2019 CDDP fellows debut spec spots at gala

(L-R: Sofia Garza-Barba; Jane Qian; Dominique Deleon; Vanessa Black; Christopher Cegielski Photo by Mustafa Sankofa)

CDDP Program Director Tamika Lamison should be proud.

Last night, marked the debut of the five fellows who just finished The Commercial Directors Diversity Program at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Theater in Hollywood.

CDDP is a joint effort between the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) and the Directors Guild of America (DGA).

It successfully reflects the commitment of both organizations to effect change and increase the representation of women and directors specializing in commercials and marketing communications.

Led by the positively appealing Lamison, the program offers a six-month course consisting of workshops, mentorships, networking, shadowing, a grant to make a spec commercial, and an industry showcase to share the work.

The goal is to introduce directors to the commercial industry in the hopes that they will sign with AICP member companies and eventually join the DGA.

For this cycle, the mentoring production companies – which also helped facilitate the creation of each director’s spec piece – were: Hungry Man, Knucklehead, Reverie, Smuggler, and Spears & Arrows. Saatchi & Saatchi and Team One worked with the directors on crafting scripts and providing valuable creative insight.

The outstanding showcase featured spec spots directed by the talented and exciting five fellows for this second cycle. The directors are: Sofia Garza-Barba; Vanessa Black; Christopher Nataanii Cegielski; Dominique DeLeon; and Jane Qian. Watch below:

2019 CDDP Directing Fellow Sofia Garza-Barba Spec Spot: Toyota "Daddy" from CDDProgram on Vimeo.

2019 CDDP Fellow Vanessa Black Spec Spot: Nike's "Catch Me" from CDDProgram on Vimeo.

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2019 CDDP Directing Fellow Christopher Cegielski Spec Spot: New Balance "Run" from CDDProgram on Vimeo.

2019 CDDP Directing Fellow Dominique Deleon Spec Spot: Audi "Heaven" from CDDProgram on Vimeo.

2019 CDDP Fellow Jane Qian Spec Spot: "U.S. Paralympics Cy Young" from CDDProgram on Vimeo.

Each spot and director showed poise and depth and quite frankly different points of view than what we are usually served up as creatives and audience members.

(L-R: Sofia Garza-Barba; Jane Qian; Tamika Lamison (CDDP Program Director); Dominique Deleon; Lisa Rich (CDDP Avisory Committee); Vanessa Black; Christopher Cegielski; Matt Miller, AICP President & CEO Photo by Mustafa Sankofa)

In addition to the spec pieces, the Showcase featured a panel discussion comprised of the fellows, and moderated by Kim Nguyen, a director with Bob Industries, and a member of the CDDP Advisory Committee.

Since launching with a stand-alone showcase in 2017, seven directors from the CDDP program have been signed to production companies. They are: Elle Ginter, Sonia Malfa, Maya Albanese, Kryzz Gautier, Gabrielle Paciorek, Tamika Miller and Erica Eng.

Next year, the Reel 360 team looks forward to whom is chosen. We would like to see a sixth underrepresented group represented and that is an older director.

Great job.