HBOAccess has announced the top 20 semi-finalists for their 2018 Directing Fellowship. The program supports directors who are interested in a career in television by giving them the opportunity to shoot a pilot presentation which will air on HBO, HBO GO, and HBO NOW.

HBO received over 1,000 submissions when it opened its application portal in February. “There are so many talented new directors doing great work. Getting this list down to only three fellows will be difficult,” remarked President of HBOFilms Len Amato, “but we gladly accept that challenge and are excited to support and give a platform to new voices and artists with vision.”

The 2018 HBOAccess semi-finalists are:

Alicia J. Rose
Carey Williams
Damon Russell
Dinh Thai
Dubois Ashong
Erika Bagnarello
Huay-Bing Law
Jacqueline Dow
Kaitlin Fontana
Mary Gulino
Maureen Bharoocha
Michael Olmos
Mylissa Fitzsimmons
Olivia Clare Newman
Ryan Richmond
Ryan Zaragoza
Tanuj Chopra
Tarik Jackson
Thembi Banks
Zao Wang

Candidates advancing to the final round will be notified on April 16th. Those selected to participate in the program will be selected by May 4th.

In partnership with the DGA, the three directors chosen to participate in this year’s Directing Fellowship will participate in a series of master classes from June 4–8 in the HBO Santa Monica offices, with the goal of shooting a pilot this July. The material selected for production will be chosen from the scripts developed in the HBOAccess 2017 Writing Fellowship which concludes this spring. Fellows will be immersed in the production process taking part in casting, collaborating with a cinematographer and assistant director, scouting locations, and working with an experienced crew through post.

Applications for next year’s Writing Fellowship will open February 2019.


The HBOAccess Directing Fellowship selects 3–4 fellows to participate in a biennial program designed to foster diverse directing talent. The program includes a series of master classes which lead into the production of pilots. Delivered by industry professionals both internal and external to HBO, the classes cover a variety of subjects including creative topics such as story and character, as well as the technical aspects of production and post. Upon completion of the course, the fellows are then given a budget and crew to direct a short presentation allowing them full immersion in a true industry production. HBO will continue to support the directors by screening the films for the entertainment community and offering shadowing opportunities on HBO series.


Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. and the world’s most successful pay TV service, providing the two television services — HBO® and Cinemax® — to approximately 134 million subscribers worldwide. The services offer the popular subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand® and Cinemax On Demand®, as well as HBO GO® and MAX GO®, HD feeds and multiplex channels. HBO NOW®, the network’s internet-only premium streaming service, provides audiences with instant access to HBO’s acclaimed programming in the U.S. Internationally, HBO branded television networks, along with the subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand and HBO GO, bring HBO services to over 60 countries. HBO and Cinemax programming is sold into over 150 countries worldwide.

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