Lesli Linka Glatter’s directing career began when her short film, Tales of Meeting and Parting, was nominated for an Oscar. After completing the prestigious AFI Directing Workshop for Women, she was handpicked by Steven Spielberg to direct his TV series, Amazing Stories. She then went on to work with David Lynch on four episodes of Twin Peaks. She is now considered to be at the very top of the field and has helmed literally dozens of primetime and cable episodes and telefilms including, Mad Men, Ray Donovan, Masters of Sex, The Leftovers, The Walking Dead, True Blood, Pretty Little Liars (pilot), Lie to Me, Weeds, The Unit, The Good Wife, Heroes, The West Wing Grey’s Anatomy, Gilmore Girls (pilot), and NYPD Blue. In addition she has directed two feature films, Now and Then and The Proposition. She has received three Primetime Emmy nominations, two DGA Awards, six DGA Award nominations, one PGA nom, two OFTA Television Awards and four OFTA Television Award nominations. She won the Gracie Allen Award for The Newsroom and is currently Executive Producer/Director of Showtime’s award-winning Homeland. IMDB
John Wells runs JWP (John Wells Productions, offices at Warner Brothers) which has produced “China Beach,” “ER,” “The West Wing,” “Shameless” and the upcoming “Animal Kingdom” (to name a few.) He is a multi Emmy and award winner. He personally started the first diversity program run with the help of Warner Brothers to specifically give opportunity, support, and mentorship to women and people of color. He is also a labor leader and was elected president of the Writer’s Guild of America, West in 2009, after serving a prior term in that office from 1999 to 2001. He is also the director of films “The Company Men,” “August: Osage County,” “Love and Mercy,” and “Burnt.” IMDB
Naima Ramos Chapman is an interdisciplinary filmmaker and performer from Brooklyn, New York. Her first short film, “And Nothing Happened,” about the emotional cost and aftermath of sexualized violence, premiered at the 2016 Slamdance Film Festival and was received with a mix of tears and cheers. She’s in L.A. right now, working feverishly on her next film, a stalker-revenge flick that traverses across several planes of existence. Her video design work (exploring god dreams on existential nihilism as experienced by black bodies trapped in white universes) in collaboration with renowned choreographer and “2013 MacArthur Genius” Kyle Abraham, is currently touring and she couldn’t be more happy. You can catch some of her documentary work airing here and there on Brooklyn’s Community Media channel, BRIC. Naira is very thankful for her apprenticeship under Master teachers Seth Barrish and Lee Brock at The Barrow Group for Acting. She also wants to give a shout out to those at the Alvin Aliey School for Dance for taking a chance on her when they awarded her several life-changing years on scholarship. In a former life Naima was also known for her musings on politics, pop culture, race, and intersectionality. Her work has appeared digitally at the Huffington Post, The Nation, NPR, Colorlines, Generation Progress, Postbourgie, Racialicious, Saint Heron, and other web-circulated publications in no particular order.
All the feature-length films from Sarah Gavron, a London-based filmmaker, have won prestigious awards and nominations around the world. Suffragette- Women Film Critics Circle Courage In Filmmaking Award, Mill Valley Film Festival Audience Award, Hamptons Int’l. Film Festival Tangerine Entertainment Juice Award, Empire Award For Best British Film (nominated), Alliance of Women Film Journalists EDA Female Focus Award For Best Director (nominated). Brick Lane– BAFTA Awards Carl Foreman Award For The Most Promising Newcomer Director (nominated), British Independent Film Awards Best Director (nominated), Dinard British Film Festival Best Director Award, London Critics Circle Film Awards ALFS Award For British Breakthrough In Filmmaking (nominated), San Sebastián Int’l. Film Festival C.I.C.A.E. Award. This Little Life– BAFTA TV Award Best New Director – Fiction, Banff Television Festival Rockie Award Best Made-for-TV Movie, British Independent Film Awards Douglas Hickox Award (nominated), Prix Europa Special Commendation TV Fiction. Village at the End of the World (documentary)- London Film Festival Grierson Award (nominated). Even her early short subject, Losing Touch, won the Youth Jury Award at the Clermont-Ferrand Int’l. Short Film Festival. IMDB
Li Lu is an award-winning filmmaker residing in Los Angeles, CA. She was born in Suzhou, China, and her family moved to the United States when she was five. Daughter of two physicists, Li discovered her passion in visual mediums – first through photography, then ultimately into filmmaking. Li received her BA from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, graduating cum laude. Her short films “Autumn” and “Before the Flood” have played festivals around the world such as New York’s Anthology Film Archives, Hong Kong Film Festival, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, and others. Her music videos have been shown on Nickelodeon, MTV Asia, and many have surpassed 1 million views online. “There Is a New World Somewhere” is her debut feature film, and recently won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature Film at the Boonies International Film Festival, the Special Jury Award for Best First Feature at the Las Vegas Film Festival and LA Asian Pacific Film Festival. Her teleplay “Razorhurst,” about the seedy underbelly of street gangs in 1920s Sydney, Australia, won the Skyway Film Festival’s Grand Jury Award for Best Teleplay and Pitch. Her work has been profiled in the New York Times, IndieWIRE, Bitch Magazine, and Flavorwire. Besides film, Li creates video/installation art. Her latest video piece is currently on tour with musician Benoit Pioulard. IMDB
In a field where longevity is rare, the long-term success of Bethany Rooney’s career has defied the odds of Hollywood. Rooney has been at the helm for over two hundred episodes of prime time television for over thirty years, including many critically acclaimed series such as Desperate Housewives, Ally McBeal and Brothers & Sisters, and the American long-running classics NCIS and Criminal Minds. Her reputation as an actor’s director who leads with gentle command has made her part of an elite group of television industry leaders. She serves as the co-chair of the DGA’s Diversity Committee, as well as the Women’s Steering Committee, and shares her knowledge of the craft by teaching the intensive Warner Brothers Directing Workshop. Her book (co-authored with Mary Lou Belli) Directors Tell the Story: Master the Craft of Television and Film Directing is being utilized at multiple studio and network directing programs, and in directing classes on many university campuses. The second edition of the book will be released in June 2016.
Michael Robin is a producer and director known for “The Closer” “Nip/Tuck” and “Major Crimes.” He also was an co-executive producer on 40 episodes of “Dallas.” Previously he was a producer director on NYPD Blue, Popular, Kingpin, Trust Me, and Rizzoli and Isles. Currently he is helming “The Advocate” for ABC. An avid supporter and employer of women directors, he recently spoke at the DGA Director Development Initiative Event, “Making it Happen: Accountability and Opportunity.” IMDB
Deborah Riley Draper is a former advertising executive who translated her love for storytelling into a full-fledged filmmaking career. She is known for engaging audiences with socially compelling content. Her first film, Versailles ’73: An American Runway Revolution, revolved around the legendary fashion event held inside the Palace of Versailles, France, in November 1973. Her documentary Olympic Pride, American Prejudice made its debut at the Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF). This powerful documentary revolves around the untold story of 18 Black Olympians (16 men and 2 women) as they venture to the 1936 Summer Games in Nazi Germany during a time when Adolf Hitler ruled the country. IMDB
On the heels of a highly successful acting career, Joanna Kerns began her directing journey with an episode of the hit TV sit-com, Growing Pains and honed her craft in the live, multi-camera field. But she soon segued into single-camera and has since become one of the most sought after directors in primetime television, guiding countless episodes of Recovery Road, Switched at Birth, Jane the Virgin, Pretty Little Liars, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Nashville, Awkward, Chasing Life, Switched at Birth, The Fosters, The Lying Game, Army Wives, Friends with Benefits, Private Practice, Grey’s Anatomy, Privileged, Men in Trees, Psych, Medium, ER, Scrubs, Ghost Whisperer, Related, Joan of Arcadia, Phil of the Future, Clubhouse, One Tree Hill, Strong Medicine, The O’Keefe’s, Dawson’s Creek, Felicity, Leap of Faith, Judging Amy, Defending Our Kids: The Julie Posey Story, That’s Life, Ally McBeal, Boston Public, Titans, Beggars and Choosers and Clueless. IMDB
Michael Rauch produced seven seasons of Royal Pains, Love Monkey, and Beautiful People. Also a director, films include In the Weeds for Miramax, and Wake Up and Smell the Coffee with Eric Bogosian. A graduate of Columbia Film School, he is a strong promoter and employer of women directors. IMDB
Kimberly Peirce is a director and writer, known for Boys Don’t Cry (1999), Carrie (2013) and Stop-Loss (2008). Boys Don’t Cry received the International Critics prize for Best Film at both the London and Stockholm Film Festivals, the Satyajit Ray Foundation Award for Best First Feature at the London Film Festival, and was named “Best American Feature,” by Janet Maslin. Peirce won honors as Best Debut Director from the National Board of Review and Best New Filmmaker from the Boston Society of Film Critics. Stop-Loss received positive reviews from critics. Peirce was honored with the Hamilton Behind the Camera True-Grit Directing Award as well as the Andrew Sarris Directing Awards for the film. Also an active television director, she serves on the board of the Directors Guild of America (DGA). IMDB.
Originally known for her stand out role on Hill Street Blues, Betty Thomas is now one of the highest grossing directors of all time, with her hits The Brady Bunch Movie and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel combining with her other work to gross a over 500 million combined at the box office. Other hit films include Howard Stern’s Private Parts, I Spy, Doctor Dolittle, 28 Days, and John Tucker Must Die. Television credits include Dream On, Audrey, and Grace and Frankie. She has an Emmy nomination for her work on the HBO Series Dream On. She is the First Vice President at the Directors Guild of America (DGA). IMDB
Deborah del Prete is the producer of over 25 feature films including Enders Game, Green Street Hooligans, Mean Creek, The Spirit, and The Wedding Planner. The co-founder of OddLot Entertainment, she now runs her own production and management company, Coronet Films/Cohesive Entertainment Group. She has also produced plays, including the Broadway hit Million Dollar Quartet. IMDB.
Jann Turner has managed to turn personal tragedy into a mission to use art to help create a better world. She was born in South Africa. Her father, anti-Apartheid academic Rick Turner, was murdered in front of her when she was thirteen years old. Three months later, after threats of being banned, her mother, politician Barbara Hubbard, took Jann and her younger sister to Great Britain. She completed her education in England and the United States, graduating from Oxford University and Tisch School of the Arts, respectively. Her feature directing debut, White Wedding, brought her a Golden Lotus Award nomination for Best Director at the Macau Int’l. Movie Festival. Early on, she edited television specials for the National Geographic Society, and produced and directed episodic TV shows back in her native South Africa. She then migrated to Los Angeles, where she has since directed nearly 30 episodes of primetime television. Jann now lives in Los Angeles with her two children. Other films include My Friend Soweto and Paradise Stop. Turner is also a novelist and has authored the novels Heartland, Southern Cross and Home Is Where You Find It. @JannTurner. IMDB
Dorothy Canton is the President of Mad Riot Entertainment, a full service production company with the creative talent and resources to take motion picture and television productions from concept to creation. Dorothy began her career at NBC Universal and held assignments with Saturday Night Live amongst other high profile productions. Dorothy has worked on major publicity projects with the USA Network and most recently served as publicity coordinator for Focus Features working on films such as Academy Award winning Dallas Buyers Club and The World’s End. Dorothy grew up in the entertainment business being the daughter of Mark Canton and Producer Wendy Finerman, (Academy Award winner, Forest Gump). A graduate of Syracuse University and a Los Angeles native, Dorothy now resides in New York City. IMDB
Sarah Kernochan was born, and is based, in New York City. She was educated at Rosemary Hall and Sarah Lawrence. At age 27 she achieved early success by winning the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature for her film, Marjoe. In 2002, she won a 2nd Academy Award, for her 40-minute short, “Thoth”. Her narrative feature, All I Wanna Do, launched the careers of Kirsten Dunst and Gaby Hoffman. She is also an accomplished screenwriter, having penned Sommersby, Impromptu, What Lies Beneath, 9 1/2 Weeks, Dancers and Learning To Drive. SarahKernochan.com IMDB
Robert Munic is a writer, producer and director. Projects include Fighting with Channing Tatum, Murder in the First, Gang Related, They Call Me Sirr and The Cleaner. Recently he was an EP of Empire and Dre’s new series Vital Signs, and is writer and EP of a new modern day take on the King Lear story called Cordelia. He is a ferocious supporter of women directors. IMDB
A London native, Finola Hughes began her career with the Northern Ballet Company after winning the Markova Award. Her feature film directing debut, The Bet, won Best Feature at the LA Femme Int’l. Film Festival. She studied at Arts Educational Schools and went on to theater work in the West End in the original cast of Cats and continued working with Andrew Lloyd Webber in Song & Dance. After shooting Staying Alive in Los Angeles, she moved to California and began work on General Hospital, winning the Emmy Award in 1991. She is currently in pre-production to direct the independent feature, Byrd And The Bees. IMDB