukhtar has been invited to be part of the Permanent Core Collection of the Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
Nathaniel graduated from Columbia University with an MFA in Film Directing (Dean’s Fellow). She is an alumnus of IFP, TFI, Film Independent and Berlin Talent Project Market.
Nathaniel teaches directing and screenwriting at Temple University and has additionally taught at Princeton University (Peter B. Lewis Fellow), Columbia University’s Graduate Film Division and NYU’s Tisch.
Nathaniel is in growth with a number of tasks. She is adapting the novel “Watched” by Marina Budhos right into a TV show.
She is represented by Echo Lake Entertainment.
Kay Oyegun – This Is Us
Kay Oyegun is a co-executive producer and author on NBC’s hit drama collection This Is Us and has been with the show since its launch in 2016.
Previous TV writing credit embody Queen Sugar on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN community. On the movie facet, she’s adapting the novel Children of Blood and Bone for Lucasfilm, Fox and Disney and the novel On The Come Up, the follow-up novel from the The Hate U Give creator for Paramount.
Oyegun additionally not too long ago bought a characteristic to HBO Max titled The Ancestor and final yr bought one to Paramount titled Assisted Living.
For her work on This Is Us, Oyegun is a NAACP Image Award winner in addition to a Humanitas Prize and Writers Guild of America Award nominee.
She is represented by Underground Management.
Pratibha Parmar – Law & Order: SVU
Writer-director-producer Pratibha Parmar has directed quite a few award-winning documentary movies for BBC, Channel 4, PBS and European broadcasters.
Her credit embody Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth,” a feature-length documentary on the lifetime of Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of “The Color Purple” and contains interviews with Steven Spielberg, Danny Glover and Quincy Jones. The movie garnered a number of awards together with the Jury Award on the Napa Valley Film Festival.
Recognized as a pioneering filmmaker, Parmar directed the ground-breaking movie Khush, one of many first movies to provide visibility to and spotlight the experiences of LGBT folks in India. Parmar made her debut as a story director together with her award-winning movie, Nina’s Heavenly Delights.
Parmar made her US debut as a director of scripted tv in 2019 when she was invited by Ava DuVernay to direct episode 12 of Season 4 of Queen Sugar.
In 2017, Parmar was awarded the ICON award introduced by Bagari London Indian Film Festival in Association with the British Film Institute for Outstanding Contribution to Indian and World Cinema. She is the proud recipient of the Frameline Film Festival Award, introduced to a person who has made a major and excellent contribution to lesbian and homosexual media.
Parmar is connected as a director of the characteristic movie, My Name Is Andrea that includes Amandla Stenberg, Soko, Ashley Judd, and Andrea Riseborough.
She is a member of the Directors Guild of America, Film Fatales (SF) and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
She is represented by APA.