2022 CDDP Fellows debut spec spots at DGA

(l-r: (L-R): Alexander Gilbert, CDDP Fellow; Rhym Guisse’, CDDP Fellow; M.G. ‘Grace’ Evangelista, CDDP Fellow; Lisa Rich, CDDP Advisory Board; Tamika Lamison, Executive Director, CDDP: Matt Miller, President and CEO, AICP; Andrew Rhee, CDDP Fellow; and L.J. Johnson, CDDP Fellow)

The Commercial Directors Diversity Program’s Industry (CDDP) Showcase debuted in Los Angeles at the Directors Guild of America (DGA).

Led by Executive Director Tamika Lamison and CDDP Committee Advisory head Lisa Rich, the CDDP offered a six-month program consisting of workshops, mentorships, networking, shadowing, a grant to make a spec commercial, and an industry showcase to share the work.  

The Showcase featured spec spots directed by the five fellows for this fourth cycle of the full CDDP program.

The CDDP directors are Alexander Gilbert M.G. ‘Grace’ Evangelista ; Rhym Guisse’  spec); L.J. Johnsonand Andrew Rhee. Watch their spots below:


In addition to the spec pieces, the CDDP Showcase featured documentary profiles of each director and a panel discussion comprised of the fellows and moderated by Suzanne Hargrove, VP, Executive Producer, PRETTYBIRD, who serves as President of the AICP West Board. 

The CDDP program reflects the commitment of both organizations to effect change and increase the representation of women and other underrepresented groups in the directing ranks of commercials and marketing communications. The goal of the program 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: Arts & Sciences, Caviar, Invisible Collective, Rattling Stick and Spears & Arrows. Each Fellow & Mentoring company were teamed with Agencies including: Saatchi & Saatchi LAHigh Dive/Chicago; TRG (The Richards Group)/Dallas; and Wieden+Kennedy/NY– all of whom generously supplied scripts and worked with the directors providing valuable creative insight.

The expanded CDDP Program that first launched in 2018 has graduated 21 Directing Fellows, 13 of whom have been signed to production companies including Tamer Shaaban, a 2021 Fellow who signed to Durable Goods, his mentoring company, Iqbal Ahmed, a 2021 fellow who signed to Rattling Stick; and LJ Johnson, one of this years’ fellows who was mentored by Arts & Sciences and signed by Hungry Man. Information about the program and current submissions is available here

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