NBC is taking a significant step to put more women in the director’s chair with the announcement of its inaugural class for Female Forward, the network’s annual initiative founded last August by then-president Jennifer Salke that gives female directors a pipeline into scripted television.
The 10 directors selected as finalists and the NBC series on which they have been paired are Rebecca Addelman (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”), Daniela De Carlo (“Chicago Med”), Lee Friedlander (“Good Girls”), Heather Jack (“Superstore”),Katie Locke O’Brien (“A.P. Bio”), Ramaa Mosley (“Blindspot”), Olivia Newman (“Chicago Fire”), Monica Raymund(“Law & Order: SVU”), Lisa Robinson (“The Blacklist”) and Christine Swanson (“Chicago P.D.”). Chosen from among more than 1,000 applicants, the Female Forward finalists represent a diverse group of experienced women who have helmed a range of projects including award-winning films that have been official selelctions at Tribeca Film Festival, Santa Barbara International Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival, among others.
Launched last year, Female Forward aims to increase female representation in the director’s chair by providing talented female directors with the experience and connections they need to launch and sustain their careers. Finalists will shadow experienced TV directors on up to three episodes of the NBC series in which they have been paired, culminating with an in-season commitment to direct at least one episode.
To be eligible for the program, the Female Forward finalists were required to have directing experience in their respective fields whether their medium of choice is feature films, music videos, commercials, digital content and theater. Candidates could have no more than one scripted television directing credit.
The first class of Female Forward directors represent a variety of backgrounds, and more information about them including their bios can be found at NBCFemaleForward.com.
Female Forward is NBC’s annual initiative for female directors that aims to acheive gender parity among scripted series directors by systematically increasing the number of qualified women in the field. The program gives eligible female directors the opportunity to shadow up to three episodes of an NBC series, culminating in an in-season commitment for each participant to direct at least one episode of the series she shadows. The network partnered with acclaimed TV director Lesli Linka Glatter as well as enlisted an advisory council of celebrated directors including Norberto Barba, Ruben Fleischer, Liz Friedlander, Pamela Fryman, Nisha Ganatra, Peter Horton, Gail Mancuso, Ken Olin, Julie Anne Robinson, Millicent Shelton and Michael Spiller to serve as their advisors and mentors throughout the program. Female Forward is one of the tent pole initiatives within the NBC Talent Infusion Programs (NBC TIPS) that promotes and encourages people of diverse backgrounds to become the next generation of storytellers. For more information, visit NBCFemaleForward.com.