AICP’S INAUGURAL DIVERSITY SHOWCASE, the Commercial Directors Diversity Program (CDDP) was held Wednesday night, Jan. 11 at LA’s Directors Guild of America Theatre.
Participating were 13 highly qualified, unsigned directors out of 122 applicants. There were eight women and five men. Four work in LA and four in New York. None were from Chicago.
At the event, each director screened examples of their work with the goal of connecting with AICP member production companies for company representation.
Participants were selected by a judging panel of production company executives, directors, and agency producers and creatives. Again, no Chicago representation, although several producers had been invited but were unable to attend.
The Showcase opened with remarks by Betty Thomas, first VP/DGA and Matt Miller, CEO of the AICP.
They were followed by a panel discussion of the importance of diversifying commercial directorial talent, with moderator Geoff Edwards, CAA creative executive ; Allison Amon, owner/EP of Chelas; Maddi Carlton, EP at Gorgeous; Charlie McBrearty, founding partner at Shortlist Management and Jimmy Smith, chairman/CEO/CCO at Amusement Park Entertainment.
Production companies interested in forging a relation with the up-and-coming directors may contact them directly on the site cddprogram.org.
CDDP is the joint effort of AICP and DGA, aiming to increase the number of women and minority commercial directors.
AICP will announce CDDP showcases to be held at various AICP cities throughout the year. Perhaps even one will take place in Chicago, where annual ad industry billings generated by more than 1,600 ad agencies are estimated at $24 billion.