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As part of its ongoing commitment to support and inspire the work of female directors and creators, SeriesFest organizers announced today an expansion of their “Featuring Women” platform through a new mentorship initiative with Shondaland, prolific storytelling company founded by Shonda Rhimes. Through this partnership, SeriesFest will launch their first-ever Women Directing Mentorship initiative, anchored with the unique opportunity to shadow a director for an episode of a Shondaland production. Submissions are now open on www.seriesfest.com and close on March 4, 2019. The winner will be announced in June 2019 at SeriesFest: Season 5.
SeriesFest founders Randi Kleiner and Kaily Smith Westbrook said: “At SeriesFest, our mission is to support all artists working on serial content. Knowing that there are far too few working women behind the camera today, we felt empowered to focus our efforts on an initiative that could help support emerging female directors. We are thrilled to launch our Women Directing Mentorship as the next step in the evolution of our Featuring Women platform and can’t think of a better partner for this inaugural year than Shondaland. Shonda Rhimes changed television landscape and continues to be a leading force as she and her company redefine representation on both sides of the camera and we are honored to be creating this incredible opportunity with them.
“Shondaland has long been known to defy industry standards through dynamic female characters, but we have also always felt it was important to have equal representation behind the camera. To have talent and sets that reflect the world we live in has always seemed natural,” said Shonda Rhimes. “We’re happy to partner with SeriesFest on this mentorship initiative to continue providing opportunities for women directors.”
In conjunction with the annual SeriesFest festival, the year-round non-profit has developed multiple platforms to support creators. Other new initiatives in 2018 include the Jan Marino Scholarship, developed to support women over age 55 enrolled in the Stephens College M.F.A. in Television and Screenwriting program, and the Forward Impact Project, designed in partnership with the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) to help finance, produce, release, scale and build an audience for 12 select independent series deemed ready for development and production. For more information about these and other SeriesFest year-round platforms and initiatives visit: http://seriesfest.com/