Female Forward is NBC’s latest initiative, designed to expand the presence of women in the field of scripted television. The network recently announced the members of the program’s inaugural class.

The 10 directors selected as finalists and the NBC series on which they have been paired are Rebecca Addelman (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”), Daniela De Carlo (“Chicago Med”), Lee Friedlander (“Good Girls”), Heather Jack (“Superstore”), Katie Locke O’Brien (“A.P. Bio”), Ramaa Mosley (“Blindspot”), Olivia Newman (“Chicago Fire”), Monica Raymund (“Law & Order: SVU”), Lisa Robinson (“The Blacklist”) and Christine Swanson (“Chicago P.D.”). The finalists were selected from among more than 1,000 applicants, representing a diverse group of experienced women who have worked on award-winning films that have been featured at Tribeca Film Festival, Santa Barbara International Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival, among others.

One particular talent, Christine Swanson, an award-winning director has written and directed numerous movies including the indie classic, All About You, that won Audience Awards at the Chicago International Film Festival and American Black Film Festival.  She also wrote and directed All About Us, the Sundance-selected Two Seasons, and was a writer on Woman,Thou Art Loosed.  Swanson also directed three original cable movies including Love Under New Management: TheMiki Howard Story, which broke ratings records and became the most watched original movie in the network’s history. She also received an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Directing in a Television Motion Picture for her work on For the Love of Ruth.

Female forward aims to provide talented female directors the experience and connections needed to develop a sustaining career. The finalists will shadow experienced TV directors on episodes of the series they have been paired with, eventually leading to the opportunity to direct at least one episode.

The network partnered with Lesli Linka Glatter, an acclaimed TV director and a longtime mentor to women in the field, as well as enlisted an advisory council of talented directors including Norberto Barba (“Mayans MC”), Ruben Fleischer (“Superstore”), Liz Friedlander (“Conviction”), Pamela Fryman (“How I Met Your Mother”), Nisha Ganatra (“Transparent”), Peter Horton (“New Amsterdam”), Gail Mancuso (“Modern Family”), Ken Olin (“This Is Us”), Julie Anne Robinson (“Castle Rock”), Millicent Shelton (“Marvel’s Runaways”) and Michael Spiller (“Champions”). Glatter chairs the council who helped select the inaugural class and will serve as their advisors and mentors throughout the course of the program.

“Directing is not an easy road for anyone, but it should be an equal playing field and for the first time, I truly feel that we are at a tipping point,” said Glatter. “I am hopeful that there will be a time in the near future when this is no longer an issue. Female Forward offering qualified and talented women directors the chance to not only to shadow, but to actually direct an episode is a game changer. I’m so excited about this inaugural group of directors and can’t wait to see them at work.”

To be eligible to participate in the program, the Female Forward finalists are required to have directing experience in their respective fields whether their medium of choice is feature films, music videos, commercials, digital content and theater. Candidates can have no more than one scripted television directing credit.

The inaugural class of Female Forward directors come from a variety of backgrounds, and more information about them can be found at NBCFemaleForward.com.

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