Latino Committee Event with Zetna Fuentes and Ed Ornelas

Celebrating Excellence: A Conversation with Directors Zetna Fuentes, Edward Ornelas and Their Directorial Team Members

October 9, 2016 A Conversation with Directors Zetna Fuentes, Edward Ornelas and Their Directorial Team Members

On October 9, DGA members and guests gathered in the Guild’s Los Angeles Theater Two for the Latino Committee’s special event, Celebrating Excellence: A Conversation with Directors Zetna Fuentes, Edward Ornelas and their directorial team members. The evening featured an in-depth conversation with Fuentes (How to Get Away With Murder), Ornelas (Grey’s Anatomy) and their 1st ADs Elenie Mansalis (How to Get Away With Murder) and Linda Montanti (Jane the Virgin), centered on the achievements that have shaped their careers and an exploration of some of the challenges production teams must conquer in the pursuit of excellence.

The afternoon began with a welcome from DGA Executive in Charge of Diversity Programs and Committees, Frank Bennett Gonzalez, who spoke about the work of the Latino Committee and introduced the event moderator, Director Norberto Barba (Grimm). Barba revealed that the theme for this event was an exploration of how directors work with their teams to accomplish the impossible and overcome challenges to make the day, and called Fuentes, Ornelas, Mansalis and Montanti to the stage.

Utilizing clips from both directors’ work on episodes of Jane the Virgin, Fuentes’s work on How to Get Away with Murder and Longmire, and Ornelas’s work on Madam Secretary and NCIS: New Orleans, the discussions looked at how specific challenges were dealt with to accomplish creative goals while honoring the story.

The evening concluded with a Q&A session where the directors and 1st ADs took questions from the audience and a reception in the Guild’s Los Angeles Atrium.


About the Panelists:

Latino Committee Event with Zetna Fuentes and Ed OrnelasZetna Fuentes
A DGA member since 2007, Fuentes began her directing career in New York theatre working on numerous critically acclaimed Off-Broadway productions. A graduate of the Disney|ABC Directing Program and the CBS Directing Initiative, her credits include episodes of the series How to Get Away with Murder, Grey’s Anatomy, Jane the Virgin, iZombie, Forever, Pretty Little Liars, Longmire, Queen of the South, Madam Secretary, Scandal, and Zoo. She was also nominated for three Daytime Emmy Awards for her work on Guiding Light and One Life to Live.

 

Latino Committee Event with Zetna Fuentes and Ed OrnelasEdward Ornelas
After several seasons as an editor on Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, Ornelas broke into directing by helming multiple episodes of both shows. His directing credits also include episodes of: American Gothic, The Blacklist, Limitless, The Mentalist, NCIS: New Orleans, Rizzoli & Isles, The Whispers; and the independent feature film, The Legend of Billy Fail. He has been a DGA member since 2009.

 

Latino Committee Event with Zetna Fuentes and Ed OrnelasElenie Mansalis
Mansalis is currently working as a 1st Assistant Director on How to Get Away With Murder. Her other Assistant Director credits include episodes of: Detroit 1-8-7, Intelligence, Longmire, Necessary Roughness, and Nip/Tuck. She has been a DGA member since 2000.

 
Latino Committee Event with Zetna Fuentes and Ed OrnelasLinda Montanti
A graduate of the DGA Training Program in New York, Montanti is currently working as 1st Assistant Director on Jane the Virgin. Her other Assistant Director credits include episodes of: American Horror Story, Boomtown, The Starter Wife; and the feature films L.A. Confidential and Righteous Kill. She joined the DGA in 1981 and also serves on the AD/UPM Council West.
 
Latino Committee Event with Zetna Fuentes and Ed OrnelasNorberto Barba (moderator):
Barba has directed over eighty hours of television including episodes of The Bridge, Fringe, In Treatment, Law & Order: SVU, Numb3rs, and Suits; as well as the feature film credits Blue Tiger starring Virginia Madsen and Harry Dean Stanton and Solo. He also serves as the Executive Producer and Director on the series Grimm and Law and Order: Criminal Intent. He has been a DGA member since 1994.

About the DGA Latino Committee:

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 making Latinos better known to the Hollywood creative community. The Committee meets monthly and the current Co-Chairs are Directors Rami Rivera Frankl, David Rodriguez and Alejandro Treviño. The event was organized by the LC Events Subcommittee, Co-Chaired by Regina Ainsworth and John Mendoza.

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