2020 Directing Fellowship

Shoot for the Stars

The HBOAccess® Directing Fellowship invites emerging television directors to demonstrate their talent, skills and—most importantly—growth potential. Every other year, three directors are selected to shoot pilots created during the HBOAccess Writing Fellowship.

Lanre Olabisi

Lanre Olabisi’s directorial work includes AUGUST THE FIRE and SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE both of which are distributed by Film Movement. Combined, his films screened at over 70 film festivals around the world including SXSW and Karlovy Vary. His work has been nominated for an IFP Gotham Award as well as a Black Reel Award. Lanre’s latest short film, ASTORY BOOK ENDING, is currently on the festival circuit. It is a neo-noir dark comedy about a Black man who accidentally kills an undercover white cop in self-defense. The subsequent cover-up sets off a chain reaction of deceit, blackmail and murder. A STORYBOOK ENDING is based on a feature film of the same name that is currently in development.

Juan Pablo Arias Muñoz

Juan Pablo was born and raised in Santiago de Chile where he started his career as a writer and director. After receiving a Fulbright Scholarship, he moved to Los Angeles, California where he obtained an MFA in Directing from the AFI Conservatory. His award-winning work continues to be presented at dozens of film festivals around the globe, including the New York Film Festival, the Seattle Film Festival and the Stockholm International Film Festival.

Marielle Woods

Marielle Woods is an award-winning, queer-identifying filmmaker who thrives in the high-stakes world of action storytelling. After cutting her teeth in docudrama television, recreating shark attacks and mob shootouts for Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, she spent much of the last seven years working as a Stunt Department Coordinator on projects including BABY DRIVER, BRIGHT, and WESTWORLD. Woods likes to push emotional buttons and visual boundaries, telling stories that make audiences think - with a few explosions or car chases along the way.

Hao Zheng

Studied at Emerson College and AFI, Hao Zheng is a recent Student Academy Award winning director transitioned from being a professional actor in popular Chinese films and TV shows. With recent short films getting international recognition including Show Me Shorts New Zealand (Best International Film Award), AT&T Film Award, Nowness Awards, Short Shorts Tokyo, Aspen Short Fest among more than 80 film festivals, he is developing a range of multi-cultural projects in both China and the US.

Rammy Park

A writer/director from Colorado, Rammy Park tells stories about fierce and conflicted characters trying to make sense of an incomprehensible world. She is a Film Independent Fellow twice over (Project Involve 2019, Episodic Lab 2018) and an MFA graduate of Columbia University's Film Program. A former journalist and designer, she is currently staffed on Amazon's THE WHEEL OF TIME.

Jessica Petelle

Jessica Petelle is a Director and a Producer of film and television. Her debut film, ALL GOOD, world premiered at Palm Springs International ShortFest. And, her next short film, AGE OF DYSPHORIA, starring Laura Vandervoort and Gordon Pinsent, is currently on the festival circuit. She recently completed the Women in the Director’s Chair Career Advancement Module in Toronto.

Tarik Jackson

An alumnus of Morehouse College and USC’s School of Cinematic Tarik co-created, directed and co-wrote CLASS, an eight-episode original series that premiered on YouTube, the series has been viewed over 1.2 million times. Tarik’s follow up short BUSHBABY a comedy about gentrification in Brooklyn got Tarik selected to be a part of Ryan Murphy’s Half Foundation, where Tarik shadowed an episode of SCREAM QUEENS. He then shadowed Oz Rodriguez on two episodes of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. Tarik currently performs sketch and improv at the UCB theater as a member of the group Cornbread Kitchen.

Emil Gallardo

Emil Gallardo is a Mexican American writer/director born and raised in LA but living in Oakland. He aims to make unforgettable stories that stand out for their authenticity and willingness to confront uncomfortable truths. His latest film, 1, 2, 3, ALL EYES ON ME is no exception.

Faraday Okoro

Faraday Okoro is a New York City based Nigerian American filmmaker. He attended Howard University and NYU Graduate Film School. In 2017, he received a $1 million grant from AT&T to direct his debut feature NIGERIAN PRINCE (2018), which was Executive Produced by Spike Lee and distributed by Vertical Entertainment and DirectTV.

Zao Wang

Zao Wang is a bilingual Chinese-American director, writer and actor. He was mentored by J.J. Abrams at Bad Robot as a Directing Fellow before helming his first feature in China. Zao’s works are dark, stylized, and humorous with a keen eye on the nuances of human relationships.