UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif.—NBCU Launch, the umbrella brand that houses the diversity, equity and inclusion efforts for NBCU’s television portfolio, has announced that it will be working with Telemundo to increase the number of Hispanic female directors in scripted television.
This partnership is an extension of the Hispanic network’s award-winning corporate initiative Mujeres Imparables (Unstoppable Women).
According to the latest DGA Episodic TV Director Inclusion Report, only 2.4% of scripted series episodes were helmed by Latina directors out of more than 4,300 episodes produced in the 2019-20 season. This new partnership with Telemundo aims to address the need for more directing opportunities for this severely underrepresented community, the company said.
As part of the effort, NBCU Launch is introducing a Telemundo track to its Female Forward initiative, which has successfully provided experienced female directors an opportunity to break into episodic television over the last four years.
The NBCU Launch TV Directors Program (formerly known as the Emerging Director Program) and Female Forward efforts are the entertainment industry’s first scripted directing programs that guarantee at least one in-season directing credit for its participants.
Starting with the upcoming 2022-23 class and thereafter, two Female Forward applicants who select the Telemundo track of the program will shadow on at least two episodes of a Telemundo scripted series, culminating in an in-season directing assignment on the same series. This expansion of Female Forward coincides with Telemundo’s Mujeres Imparables (Unstoppable Women) initiative which seeks to advance Latinas by sharing their diverse success stories, highlighting their contributions to all sectors of society and fostering solutions for the challenges that remain for their progress.
“Our new partnership with Telemundo is emblematic of one of our core goals, which is to combine inclusion efforts with our sister networks and studios so that together we can create comprehensive and meaningful change,” said Jeanne Mau, senior vice president, tv programming diversity, equity & inclusion at NBCUniversal. “Our shared objectives with Telemundo give us a unique opportunity to place an even greater focus on Hispanic female directors. This evolution of our groundbreaking Female Forward initiative is just the beginning of our efforts to grow this underrepresented community while we also continue to focus on other marginalized groups who still desperately need opportunities in the director’s chair.”
Among the eligibility requirements, all candidates should have directing experience in their respective fields, including, but not limited to, feature films, short films, music videos, commercials, digital content and unscripted programming. An applicant can have no more than one scripted television directing credit. To be eligible for Female Forward’s Telemundo track, applicants should be fluent or have a full professional proficiency in Spanish.
Submissions for the new classes of Female Forward and the NBCU Launch TV Directors Program are available at NBCU Launch site and will close on April 3.
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.