Bite-sized blog post: Hannelle M. Culpepper


HANNELLE M. CULPEPPER studied French and Economics as an undergraduate before studying communications at USC.

She began her career as a writer and directed the short film A Single Rose (2003) with a grant from the AFI Directing Workshop for Women and has gone on to direct for numerous television series.

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Hillview Productions
Within the Movie Websit
VIDEO: Interview

FILMOGRAPHY (from imdb):

Gotham (TV Series) (1 episode)

 2016Quantico (TV Series) (1 episode)

Aquiline (2016)

 2016Empire (TV Series) (1 episode)

Cupid Kills (2016) … (as Hanelle Culpepper)

 2016Mistresses (TV Series) (2 episodes)

Fight or Flight (2016)

 2016American Gothic (TV Series) (1 episode)

The Artist in His Museum (2016) … (as Hanelle Culpepper)

 2015-2016Castle (TV Series) (3 episodes)

Tone Death (2016)
Private Eye Caramba! (2015) … (as Hanelle Culpepper)

 2016The Originals (TV Series) (1 episode)

Alone with Everybody (2016) … (as Hanelle Culpepper)

 2016The Flash (TV Series) (1 episode)

King Shark (2016) … (as Hanelle Culpepper)

 2014-2016Criminal Minds (TV Series) (4 episodes)

The Bond (2016)
Breath Play (2015) … (as Hanelle Culpepper)
Scream (2015) … (as Hanelle Culpepper)
The Edge of Winter (2014) … (as Hanelle Culpepper)

 2015Grimm (TV Series) (2 episodes)

Maiden Quest (2015) … (as Hanelle Culpepper)
Wesenrein (2015) … (as Hanelle Culpepper)

 2015Sleepy Hollow (TV Series) (1 episode)

The Art of War (2015) … (as Hanelle Culpepper)

 2015Hawaii Five-0 (TV Series) (1 episode)

Na Kame Hele (2015) … (as Hanelle Culpepper)

 2015Stalker (TV Series) (1 episode)

Love Hurts (2015) … (as Hanelle Culpepper)

 2015American Crime (TV Series) (1 episode)

Episode Five (2015) … (as Hanelle Culpepper)

 2014Revenge (TV Series) (1 episode)

Ambush (2014)
 2013The Bride (Short)

 2012Parenthood (TV Series) (1 episode)

What to My Wondering Eyes (2012) … (as Hanelle Culpepper)

 201290210 (TV Series) (1 episode)

Into the Wild (2012) … (as Hanelle Culpepper)
 2011Deadly Sibling Rivalry (TV Movie)
 2006Leila (Short)
 2005How to Stand in Line for Star Wars (Documentary short)

 2005Guilty or Innocent? (TV Series) (1 episode)

 2003Six and the City (Short)
 2003A Single Rose (Short)
 2002/IThe Wedding Dress (Short)

Bite-sized blog post: Deborah Riley Draper


DEBORAH RILEY DRAPER has a background in advertising and directed her first feature documentary Versailles ’73:American Runway Revolution tackled the subject of French vs American designers.

Her most recent endeavor, Olympic Pride, American Prejudice, delves into the story of African American athletes who “who defied Jim Crow and Adolf Hitler to win hearts and medals at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.” The film premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

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Olympic Pride, American Prejudice Website
Interview 1
Interview 2
Tavis Smiley Interview: VIDEO
Woman to Watch: Deborah Riley Draper

FILMOGRAPHY (from imdb):

 2016Olympic Pride, American Prejudice (Documentary) (attached)

Bite-sized blog post: Millicent Shelton

Millicent Shelton

MILLICENT SHELTON received an MFA at NYU and has gone on to direct for numerous television series. Her entree into the world of film was as a wardrobe assistant on Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing (1989).

Shelton’s feature film directorial debut Ride (1998) and was the first African-American woman to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award  for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series for her directing of an episode of 30 Rock.

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L.A. TV, Film Production Exodus Affects Bizzers: TV Director Millicent Shelton

FILMOGRAPHY (from imdb):

Shots Fired (TV Series) (1 episode) (pre-production)

 2016Empire (TV Series) (1 episode)

 2016The Originals (TV Series) (1 episode)

 2016Shades of Blue (TV Series) (2 episodes)

What Devil Do (2016)
Live Wire Act (2016)

 2014-2016The Flash (TV Series) (2 episodes)

 2015-2016Black-ish (TV Series) (3 episodes)

Dr. Hell No (2015)
The Dozens (2015)

 2015Rosewood (TV Series) (1 episode)

 2015Dominion (TV Series) (2 episodes)

The Seed of Evil (2015)

 2014-2015Switched at Birth (TV Series) (2 episodes)

To Repel Ghosts (2015)

 2015Proof (TV Series) (1 episode)

Reborn (2015)

 2015American Crime (TV Series) (1 episode)

Episode Ten (2015)

 2015Dig (TV Series) (2 episodes)

Sisters of Dinah (2015)
Trust No One (2015)

 2014The Mysteries of Laura (TV Series) (1 episode)

 2013-2014Dallas (TV Series) (5 episodes)

Endgame (2014)
Like a Bad Penny (2014)
Trust Me (2014)
Let Me In (2013)
Trial and Error (2013)

 2014The Divide (TV Series) (1 episode)

 2013-2014Hit the Floor (TV Series) (3 episodes)

Steal (2014)
Unguarded (2014)
Turnover (2013)

 2013-2014The Fosters (TV Series) (2 episodes)

Padre (2014)
Clean (2013)

 2014Things You Shouldn’t Say Past Midnight (TV Series) (2 episodes)

Episode #1.8 (2014)
Episode #1.6 (2014)

 2012-2013Parenthood (TV Series) (2 episodes)

Together (2012)

 2013The Hustle (TV Series) (2 episodes)

Rule 4080 (2013)

 2011-2013Warehouse 13 (TV Series) (2 episodes)

Emily Lake (2011)

 2012Go On (TV Series) (1 episode)

Big League Chew (2012)

 2012Jane by Design (TV Series) (1 episode)

 2012Harry’s Law (TV Series) (1 episode)

 2012Hornet’s Nest (TV Movie)

 2012Californication (TV Series) (1 episode)

The Ride-Along (2012)

 2010-201190210 (TV Series) (5 episodes)

A Thousand Words (2011)
2021 Vision (2010)

 2011Pan Am (TV Series) (1 episode)

 2011Free Agents (TV Series) (1 episode)

Rebranding (2011)

 2011Single Ladies (TV Series) (2 episodes)

Lost Without You (2011)

 2011Awkward. (TV Series) (1 episode)

Pilot (2011)

 2009-2011Men of a Certain Age (TV Series) (3 episodes)

The Great Escape (2011)
The Bad Guy (2010)
Go with the Flow (2009)

 2011Castle (TV Series) (1 episode)

 2010Leverage (TV Series) (1 episode)

 2010Zeke and Luther (TV Series) (2 episodes)

Local Heroes (2010)

 2010My Boys (TV Series) (1 episode)

The NTO (2010)

 2009-201030 Rock (TV Series) (2 episodes)

Floyd (2010)
Apollo, Apollo (2009)

 2010Cougar Town (TV Series) (1 episode)

Rhino Skin (2010)

 2009Parks and Recreation (TV Series) (1 episode)

The Camel (2009)

 2009Ruby & the Rockits (TV Series) (1 episode)

 2009Saving Grace (TV Series) (1 episode)

 2007Cavemen (TV Series) (1 episode)

Rock Vote (2007)

 2007Girlfriends (TV Series) (4 episodes)

Spree to Be Free (2007)
Good Grief (2007)
Losing It (2007)

 2007Lincoln Heights (TV Series) (1 episode)

 2007The Loop (TV Series) (1 episode)

The Stranger (2007)

 2006Big Day (TV Series) (1 episode)

Boobzilla (2006)

 2006My Name Is Earl (TV Series) (1 episode)

 2005The Bernie Mac Show (TV Series) (2 episodes)

 2005Barbershop (TV Series) (1 episode)

 2004Dirty and Dirtier (TV Mini-Series)
 2004ABC/TTV Micro-Mini Series (TV Mini-Series short) (episode “Dirty and Dirtier”)
 2003R. Kelly: The R. in R&B – The Video Collection (Video) (video “Your Body’s Calling”)

Bite-sized blog post: Lacey Schwartz

Lacey Schwartz

LACEY SCHWARTZ studied law at Harvard. She directed the documentary Little White Lie (2014) which was screened as a part of the PBS series Independent Lens.

She has also worked as a producer.

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Little White Lie website
New York Times

FILMOGRAPHY (from imdb):

Independent Lens (TV Series documentary) (1 episode)

Little White Lie (2015)
 2014Little White Lie (Documentary)

Bite-sized blog post: Maya Forbes

Maya Forbes

MAYA FORBES is primarily known for her work as a producer and writer for television shows such as The Larry Sanders Show and  The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story.

Her directorial debut Infinitely Polar Bear (2014) was based on her experiences growing up with her father who suffered from bipolar disorder.

Bite-sized blog post: Ann Marie Bryan

Ann Marie Bryan

ANN MARIE “JADE” BRYAN is the first (and only at the moment) deaf person to graduate from the NYU film production program. She received her BFA and went on to a non-profit DeafVision Filmworks.

She has worked in narrative and documentary and continues to break barriers. Her feature length fiction film If You Could Hear My Own Tune (2011) is about a deaf women looking for love.


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If You Could Hear My Own Tune Website
5th Cinema Interview
Deaf Black Filmmaker Breaks New Ground In Film

FILMOGRAPHY (from imdb):

 2014The Shattered Mind (Short)

Bite-sized blog post: Victoria Mahoney

Victoria Mahoney

VICTORIA MAHONEY began her career as an actress where she first met Ava Duvernay, appearing in a short film directed by Duvernay. Mahoney went on to direct her first feature Yelling to the Sky (2011) which won critical acclaim a the Berlin International Film Festival and SXSW.

Mahoney is slated to direct an episode of Duvernay’s television series Queen Sugar.

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Filmmaker Magazine
Her Website
Indiewire Interview

FILMOGRAPHY (from imdb):

 2016Queen Sugar (TV Series) (1 episode) (pre-production)

Episode #1.5 (2016)
 2014Bleach (TV Movie)

 2013The Conversation (TV Series) (1 episode)

UK Special (2013) … (2013)
 2013Exhale (TV Series) (2013)
 2013Searching (Short)
 2012Wracked (Short)

Bite-sized blog post: Zeinabu Irene Davis

Zeinabu Irene Davis

ZEINABU IRENE DAVIS teaches film at UC San Diego and can boast an eclectic range of films, having made narrative, experimental and documentary.

Her most recent feature is a documentary about the UCLA film movement now known as the LA Rebellion (the group included filmmaker Julie Dash) – Spirits of Rebellion: Black Film at UCLA (2011).

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Spirits of Rebellion website
Black Silence: Films By Zeinabu irene Davis and Charles Lane
Indiana University
UC San Diego

FILMOGRAPHY (from imdb):

 2009Passengers (Video short)
 1995Mother of the River (Short)
 1990Kneegrays in Russia (Video short documentary)
 1989Cycles (Short)
 1989Trumpetistically, Clora Bryant (Video short)
 1986Crocodile Conspiracy (Short)
 1983Re-creating Black Women’s Media Image (Documentary short)

Bite-sized blog post: Neema Barnette

Neema Barnette

NEEMA BARNETTE is the first African-American sticom director and she has directed numerous sitcoms.

Barnette has joined forces with Ava Duvernay on her new show Queen Sugar which brags an all female directing slate. She graduated with a BA from the City College of New York and an MFA from NYU Tisch School o f the Arts.


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AMAZON (Streaming)



Read more about her:


Find her on Twitter
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Exclusive! Neema Barnette Talks “On The 7th Day” Re-Writes, Casting Nicole Beharie + New Film on Boy Reincarnated as Dalai Lama
Pioneer Director, Neema Barnette Joins Ava DuVernay as Producing Director for OWN’s ‘Queen Sugar’

FILMOGRAPHY (from imdb):

Queen Sugar (TV Series) (1 episode) (pre-production)

 2015Being Mary Jane (TV Series) (2 episodes)

Hot Seat (2015)
 2007Super Sweet 16: The Movie (TV Movie)

 2005Miracle’s Boys (TV Mini-Series) (1 episode)

 2003Gilmore Girls (TV Series) (1 episode)

 2000The PJs (TV Series) (1 episode)

 1994-1998Diagnosis Murder (TV Series) (2 episodes)

Shanda’s Song (1994)

 19987th Heaven (TV Series) (1 episode)

Rush to Judgment (1998)
 1997Close to Danger (TV Movie)

 1996Deadly Games (TV Series) (1 episode)

The Trash Man (1996)

 1994-1995The Cosby Mysteries (TV Series) (2 episodes)

The Hit Parade (1995)
Camouflage (1994)
 1994Sin & Redemption (TV Movie)
 1993Scattered Dreams (TV Movie)

 1993The Sinbad Show (TV Series) (1 episode)

 1993Better Off Dead (TV Movie) (as M. Neema Barnette)

 1991The Royal Family (TV Series) (1 episode)

 1990-1991A Different World (TV Series) (7 episodes)

Soldier Boy (1990)
Sweet Charity (1990)

 1990American Playhouse (TV Series) (1 episode)

Zora Is My Name! (1990)

 1990China Beach (TV Series) (1 episode)

A Rumor of Peace (1990)

 1989The Robert Guillaume Show (TV Series) (1 episode)

Together Again (1989)

 1988-1989It’s a Living (TV Series) (3 episodes)

Just Say Yes (1989)
Dot Casts Off (1988)

 1989Hooperman (TV Series) (1 episode)

The Dating Game (1989)

 1987Frank’s Place (TV Series) (2 episodes)

 1986What’s Happening Now! (TV Series) (1 episode)

Shirley’s Little Sister (1986) … (as M. Neema Barnette)

 1984NBC Special Treat (TV Series) (1 episode)

One More Hurdle (1984)

Bite-sized blog post: Darnell Martin

Darnell Martin

DARNELL MARTIN was rejected three times from NYU film school before finally attending to get her MFA. While not getting into NYU she was working on sets and finally was accepted after a personal recommendation from Spike Lee who she worked with as an AC on Do The Right Thing.

Martin is touted as the first African American female to direct a studio film with her first feature I Like It Like That (1994). She has gone on to direct the feature film Cadillac Records (2008) and an adaptation of Zora Neal Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God (2005) as well as numerous television series.

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Where to watch her films:

AMAZON (Streaming)


Read more about her:


New York Times
Entertainment Weekly
Darnell Martin Has Looked At Racial Issues From Both Sides
The Madlab Post

FILMOGRAPHY (from imdb):

Grimm (TV Series) (4 episodes)
Wesen Nacht (2015)
The Bottle Imp (2012)
The Thing with Feathers (2012)
BeeWare (2011)

 2014Unforgettable (TV Series) (1 episode)
Fire and Ice (2014)

 2013Wish You Well
 2013The Vampire Diaries (TV Series) (1 episode)
She’s Come Undone (2013)
 2013Chicago Fire (TV Series) (1 episode)
 2012Firelight (TV Movie)
 2011The Mentalist (TV Series) (1 episode)
The Red Mile (2011)
 2011Detroit 1-8-7 (TV Series) (1 episode)
Stone Cold (2011)
 2011The Lost Valentine (TV Movie)
 2010Happy Town (TV Series) (2 episodes)
Slight of Hand (2010)
 2002-2010Law & Order: Criminal Intent (TV Series) (10 episodes)
Palimpsest (2010)
Bombshell (2007)
The War at Home (2006)
Wrongful Life (2006)
Shibboleth (2005)
Show all 10 episodes
 2003-2010Law & Order (TV Series) (5 episodes)
Crashers (2010)
By Perjury (2009)
Angelgrove (2008)
Absentia (2003)
 2010Gossip Girl (TV Series) (1 episode)
Dr. Estrangeloved (2010)
 2010Trauma (TV Series) (1 episode)
Tunnel Vision (2010)
 2010Mercy (TV Series) (1 episode)
We’re All Adults (2010)
 2008-2009Life on Mars (TV Series) (2 episodes)
 2008Cadillac Records
 2007Masters of Science Fiction (TV Mini-Series) (1 episode)
Little Brother (2007)
 2007Kidnapped (TV Series) (1 episode)
Front Page (2007)
 2006Saved (TV Series) (2 episodes)
Fog (2006)
A Day in the Life (2006)
 2006South Beach (TV Series) (1 episode)
I’m Not Your Baby (2006)
 2005Grey’s Anatomy (TV Series) (1 episode)
 2005Their Eyes Were Watching God (TV Movie)
 2003Soul Food (TV Series) (1 episode)
Shades of Grey (2003)
 2003Dragnet (TV Series) (2 episodes)
Redemption (2003)
 2002Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (TV Series) (1 episode)
Dolls (2002)
 1997ER (TV Series) (2 episodes)
Freak Show (1997)
Ground Zero (1997)
 1997Oz (TV Series) (3 episodes)
Plan B (1997)
Capital P (1997)
The Routine (1997)
 1996Homicide: Life on the Street (TV Series) (1 episode)
Sniper: Part 2 (1996)
 1992Suspect (Short)
 1991Samantha Fox: Just One Night (Video short)