The inaugural Commercial Directors Diversity Program (CDDP) Showcase debuted last tonight at the Directors Guild of America Theater in Los Angeles, and featured 13 unsigned directors selected by a blue-ribbon panel of judges comprised of production company executives, directors, and agency producers and creatives. The selected directors are: Elle Ginter; Chad Howitt; Masha Kondakova; Elizabeth Ku-Herrero; Jasmin Kuhn; Stacey Lee; Sonia Malfa; Dina Mande; Monty Marsh; Stacey Muhammad; Bao Nguyen; Sharat Raju; and Sarah Rinaldi. At the event select pieces from each director were screened, and all entered pieces and biographies are featured on the newly launched cddprogram.org. The directors can also be contacted by production companies interested in forging a relationship directly via the site.
CDDP is a joint effort between the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (ACIP) and the Directors Guild of America (DGA). The program seeks to increase the number of women and minority directors in the commercial directing ranks. Via its Showcases, CDDP connects directors with AICP member companies in the hopes of fostering relationships that will lead to representation. Additional Showcases will be staged throughout the year. CDDP Showcase #1 attracted 122 entrants. “We are delighted with the number of entries we received for CDDP Showcase #1, and by the talent displayed by the so many of them—especially the 13 featured directors that were identified by our judges as being ‘ready for primetime’”. This program aims to bring diverse talent such as those showcased at the screening to the attention of the industry, and jump-start their careers,” noted Matt Miller, President and CEO of AICP. “We hope that through the event and the website each will find representation with a production company and achieve much success in commercials.”
The Showcase kicked off with a panel of distinguished creative and production executives discussing the importance of diversifying the available directorial talent in this industry. Geoff Edwards, Creative Executive at CAA, moderated the discussion, which included Allison Amon, Owner/Executive Producer at Chelsea; Maddi Carlton, Executive Producer at Gorgeous; Charlie McBrearty, Founding Partner at Shortlist Mgmt.; and Jimmy Smith, Chairman, CEO/CCO at Amusement Park Entertainment.
Information about future showcases will be made available at cddprogram.org.