This week in Los Angeles, the Commercial Directors Diversity Program debuted the six films created out of its initiative to help nurture underrepresented talents. The program debuted in 2016 as a partnership between the Association of Independent Creative Producers (AICP) and the Directors Guild of America (DGA).
Under the leadership of Program Director Tamika Lamison, who came on board last fall, this year the CDDP introduced an intensive program that provides promising talent with intensive training through workshops, mentoring and shadowing opportunities and finally, a grant to help fund advertising spec work to bolster their reels.
The CDDP chose six out of 25 finalists competing to participate in the program and debuted the films they produced through its grant in Los Angeles this week. The work ranges from bold visual storyteling, charming laughs to tear-jerking tales of reunion and redemption.
Monty Marsh, whose film is featured here, reimagined Adidas Originals' "Original is never finished" campaign through an afrofuturistic lens. Tamika Miller tapped adorable (and slightly devious) kids to show off the features of Amazon's Echo, while Gabrielle Paciorek brought videogame spunk to her spec for the Apple Watch.
Grab the tissues before watching the others: Kryzz Gautier's AT&T spec captures the long-awaited reunion of a family experiencing the sort of split that's become all-too familiar in the real world; Erica Eng's powerful tale for Homeboy Industries follows a young man's road to a new life after serving his prison term while Maya Albanese created an uplifting film of promise and possibility, for Georgia-Pacific.