ViacomCBS Emerging Directors program extends to two years – The Hollywood Reporter
ViacomCBS has significantly expanded its development program for television directors from under-represented backgrounds.
Third Annual ViewFinder Emerging Directors Program Doubles Duration to Become a Two-Year Program, in which attendees will receive mentorship from network and business founders and ghost television directors on scripted and unscripted ViacomCBS shows. ViewFinder will also provide them with an undisclosed amount of financial support to help them develop and produce their projects.
“The mission of our ViewFinder Emerging Directors program is to champion the next generation of storytellers and provide them with the opportunity to hone their craft, connect with our vast network of creative executives, and bring their unique voices and experiences to the world. television, ”ViacomCBS said global head of inclusion Marva Smalls in a statement. “That’s why we’re excited to expand the program to two years, starting with this 2021-23 class, and deepen our opportunity to nurture these talented voices in our industry. “
ViewFinder alumni directed episodes of Boomerang, Dangerous force, Tales and The L word: generation Q. Applications for the next class, to be announced in 2023, will open this fall.
Six directors were selected from over 330 applicants to form the current 2021-2023 ViewFinder promotion:
Andrew Reid (Paramount Television Studios)
Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, Reid is a DGA Award winning director and recent graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. His award-winning projects have been screened at Slamdance, CAA Moebius, Paramount Pictures, HollyShorts, LA Shorts and over 40 other film festivals around the world. He was a director in the 2020 class of Film Independent’s Project Involve and RespectAbility Summer Lab program and is a recipient of the Easterseals Disability Services Fellowship. Reid is represented by the APA.
Parisa Barani (Paramount Network)
Award-winning Iranian-American director set to direct upcoming feature films Haram and Haji and is in development for another feature based on the Jennifer Blackmer play Human Land. Barani’s directorial debut Ablution screened at festivals around the world, including Mill Valley Film Festival, Palm Springs International ShortFest and Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase. She participates in the Universal Directors Initiative 2019/2021 and Creative Capital 2021’s On Our Radar, as well as the Tribeca Film Institute’s Sloan Fellowship 2016 and a Neda Nobari Foundation Fellowship. Barani has been shortlisted and semi-finalist for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, Sony Pictures’ diversity television program, NBCUniversal’s Female Forward / Emerging Director program, and the Creative Capital Award. She graduated from AFI’s Women’s Directing Workshop and SITI’s Intensive Theater Training at Skidmore College.
Soma Helmi (AwesomenessTV)
Born to an Indonesian father and a Polish mother, the Bali native began her career as artistic director for J. Walter Thompson in Jakarta and then worked as a creative assistant on Catherine Hardwicke’s Quibi series. Do not look any further. Helmi directed all 20 episodes of season 3 of the original Snapchat series The dead girls’ detective agency, and her work has screened at Sundance, Outfest, and Amazon’s New Voices Film Festival, among others. Named one of the Alliance of Women Directors’ ‘Eight Directors to Watch’, she participated in the Blackmagic Collective’s Future Women of TV 2020 initiative before creating and becoming Program Director for Blackmagic’s Breakthrough Initiative for Screenwriters and directors of BIPOC TV.
Tiffany Kontoyiannis-Guillen (Paramount Television Studios)
The Latina writer, director and producer is a Miami Herald Silver Knight winner, DGA winner, Student Emmy nominee and HBO semi-finalist. More recently, his short film Happy to see you again has won several major festivals, including HollyShorts for Best Live Action Short. Guillen graduated from Barnard College of Columbia University and received her Masters in Film Production from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, where she was selected to co-direct Voodoo Macbeth. She is represented by Gersh and Rafterman Media.
Tyler Davis (Comedy Central)
Director, actor, and musician in Los Angeles via Chicago, Davis co-wrote and starred in the ViacomCBS Showcase 2020 and worked as a producer, editor, screenwriter, and cinematographer for 2021. In Chicago, he co-wrote and starred in two mainstage comedy sketch reviews with The Second City, created online skits for Comedy Central, and self-directed and performed in skits for TOPIC. His work has been featured in Advertising week and Cédric the Animator The best home videos. He is currently a production consultant and co-star of the Showtime series. Work in progress and is developing an original comic superhero series with his writing partner. As an actor, Davis is replaced by DPN Talent in LA, Grossman & Jack Talent in Chicago, and El Centro Management. He is commercial director at TESSA Films and is looking for a representation for the narrative direction.
Xavier Burgin (BET)
A graduate of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, the writer / director received a Daytime Emmy nomination for his work on giants, a TVOne series. He also ran AMC Network Black Horror: A Dark Horror Story and swimming for adults Juneteenth with Open Mike Eagle. Sundance Fellow, HBO Alumnus, Ryan Murphy Directing Fellow, Berlinale Talent and Student Academy Award semi-finalist, Burgin has written for Amazon Studios and Discovery Channel and was ranked in the Academy Nicholl Fellowship’s Top 50. A storyteller from the Deep South, he aims to create adventure, legend and myth – the kind of worlds his youngster himself dreamed of in the rural heat.