The DGA aims to increase and support diversity in the entertainment community through membership committees, networking opportunities and job training and mentoring programs. The Guild also regularly tracks and calls attention to the employment of women and minority directors on primetime drama and comedy television series. Information about the Guild’s diversity efforts, programs and reports can be found on this page and in other sections of the DGA website. Links to these items are posted below.
Several Guild committees are dedicated to building communities within the Guild of those who are members of ethnic or gender groups that are underrepresented in the entertainment industry. Each of these committees works to increase diversity in the industry through meetings, seminars, networking, training and events hosted at the DGA headquarters in Los Angeles and New York. For information about each Committee, click the links below.
||The African American Steering Committee (AASC) was born of a desire to address the specific needs of the African-American members of the Directors Guild. One of the primary goals of the Committee is to establish a productive line of communication between African-American members and the creative community. The Committee meets monthly to plan events throughout the year celebrating the achievements of African-Americans, as well as forums with industry executives to proactively address what can be done to hire more African-Americans.
||The Asian American Committee (AAC) was created as a networking group to provide a forum for interests and issues that concern Asian-American Guild members. Through outreach efforts in the entertainment industry that emphasize career development and skills enhancement, the committee provides a variety of networking opportunities as well as screenings, seminars and discussions with industry professionals.
||The Eastern Diversity Steering Committee (EDSC) represents the concerns of Guild members of African, Asian, Native American, Arab-Middle Eastern or Latino descent residing in the East. Committed to improving the employment opportunities, working conditions and the skills of ethnically diverse Guild members, the EDSC sponsors workshops, seminars, round-table discussions and networking events to showcase the talents of its members, recognize their contributions, and increase their visibility in the industry.
||The Latino Committee (LC) was created as a networking group to advance career and job opportunities for Latino DGA members by improving craft skills, networking, and enhance their job opportunities in both the English and Spanish-speaking media. The Committee meets monthly and schedules several special events throughout the year.
||The Women's Steering Committee (WSC) promotes diversity through sponsoring networking events, screenings and seminars. The Committee fosters relationships between the members to provide support, mentoring and networking opportunities. All women members of the Guild are invited to attend WSC meetings and events and to share in the benefits that come from cooperative activity.
CBS Directing Initiative
The CBS Directing Initiative selects directing candidates for episodic network television and matches them with directors of CBS Television Network drama and comedy series. The goal is to bridge the gap for those talented directors attempting to break into network television. Must be a DGA member to participate.
Please visit the CBS Directing Initiative website for more information regarding the application process, requirements and submission period.
Contact: Jeanne Mau – Jeanne.firstname.lastname@example.org or Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i – email@example.com
Disney/ABC Directing Program
Launched in 2001, the Disney/ABC Directing Program focuses on increasing the number of episodic directing opportunities on ABC series for women and minorities and is one of the longest running programs of its kind in the entertainment industry. The Los Angeles-based program affords selected participants the opportunity to shadow veteran episodic directors. Participants will be paid $1,000 per week to shadow a DGA director on an episode from prep to post. The duration of the individual’s participation is at the discretion of ABC executives, executive producers and/or episodic directors.
The submission period for the Directing Program opens the first Monday in October of odd calendar years and closes the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. When the submission period is open, applications are available on the Disney/ABC Directing Program website.
Fox Global Directors Initiative
The Fox Global Directors Initiative (FDI), established in July 2014, will bring 20 selected participants to Fox Studios in Los Angeles, CA to take part in a four-to-six week directors lab, where they will attend interactive lab sessions with showrunners, directors, and creative executives from various Fox productions. Out of the 20 participants, five will then be invited to become FDI Fellows and will receive a mentor within the Fox organization, a fellowship stipend, a grant to develop and direct a three to five minute short, and the opportunity to be considered for a deal with a Fox entertainment business.
FDI is by nomination only. Nominations can be made by agencies, management companies, and a select number of organizations. Submissions are being accepted now through Friday, August 29, 2014.
For more information, please visit www.foxaudiencestrategy.com/directors/.
HBOAccess is a program that provides project development, mentorship, and master classes to diverse directors. Selected candidates will be paired with an HBO development executive who will serve as his/her mentor throughout a four-week session in June, and HBO will provide a series of Master Classes taught by HBO executives and creative talent. At the end of the four-week session, filmmakers will be given a budget to create short form content for HBO to be shot in late summer.
Upon completion of the development process, each project will be considered for production as a 10-15 minute film or a series of webisodes to air on various HBO platforms including, but not limited to HBOGo, HBO service, HBO’s Youtube channel, HBO.com, film festivals, charity screenings, and other outlets. For application and more information, visit the HBOAccess website.
NBC Universal Directing Fellowship
The NBC Universal Directing Fellowship program is designed to take directors accomplished in their respective fields (features, commercials and/or music videos) and have them work alongside episodic television directors. While in the program, directors are assigned to shadow up to three episodes of one (or more) NBCU scripted show from production prep to post. The director is responsible for working alongside the show's director(s) in every aspect of a director's responsibilities.
Please visit the NBC Universal Directing Fellowship website in early 2014 for information on the next nomination cycle.
Sony Pictures Television Diverse Directors Program
The SPT Diverse Directors Program, established in May 2014, will bring 20 semi-finalists to the Sony Lot in Culver City, CA to take part in an intensive episodic directing workshop and attend networking events with industry professionals. Three finalists will then be invited to shadow episodic directors on various series and will be provided a weekly stipend when actively shadowing. Participants may be invited back to direct an episode of a scripted SPT series the following season.
For more information, please visit www.sptdiversedirectors.com.
Viacom Media Networks Music Group - Spectrum Director Diversity Program
The VMN Spectrum Director Diversity Program, established in June 2014, will select up to 12 participants to shadow DGA directors on dramatic and non-dramatic series during a one-year period. A maximum of four participants will be selected for the episodic director shadowing program and a maximum of eight participants will be selected for the non-dramatic director shadowing program. The VMN Spectrum Director Diversity Program will take place in various cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Nashville among others. At completion of the program, participants may be offered the opportunity to direct an episode/program or related ancillary content produced by Viacom Music Group.
Applications are being accepted now through Friday, August 15, 2014.
For more information, please visit www.vmnspectrum.com.
Warner Bros. Director Program
The Warner Bros. Diversity Program, established in June 2013, seeks to expand the pool of women and minority Directors for episodic television. Participants will shadow on a WB show and will be paid $1,000 per week. Shadowing will only be allowed on shows that are willing to provide a participant with an episode. After successful classroom and shadowing experience, the participant will be set to direct an episode. Warner Bros. will also provide mentors.
For more information e-mail: televisionworkshop@WarnerBros.com
Student Film Awards
The Directors Guild of America Student Film Awards for African-American, Asian-American, Latino, and Women Filmmakers are designed to honor, encourage, and bring attention to outstanding minority and women film students. Over 40 film schools from around the country participate in the program. The DGA Student Film Award brings a prize of $2,500 from the DGA to the winner in each group and a product grant of 2,000 feet of 16mm film provided by Kodak's Worldwide Student Film Program. Applications are distributed to schools in the spring, with the Awards ceremony scheduled each fall. For additional information and an entry form, please contact film school department heads or write to: DGA Student Film Awards, 7920Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90046. You may also call (310) 289-2057 or e-mail Ruby Sindher, Special Events Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click the link above to view past winners of the DGA Student Film Awards.
DGA Diversity Award
The DGA Diversity Award honors outstanding commitment to and leadership in the hiring of women and ethnic minorities in DGA categories. It has been bestowed only five times in DGA history:
- 2014 - Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers, Shondaland
- 2005 - Stephen McPherson, ABC Primetime Entertainment President
- 2000 - Home Box Office
- 1999 - Steven Bochco
- 1997 - Bruce Paltrow, John Wells & Christopher Chulack (ER)