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NBCU Launch Tv Directors Program | Female Forward


The combined NBCU LAUNCH TV Directors Program and Female Forward is the company’s pioneering scripted directing program created to systemically increase the number of experienced directors of underrepresented backgrounds in episodic television.

The NBCU LAUNCH TV Directors Program’s goal (which replaces the long-standing Emerging Director Program) is to increase authentic storytelling by providing opportunities for directors who are from underrepresented backgrounds with distinct points of view and diverse lived experiences, including but not limited to those who are ethnically diverse male and non-binary directors. Female Forward’s goal is to increase authentic storytelling by focusing on female directors. The combined program builds on the company’s success as the first episodic directing initiative in the entertainment industry to guarantee that program directors helm an episode in the same season that they shadow. Each participant shadows on up to two episodes of an NBCU scripted series before directing an in-season episode of the same series.

Commencing with the 2022-23 class, NBCU LAUNCH is introducing a Telemundo track to its Female Forward initiative, giving selected participants the opportunity to shadow on two episodes of a Telemundo scripted series and a guaranteed directing assignment on the same show. This expansion of Female Forward is part of Telemundo’s Mujeres Imparables (Unstoppable Women), an award-winning company-wide initiative that seeks to empower Latinas while highlighting their contributions to all sectors of society and identifying solutions for the challenges that remain for their progress.

During the program, Directors participate in curated workshops to prepare them to shadow, gain the necessary tools for their assignments, and build their professional networks, in order to create a successful career in episodic television directing.

The annual program is designed for experienced directors who want to break into episodic directing and are accomplished in their respective fields including, but not limited to full-length feature films, short films, commercials, music videos, digital content, and unscripted programming.

For the NBCU LAUNCH TV Directors Program | Female Forward, directors are selected by NBCU creative executives, showrunners and producers who make the final decision on directing assignments. For those in the Female Forward—Telemundo track, those directors will be chosen by Telemundo creative executives, showrunners, and producers.

Applicants are encouraged to review the FAQs carefully as they are designed to guide you in creating a strong submission.

Program Info


SUBMISSION PERIOD and PROGRAM TIMELINE

  • Applications will be accepted March 14, 2022 through April 3, 2022.  Applications will not be accepted after 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on April 3, 2022.
  • Targeted Program Launch is October 2022.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

  • Applicants must be authorized to work legally in the United States. Visa sponsorship is not offered to program participants.
  • Applicants must be at least 21 years of age as of October 1, 2022.
  • Must have directing experience in respective fields including but not limited to full-length feature films, short films, music videos, commercials, digital content, and unscripted programming. Applicants who have more than one directing credit on a broadcast, cable, or streaming series are ineligible.
  • To be eligible for the Female Forward—Telemundo track, applicants must be fluent or have a full professional proficiency in Spanish with the ability to comfortably read, write, and converse.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Those applying must submit a complete application package, which includes the following items:

  1. APPLICATION must be completed in its entirety.  Incomplete applications will be disqualified.
  1. TWO DIRECTING SAMPLES that capture the director’s unique visual style and ability to direct performers.  All samples must be live-action narrative content (i.e. Feature Film, Short Film, Webisode, etc.). The applicant must be the sole director of all samples submitted.  Animation directing samples will not be accepted.  Compilations and sizzle reels are not accepted and will not be reviewed.  We only accept samples via online streaming links.  You must provide an online streaming link and password, using Vimeo or YouTube.  Your samples should be available for at least six months after you submit your application.  Please do not update or change your uploaded file or its password once you submit your application.  Please double-check that you have entered the password correctly (remembering that passwords are case sensitive).  If we do not have the correct password, we will not be able to evaluate your samples. We do not accept WeTransfer, Dropbox, Google Drive, or other such file-transfer services for the visual material delivery. 
  2. RELEASE FORMS must be completed, signed, and dated, in order for submissions to be accepted. Incomplete release forms will result in disqualification. Digital signatures are accepted.
  3. RÉSUMÉ outlining chronological paid employment history (may include entertainment and non-entertainment positions) and any directing-related honors/awards. Positions must have been held within the past 15 years (two pages or less). Only list compensated positions, with the exception of entertainment industry internships and full-time volunteer work at non-profits. If listing directing projects, only include projects that were produced. The applicant’s résumé will provide us an understanding of their work history and insight into their individual life experiences.
  1. PERSONAL ESSAYS articulate the applicant’s unique perspective and background as it relates to their creative process.  Applicant must answer both (2) essay questions, and EACH essay must not exceed 400 words. 

(OPTIONAL) LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION from entertainment industry professionals who have watched the applicant’s work and can comment on the applicant’s directing ability. Letters of recommendation are strongly encouraged, but not required. Acceptable letters must be on business or personal letterhead, dated in the current calendar year and include the author’s title and/or industry affiliation. No more than two letters per application will be accepted. Letters must accompany the submission and may not be submitted separately via email or mail. Any recommendation letters emailed or mailed to the Program separate from the director’s application will not be accepted. Letter(s) from agents, managers, attorneys, etc. are considered a conflict of interest and will not be considered.

Any candidate who does not meet the aforementioned criteria will be disqualified.

NOTIFICATION

Due to the volume of submissions received, only those applicants who are selected to participate in the Program will be notified.  Applicants who are not selected will not be notified.  Please check our social media pages for updates on the selection process. Selections will be announced a few weeks before the Program commences. 

FAQ


GENERAL QUESTIONS

  1. What is the difference between the NBCUniversal LAUNCH TV Directors Program | Female Forward, and the Female Forward—Telemundo Track?

    The NBCU LAUNCH TV Directors Program’s goal (which replaces the long-standing Emerging Director Program) is to increase authentic storytelling by providing opportunities for those directors who are from underrepresented backgrounds with distinct points of view and diverse lived experiences, including but not limited to those who are ethnically diverse male and non-binary directors. Female Forward’s goal is to increase authentic storytelling by focusing on female directors. Under the combined program, each participant shadows on up to two episodes of an NBCU scripted series before directing an in-season episode of the same series.

    An expansion of Female Forward, the Female Forward—Telemundo Track gives female directors who are fluent or professionally proficient in Spanish the opportunity to shadow on two episodes of a Telemundo series with a guaranteed directing assignment on the same show. (For the Female Forward—Telemundo Track, the Director must be fluent or have full professional proficiency in Spanish.)

    The curriculum is the same and all selected directors, regardless of track, participate in the workshops together. There is one application that covers all

  2. Will directors be compensated?

    No, directors will not be compensated for participating of the program.  However, directors will receive a weekly stipend during their shadowing placements.  In addition, directing assignments are paid in accordance with rates and regulations outlined in the Directors Guild of America (DGA) MBA.

  3. Where is the Program located?

    The program is virtual.  However, shadowing and directing assignments are in-person and can take place anywhere in the United States, depending on where the assigned series is being filmed. 

  4. May directors hold other forms of employment or be enrolled in school while in the Program?

    Yes.  However, if accepted into the Program, shadow and directing assignments will assume first-priority and are in-person.

  5. Is there an application fee?

    No.

  6. How many directors are selected for the Program each year?

    The number of directors selected can vary from year to year.

  7. If selected for the Program in addition to my guaranteed directing assignment, will I be guaranteed a second episode of TV to direct?

    No.

  8. Do I have to choose between the NBCUniversal LAUNCH TV Directors Program | Female Forward and the Female Forward—Telemundo Track?

    Yes, applicants must apply to only one.

ELIGIBILITY

  1. Will NBCU sponsor work visas?

    No.

  2. Do I need to have representation to apply?

    No.

  3. Are Comcast-NBCUniversal employees eligible to apply?

    Yes.

  4. Do I have to be a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) to apply?

    No.

MATERIAL

  1. May I submit material that I previously submitted during the last application period?

    Yes.  However, new material will better reflect a director’s progress.

  2. Who reviews submissions?

    NBCUniversal executives, producers, and directors.

  3. Will I receive feedback on my submission?

    No.  Due to the high volume of submissions, we are unable to provide feedback.

PERSONAL ESSAYS

  1. What do evaluators look for when reading the 2 required personal essays?

    The 2 personal essays are an important and essential component to the application process.  Responses should convey the director’s distinct point-of-view, diverse lived experience, vision, and creative sensibility. 

LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION

  1. How do you define “industry professional” for Letters of Recommendation?

    Industry professionals are persons who currently or previously worked in entertainment media (e.g., film, television, digital and streaming services, etc.).  Positions within both film and television industries include studio, production company, and network executives, writers, producers, feature film and episodic directors, and educators (e.g., professors or writing instructors) who have entertainment industry experience and/or produced credits.  Letter(s) from agents, managers, attorneys, etc. are considered a conflict of interest and will not be considered.