A year ago, Sony Pictures Television (SPT) launched its Diverse Directors Program to provide access for highly qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds to potential episodic directing opportunities on scripted one-hour and half-hour SPT series. 

The Los Angeles-based program allows its participants to shadow veteran Directors Guild of America (DGA) directors on episodes of various scripted SPT series. Participants will also 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 may have the opportunity to be invited back to actually direct episodes of a scripted SPT series the following season.

Announced officially by Sony today, Pete Chatmon, Alberto Belli, Kate Barker-Froyland, Ellie Kanner, Solvan Naim and Marcus Stokes have all been selected to participate in the program’s 2nd year. Of the group, readers of this blog will likely be ost familiar with Chatmon, Naim and Stokes, whose work we’ve covered on this blog in the past.

They were all selected after being part of a group of 15 semi-finalists who were selected from an initial hundreds of submissions.

“I know that these dynamic artists represent some of the best new directing talent anywhere," said Kim Rozenfeld, executive vice president, U.S. scripted programming for Sony Pictures Television. “We are very pleased to play a role in training them and providing them with an opportunity to learn from industry veterans.”

Participants who secure a shadow assignment on an episode, which will include pre-production, production and post-production (3 or more weeks), will be paid a weekly stipend when actively shadowing on any aspect of the production. Shadow assignments may be on episodes produced for 2 consecutive Fall to Spring TV broadcast seasons. The duration of any shadow assignment and the number of shadow assignments will be at the sole discretion of SPT.

Congrats to them all!