Director Development Initiative Launches 2021-2022 Television Mentorship Program

DDI Launch 2021-22

October 20, 2021

On September 25, the DGA Director Development Initiative (DDI) launched the West Coast edition of its 2021-2022 Television Mentorship Program in an online event that introduced the latest group of mentors and protégés for the program. The launch event for the East Coast mentors and protégés will be held on October 30.

Created for DGA members who aspire to direct or expand their directorial career in episodic television direction, the combined programs aim to set members up for success through professional development so that they can turn new opportunities into long-term careers. The programs are designed to provide an interactive setting in which DGA members with limited or no episodic television directing experience (protégés) are matched with experienced episodic directors (mentors) for a nine-month program that will expose them to the latest technical skillsets in demand and best practices in preparation for a career in directing episodic television. The West Coast protégé candidates were selected through an online application process which ran from May 30 - June 30, 2021. The application process on the East Coast ran from July 13 - August 13, 2021.

The 2021-2022 Television Mentorship Program
Mentors and Protégés are as follows (in alphabetical order):

West Coast Mentors

  • Kabir Akhtar
  • Allan Arkush
  • Mary Lou Belli
  • Tessa Blake
  • Jeffrey Blitz
  • Mark M. Cendrowski
  • Mel Damski
  • Bill D’Elia
  • Rodrigo Garcia
  • Leonard R. Garner Jr.
  • Michael Goi
  • Victor Gonzalez
  • Todd Holland
  • Jaffar Mahmood
  • Viet Nguyen
  • Edward Ornelas
  • Bethany Rooney
  • Lee Rose
  • Carl Seaton
  • Ron Underwood
  • Ken Whittingham
  • Jet Wilkinson
  • Andy Wolk

West Coast Protégés

  • Steve Acevedo
  • Amy Aniobi
  • R. Dianne Bartlow
  • Daniel Bydlowski
  • Anna Chi
  • Alycia Lynette Cooper
  • Stephanie Cristancho
  • Miguel Cruz
  • Patrick Cummings
  • Rylee Jean Ebsen
  • Sean Frank
  • Cellin Gluck
  • Eli Gonda
  • Corey Grant
  • Joy T. Lane
  • SJ Main Muñoz
  • Annetta Marion
  • Carmen Marron
  • Andrew Molina
  • Pratibha Parmar
  • Chell Stephen
  • Jay Torres
  • Scott Weintrob
  • Ssong Yang

East Coast Mentors

  • Norberto Barba
  • Laura Belsey
  • Timothy Busfield
  • Andy Cadiff
  • Rob Hardy
  • Nicole Kassell
  • Seith Mann
  • Michael Pressman
  • Michael Smith
  • Michael Slovis

East Coast Protégés

  • Lloyd Lee Choi
  • Jennifer Derwingson-Peacock
  • Yor-El Francis
  • Melissa Haizlip
  • Kris Lefcoe
  • Eduardo Letamendi
  • Seyi Peter-Thomas
  • Lydia Dean Pilcher
  • Sarah Pirozek
  • Susanna Styron

About the Director Development Initiative:

The Director Development Initiative is designed to provide current information on the Director’s craft in order to further the Guild’s mission to increase the diversity of the industry.

The DGA has been pressing studios, networks, and producers to be more inclusive in hiring for four decades. The Guild’s efforts include: collective bargaining gains requiring television studios to operate TV director diversity programs; ongoing meetings with studios, networks and individual series regarding their hiring records; and publicized reports detailing employer hiring patterns. In addition, the Guild itself has initiated a variety of TV director mentorship and educational programs to support the career development of its members.