Meet This Year’s HBOAccess Directing Fellowship Winners

Three up-and-coming directors will have the opportunity to direct an original pilot that will air on HBO.

HBOAccess has selected three directors for their 2018 Directing Fellowship. The new fellows will participate in a weeklong workshop before mounting their production this July. “Every year we are overwhelmed with the amazing talent introduced to us through this process,” says Kelly Edwards, VP of Talent Development at HBO. “These directors are superstars on the verge of making the leap to episodic. Our hope is that we can be a small part of their story.”

The program supports directors who are interested in a career in television by giving them the opportunity to shoot a pilot presentation that will air on HBO, HBO GO, and HBO NOW. It includes a series of master classes 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.The scripts they have chosen to direct all come from material created through the HBOAccess Writing Fellowship.

The 2018 winners are as follows:

Thembi Banks

Born in Harlem New York, Thembi is a 2017 Film Independent Project Involve Directing Fellow whose short film Suitable is a finalist at ABFF. She currently writes for Showtime's Golden Globe-nominated series, SMILF. Thembi will direct Unimundo by Claudia Forestieri who recently staffed on a spin-off of The Fosters. Based on Claudia’s real-life experiences at Telemundo, the script revolves around a Spanish language news producer who unexpectedly becomes a symbol for the resistance.

Carey Williams

Carey’s most recent film Emergency has received awards from festivals including Sundance and SXSW and has honed his craft as a mentee with Ryan Murphy’s Half Foundation and a directing fellow with Film Independent Project Involve. Williams aspires to evoke thought, reflection and positive change with his work. Carey will team up with Katherine Craft who recently sold a show to NBC Snap. Halfway revolves around an avowed atheist forced to live in a Christian halfway home.

Ryan Zaragoza

Ryan placed as a finalist in HBO’s Project Greenlight. His directorial debut, The Painter, was an official selection of the STARZ Network Film Festival. His latest short film bebé will air on HBO Latino starting June 2018. Ryan will direct Sterling by Stephanie McFarlane and Bryce Ahart which focuses on a small town in the aftermath of a school shooting.