DGA & AICP host Commercial Directors Diversity Showcase

September 30, 2022

On September 30, the DGA hosted the Association of Independent Commercial Producers’ (AICP) Commercial Directors Diversity Program (CDDP) Showcase at DGA Theater in Los Angeles. The CDDP was born out of the DGA’s goal to open more opportunities for qualified women and minorities to direct commercials.

“For many decades, the DGA has fought on multiple fronts to get our employers to understand the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion. And although this is an industrywide issue, opportunities for women and people of color have been particularly lacking for commercial directors and their teams,” said DGA Director of Commercial Contracts, Michael Floyd, in his welcome to the attendees. “To address this issue, the DGA sought to establish a program that would develop and promote diverse directing talent in commercial advertising. After many years of advocacy, the DGA negotiated for the establishment of the Commercial Directors Diversity Program to effect change and increase the representation of women and people of color as commercial directors. We are proud of the CDDP’s continued commitment to mentoring and developing the excellence on display here tonight. We’re committed to effecting change for the long term and are optimistic about what the future holds.”

Following remarks from AICP President and CEO Matt Miller, the attendees were treated to a screening featuring the work of five women and ethnic minority directors in the market for commercial production company representation whose work was selected by a blue-ribbon panel of judges who assessed the work of 300 entrants solicited by and submitted to the CDDP.

The screening was followed by a panel discussion about diversity in commercial directing with CDDP Fellows M.G. “Grace” Evangelista, Alexander Gilbert, Rhym Guisse’, LJ Johnson and Andrew Rhee. During a conversation moderated by AICP West President/Prettybird Productions Executive Producer Suzanne Hargrove the panelists discussed their challenges and triumphs shooting their spec spots and how valuable they felt the program was to their burgeoning careers. The evening concluded with a reception during which the attending industry members had the chance to meet with the CDDP Showcase directors. The CDDP plans to present more showcases, mentoring and shadowing opportunities in the future.

  • Click here for more information about the Commercial Directors Diversity Program and other DGA Diversity information.

Photos by Arnold Turner courtesy of A Turner Archives

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