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Robert Goldrich, Editor

Roberta Griefer, Publisher & Editorial Director

Welcome... SHOOT’s 18th annual New Directors Showcase offers a total of 36 up-and-coming directors filling 35 slots (34 individual directors and a duo). The field includes 16 women, one non-binary filmmaker, and a variety of entries spanning commercials, public service work, promo fare, spec advertising, short films, documentaries, music videos, web series, comedy, drama, dramedy, even the food/tabletop discipline.

Filmmaker backgrounds are far ranging from fashion to cinematography, acting to still photography, film school-educated and/or self-taught, experienced producers as well as talent from the ad agency creative sector. On the latter front, a prime example is Andrew Madsen Jasperson who’s on the roster of production house Imperial Woodpecker. Jasperson--who earned Showcase inclusion on the strength of “The Gift,” an Allbirds Shoes’ commercial--made his first industry mark as a copywriter for 10 years, including at such notable shops as Wieden+Kennedy and Crispin Porter Bogusky.

Showcase directors with early music video involvement include Tayo Amos who’s represented by CAA, unaffiliated filmmaker Robert Nyerges, Aisultan Seitov of Partizan Entertainment, and Taylor Washington of Pan Up Productions. Two of these directors garnered their Showcase slots this year for a music video--Seitov for Joji’s “Run,” and Nyerges for GriZ’s “A New Day” clip featuring Matisyahu.

Washington made the showcase cut for his “Have You Seen Jimmy?” promo for Martin Scorsese’s Netflix feature The Irishman. And Amos was a Showcase selection for her short film, A Blossom in the Night.

Several award-winning directors now can add the Showcase to accolades already collected in their young careers. For example, Thessa Meijer, who’s on the commercialmaking roster of production company HALAL in Amsterdam, won a coveted Grand Prix honor at Ciclope Festival 2019 for her short film The Walking Fish. She’s recognized in the New Directors Showcase for her short film Heat.

Similarly Em Weinstein--of Valiant Pictures, ICM and GRL BND--is in the Showcase for the short film In France Michelle is a Man’s Name, which last month won the Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Narrative Short at Outfest 2020.

Rae Ceretto of Honeypot Productions garnered Showcase recognition for her documentary short We Do Not Live Here, which won the Audience Choice Award at this year’s virtual Matador Film Festival.

And Jing Ai Ng, who’s unaffiliated with a production house, won a 2019 DGA Student Film Award for Fleck, a short for which she also earned inclusion in the SHOOT New Directors Showcase.

Unaffiliated talent
Fourteen of the Showcase directors this year are unaffiliated with a production company.

In addition to the aforementioned Ng and Nyerges, the unaffiliated crop of up-and-coming filmmakers consists of: Quinn Else for the short Fort Irwin; Jazeel Gayle for Boyz’s “Gender Gap” PSA; Danae Grandison for her Unspoken short; Foley Ellis Ibidapo for the short film Lucy; Brandon Lavoie for the documentary short Nenad, Who Plays Ping Pong; Michael Leary for The Sopranos-themed spec spot for Members Only; Samantha Michelle for the short film In The Campfire Light; Rich Millard for Skittles’ “Doug” spec commercial; Cody Mathieson Packer for the UPS spec spot “Sending Memories”; Diane Russo for her Wally Wenda short; Daniel Sorochkin for Tribit’s “Unleash the True Sound” commercial; and Stephen Steelman for the short film Juiced.

Company ties
Besides Amos, Ceretto, Jasperson, Meijer, Seitov, Washington and Weinstein, the Showcase directors affiliated with production companies are: Emma Bell, who’s handled by Lighthouse Management + Media, for the short film Between the Pines; Sage Bennett of Namesake Content (U.S.), Boogie Nights (France) and MindsEye (U.K.) for M|M’s “Sisters” piece of branded content; Merlin Camozzi of Thinking Machine and NO/AGENCY for the Brady Organization’s “911--End Family Fire” PSA; Jess Dunn of Clouds at Night Pictures for the Seeka TV web series Gray Ground; Victoria Granof of Taste in Motion for the food/tabletop piece “Drop the Beet”; Blythe Haaga of Cap Gun Collective for the short film Sculpt: Amanda; Rachel Knoll of Plural for the Danger Daisy short; Graham Mason of GOLDEN and Artists First for the short film Rock Cowboys; Justyna Obasi of Park Pictures for Ahoj-Brause’s “Jugendelexier” online commercial; Dana Richie of Backlot Productions for the documentary Gateway; Jedediah Thunell of Sanctuary Content for Avana’s branded content piece, “What If”; Mikko Timonen of No Frames for the short titled Silk City; the directorial duo Tourist (Mitch Green & Louis English) of Filmgraphics Entertainment, Australia (but unaffiliated in the U.S.), for Crust’s “It’s Not Pizza, It’s Crust” commercial; and Lacy Elizabeth Uhlemeyer of Wondros Collective for Amazon’s “Recruitment” commercial.

Can't wait to get together in person again
Compiling the SHOOT New Directors Showcase and producing the New Directors Showcase Event represent one of our great pleasures each year. This would have marked the 16th year holding the evening NDS Showcase Event and afternoon SHOOT Directors/Producers Forum program at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) in NYC in May. When the pandemic first hit, we extended the Search entry period from March to June, and set a revised event date at the DGA of Oct. 22. SHOOT had been holding out hope, as had the DGA, that we would be able to go forward with it. We waited as long as possible in hopes that the DGA Theatre would receive approval from the State to reopen for events in time for ours but sadly it didn't so we were unable to hold the event this year.  We greatly appreciate the DGA's long-time support of the SHOOT New Directors Showcase Event and we look forward to getting back on schedule for next year's 2021 Showcase Event at the DGA.

While the industry cannot convene at the DGA Theatre to debut the Showcase as in years past due to the pandemic, the reel remains a major means of exposure for new worthwhile talent and is scrutinized by the advertising and entertainment communities which contine to becoming increasingly interconnected.  A special Thank You goes to charlieuniformtango for once again compiling the SHOOT New Directors Showcase Reel.  And Thank you to the companies who have joined our "We Support New Directors" promotion.  Click Here for information on how your company can join in.

We hope you enjoy the reel, spread the word to your colleagues and friends to check out the work and take a look at each director's profile page.  We look forward to seeing everyone in person next year!