The participants for the 2016-17 Directors and Writers Program Initiative at CBS have been announced. The programs provides an opportunity for talented television directors to be introduced to the CBS family.
This year, CBS welcomes Michele Azenzer Bear, Lily Mariye, Tara Miele, and Anne Renton to the Directors Initiative. The quartet of females follow in the footsteps of previous participants including Jane the Virgin‘s Anna Mastro, The Americans‘ Steph Green, Arrow‘s Laura Belsey, and others.
Bear served as a first assistant director of Mike and Molly and directed an ep in its final season. Mariye helmed the indie Model Minority and recently directed an episode of
Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i, EVP Entertainment Diversity, Inclusion and Communications at CBS Entertainment said in a statement, “The participants in the CBS Directors Initiative receive professional guidance, access to accomplished creative executives and shadowing opportunities on CBS Network and Studio shows. The goal of our program is to minimize the perceived ‘risk’ of hiring rising directors through constant exposure and collaboration on the sets of established television series. The ongoing support from our Showrunners has been vital in helping our director’s book episodes.”
For the Writers Mentoring Program, Sabrina Almeida, Morgan Faust, Cynthia Furey, Michael Gemballa, Howard Jordan Jr., Paula Sabbaga, Joshua Troke, and Julie Wong were chosen from over 1,100 applicants. The initiative provides mentorship, career building strategies and opportunities for emerging writers.
“The Writers Mentoring Program provides mentorship and access for emerging writers to secure jobs where they will thrive and grow,” Smith-Anoa’i said in a statement. “The goal of the program is to help new diverse voices break into the business and, more importantly help launch and groom future content creators.”
The Writers Mentoring Program initiative served as career starters for 54 writers including Jessica Chou of No Tomorrow, Aaron Rahsaan Thomas of The Get Down, Damir & Dario Konjicija of The Great Indoors and others.
Dino-Ray Ramos | Staff Writer