Recipients of 2008 Disney-ABC Directing Fellowship Announced

Disney ABC Directing Program

August 11, 2008

Disney-ABC Television Group, in partnership with the DGA, recently named three new fellows for the seventh annual Directing Fellowship program.

Selected from more than 600 applicants, the 2008 directing fellows Stephen Acevedo, Matia Karrell and Ravi Malhotra begin their year-long paid fellowships this month working with executives from Disney-ABC Television Group and the Directors Guild.

DGA President Michael Apted stated, “I am pleased that our seven-year collaboration with ABC continues to shine a light on the importance of diversity in our industry. It seems that our pioneering work together has borne fruit, as other networks follow ABC’s lead by establishing their own programs to increase employment opportunities for women and ethnic minorities.” Apted, who co-chairs the DGA’s Diversity Task Force along with First Vice President Paris Barclay, added, “We vigorously encourage all those with hiring authority not to overlook such exciting pools of directing talent, and we wish the 2008 directing fellows all the best in this new opportunity and beyond.”

“Once again Disney-ABC Television Group has an impressive group of Fellows joining the program,” said Robert Mendez, Senior Vice President, Diversity, Disney-ABC Television Group. “Every year we are fortunate to have the opportunity to mentor and nurture the careers of upcoming directors. As a company we benefit greatly from their unique and diverse vision which is reflective of the world in which we live.”

Launched in 2001, the program provides aspiring television directors the opportunity to hone their craft and jump-start their careers by observing the directing process alongside veteran directors on drama and comedy series, and through personalized mentoring with established executive producers, showrunners and creative executives from Disney-ABC Television Group and select DGA directors that provides exposure to different perspectives and artistic approaches to television.

Since its inception, the Directing Fellowship has garnered the support of many esteemed directors including Jack Bender (Lost); David Grossman (Desperate Housewives); Joanna Kerns (Army Wives); Jeff Melman (Grey’s Anatomy); Ken Olin (Brothers & Sisters); Lee Shallat Chemel (Samantha Who?) and Mark Tinker (Private Practice).

This elite group of fellows joins a roster that stretches across the television and film industries with their successes such as Michael Kang (2006) who directed and co-wrote the feature film West 32nd; Dennis Lee (2006) who made his feature film directing debut with Fireflies in the Garden; and Seith Mann (2005) who was nominated for a DGA Award for his work on Grey’s Anatomy and won a 2008 NAACP Image Award for an episode of Friday Night Lights.

For more information or press inquires please contact Sahar Moridani at Directors Guild of America, (310) 289-5333.

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Lily Bedrossian -
Director of Media Relations
(310) 289-5334
lbedrossian@dga.org