Are You an Aspiring Female Director? Shonda Rhimes Wants to Mentor You
If you’re a woman trying to break into TV directing, this could be the opportunity of a lifetime.
Shonda Rhimes is one of the most prolific and impactful creators working in television today, her slate encompassing mega hits like Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, and How to Get Away with Murder. Wouldn’t it be amazing to visit the set of one of her hugely popular shows, and learn firsthand what goes into creating TV from one of her talented directors?
SeriesFest and Rhimes’ production company, Shondaland, are making that possible through a new Women Directing Mentorship.
SeriesFest is a nonprofit organization and annual TV festival held in Denver, Colorado. They have been advocating for female creators since 2016, when they partnered with Rose McGowan on the Featuring Women Writing Competition, which showcases episodic writing “about, for, and featuring women.” The initiative is being expanded considerably with their Shondaland mentorship.
The winner will get the chance to shadow a Shondaland director during pre-production, shooting, and post work for a single episode sometime between June 2019 and June 2020. The mentorship will last up to three weeks, and the winner will also be given $5,000 to assist with travel and accommodations.
Rhimes has shattered boundaries throughout her career and shaken up the television landscape considerably with every new endeavor, so needless to say, this could be life-changing for an up-and-coming director. With Rhimes’ move to Netflix and her recently announced slate of new shows, including a series based on con artist Anna Delvey, the opportunities for learning are almost endless.
Directors interested in applying need to provide a short introduction video to demonstrate their voice and why they deserve the mentorship, a reel or short film, and a resume. The fest is requiring that entrants be 21 years or older and have three years of professional industry experience, although that experience doesn’t have to be in directing. The entry fee is currently $35 but will increase after Jan. 7.