Mentoring Programs

American Federation of Television & Radio Artists Los Angeles/Local Broadcast Mentoring Program

For undergrad and graduate students interested in broadcasting careers

Duration: Variable

Highlights: Features taped critiques, studio visits, seminars and shadowing days; journalism students work with AFTRA pro-fessionals in the broadcast field

Who is eligible: Anyone enrolled in a two- or four-year, or graduate program in journalism

How to apply: Contact Jean Frost (323) 634-8181 or for details

AFTRA Performer Mentoring Program

For undergrad and graduate students interested in acting careers

How it works: The program, which commences this fall, is planned to be an annual program throughout the school year in which AFTRA working professionals guide students in the business of entertainment

Who is eligible: Anyone enrolled in a two-or four-year, or graduate program in acting

How to apply: Contact Jean Frost (323) 634-8181 or for details

Comedy Central Learning Groups Mentoring Program New York

For current employees of Comedy Central who wish to develop their careers

Duration: A minimum of two hours per month for seven months

Highlights: Mentees attend workshop-like sessions for seven months with executives who share advice on networking and moving up the entertainment ladder. Various topics will be taken up each month.

Who is eligible: Comedy Central employees who have worked a minimum of 12 months.

How to apply: Prospective mentors and mentees should contact Comedy Central human resources and fill out an application.

Fox Star Mentor Program

For eight years, Fox has partnered with Los Angeles’ Susan Miller Dorsey High School to help bridge the gap from school to career.

How it works: The workplace mentoring segment of the program comprises workshops, job shadowing, summer internships and one-on-one mentoring by Fox employees at the Fox lot. The cam-

pus-based mentoring segment is part of an accredited media class where Fox and other industry professionals hold interactive sessions on their craft in filmmaking.

Duration: Mentoring programs run through the school year, and paid eight-week summer internships at Fox are available through the summer.

Highlights: Three educational college scholarships are awarded every year to student mentees participating in the program’s essay contest.

Who is eligible: Students with a minimum of a 2.0 GPA can contact their career adviser at Dorsey High.

How to become a mentor: Contact Deborah Bryant at

Independent Feature Project/Los Angeles Project; Involve; IFP East

Practical training, mentoring and job placement program with an emphasis on diversity

How it works: In L.A., the program pairs 40 young men and women with mentors representing a broad spectrum of film-making, while in New York, project pairs 20 emerging filmmakers with mentors. Includes four fellowships each year for more experienced paid film professionals

Duration: The program follows two separate cycles, fall and spring, that run for four months in Los Angeles, and five months in New York

Highlights: IFP/Los Angeles offers eight free in-depth master classes covering various aspects of feature filmmaking. IFP/New York fellows receive a stipend of $10,000 for the duration of their involvement.

Who is eligible: Program targets people at the beginning of their careers and those who can help achieve mission of diversify-ing industry. Applicants for the fellowship must have at least three years of experience in one area of filmmaking.

How to apply: For IFP/Los Angeles, contact Pamela Tom at (310) 432-1280 or download an application from; for IFP/New York, contact Milton Tabbot at (212) 465-8200 or

Deadline: Oct. 30 for spring cycle in Los Angeles; Nov. 29 for January cycle in New York

Los Angeles Mentoring Partnership

Provides advocacy recruitment and training for mentoring programs and mentoring initiatives

How it works: Utilizing PSAs, a hotline and recruitment events, prospective mentors and mentees are matched with mentoring programs in L.A. Org helped to develop the Fox/Grammy Music Mentoring Program that works with music students at the Hamilton High School Academy of Music.

Highlights: Org is the local organizer of National Mentoring Month (January), during which the Los Angeles Lakers basket-ball and Kings hockey teams donate tickets to mentor/mentee pairs. The premiere of “The Emperor’s Club” benefited the pro-gram.

Contact: Call the Los Angeles Mentoring Clearinghouse at (323) 634-4151 to find out about current mentor/mentee programs. To learn more about the Fox/Grammy Music Mentoring program, contact (310) 392-3777.

Deadline: Year-round referral program

NAMIC, National Assn. of Minorities in Communication/L. Patrick Mellon Mentorship Program

Nine-year-old program educates, advocates and empowers diversity in the cable TV industry.

How it works: With an emphasis on cross-cultural mentoring, org pairs individuals for one-on-one career counseling sessions. The majority of mentees are professionals in the industry.

Duration: Nine-month program; applications accepted year-round

Who is eligible: All NAMIC members are eligible to apply. Mentors are not necessarily NAMIC members.

How to apply: Contact Marsha Wesley-Coleman at (714) 371-4077 or visit

Step Up Women’s Network Professional Mentorship Program

Matches prospective mentees with professionals in the same field

How it works: Members in good standing who have recruited 15 members or held a position as community leader/coordinator and who have participated in four community service events are eligible mentees.

Highlights: Mentors are fellow members and experienced industry leaders. This year’s mentors include Nina Sadowsky, Su-san Levin and Adrienne Becker

Duration: Six months, April to October 2003, then October to April 2004

Who is eligible: Open to members

Deadline: September 2003

How to apply: Contact Kelly Roebuck ( for Los Angeles, Sarah Winkler ( for New York

Training Programs

ABC Talent Development Programs

ABC has several programs that seek to nurture talent in a variety of areas, including writing, directing, production and business management.

How to apply: For information about the directing fellowship, call (818) 560-4000. For information on all other training pro-grams, including eligibility, deadlines and program descriptions, call (818)560-6894 or visit or write to Carmen Smith, VP, talent development programs, ABC TV Group, 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521-4389.

Compensation: Fellows and associates are paid positions.

American Cinema Editors Internship Program

Matches interns with editors working in episodic and longform TV, and feature film

How it works: Each intern spends one week with three editors — one episodic, one longform TV and one feature — and visits post-production facilities. There is no charge for the program. Most alums of the internship program are admitted into the Editors Guild and have found employment.

Who is eligible: Individuals with a BA and experience on nonlinear digital editing equipment; current apprentice or assistant film editors should not apply. Two to three trainees are accepted each year.

Deadline: Nov. 1

How to apply: Application information is available on its Web site ( or write to: Internship Committee, American Cinema Editors, 100 Universal City Plaza, Bldg. 2352B, Room 202, Universal City, CA 91608

Assistant Directors Training Program

Sponsored by the Directors Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers, the program, also known as the Producer Training Plan, trains second assistant directors.

How it works: With 400 days of job training, the program provides an inside look at the organization and logistics of motion picture and TV production. Upon completion, trainees’ names are placed in the Southern California Area Qualification List, making them eligible for employment as second assistant directors.

Compensation: Trainee pay scale begins at $540 a week.

How to apply: Applications can be requested by email

(, downloaded from or by mail at Directors Guild Producer Training Plan, 14724 Ventura Blvd. Suite 775, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403.

Broadcast Training Program/MIBTP

Provides training opportunities to minority college graduates in radio/TV news reporting and news management, and TV/film production

How it works: Selected applicants are placed in radio and television stations across the country as trainees. Training includes the development of writing, editing, producing and reporting skills. Org helps find graduates permanent employment within the broadcast industry (although most are hired at the station that trains them).

Highlights: Prominent supporters include Sam Donaldson, George Lucas, Jane Pauley, Dan Rather, Diane Sawyer, Montel Williams, the ABC Foundation and Paramount Studios.

Duration: Program lasts for six to nine months.

Compensation: For TV/radio reporter trainees, stations will pay minimum wage to $6.50 an hour for duration; news manage-ment trainees’ salary arrangements vary for each station.

How to apply: Applications are being accepted through May and may be downloaded at the Web site For requirements, visit Web site or write to the Minorities in Broadcasting Training Program, P.O. Box 67132, Century City, CA 90067.

Inner-City Filmmakers Los Angeles

Trains inner-city youth in all aspects of filmmaking and helps them to find industry jobs when they graduate from the eight-week summer program

How it works: Youths attend a free summer workshop taught by industry professionals and instructors from acclaimed institu-tions such as USC, UCLA and the American Film Institute. Upon graduation, they are eligible to participate in the winter pro-gram.

Duration: The summer program consists of 25 hours per week of classroom time for eight weeks. In addition, students pro-duce their own shorts outside the classroom. The winter program is a year-round offering of more advanced classes and speakers open to all ICF alumni.

Highlights: Participants have the opportunity to meet and work with leading industry professionals. 2002 ICF participants were hosted by CAA at Sundance.

Who is eligible: Low-income inner-city youth with motivation to succeed in the entertainment industry

How to apply: Applicants are generally referred by high school teachers and career counselors. Applications will be available in February for next summer’s program at They must be completed by the student, their family and teacher, and are due by the third week in April for consideration for the summer program.

MTV Networks Huddle

MTV Networks offices nationwide

How it works: Mentors (at the manager level or above) establish relationships with employees who wish to advance their ca-reers. They meet one on one for approximately nine months and often keep up communication beyond that time and occasionally after the mentees have left the company.

Highlights: This year the program had 210 participants including mentors and mentees.

Who is eligible: Employees of MTV Networks who have been with the company at least 90 days

Duration: From the beginning of the second quarter until the end of the year

How to apply: Prospective mentees should contact their local human resources department and complete an application during the first quarter of the year. Coordinators will attempt to accommodate applicants after the first quarter as well. For information on employment with MTV Networks, go to

National Symphony Orchestra, National Conducting Institute

Gives academic or part-time orchestra conductors the opportunity to learn how to conduct a professional orchestra

How it works: Selected conductors attend a program at the Kennedy Center in Washington that includes training in leadership skills and observation of and mentoring by National Orchestra conductor Maestro Leonard Slatkin.

Duration: Three weeks of full-time training that take place over the months of April, May and June

Highlights: In the third week of the program, participants rehearse and conduct the National Symphony Orchestra in a special concert

Who is eligible: Highly talented and professional conductors who are performing at an elevated level but have not had the op-portunity to conduct a major orchestra. Preference is given to those who have completed training in the United States. Three to four participants and up to six auditors are chosen yearly.

Fees: Participants pay a modest tuition.

How to apply: Contact the National Conducting Institute by mail at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C., 20566-0001 or call (202) 416-8112

NBC Entertainment Associate Program

Exposes participants to a variety of departments within the NBC entertainment division

How it works: Associates in the 18-month to two-year program get access to network and studio executives, attend table readings, run-throughs, tapings, rough-cut screenings, notes meetings, and pitches. They analyze and/or develop scripts and provide creative input.

Who is eligible: College graduates with an interest in the entertainment industry who have a strong drive, good writing skills and show initiative

How to apply: Applications are accepted when vacancies exist; visit for application and vacancy information

New York DGA Assistant Director Training Program

A two-year program that provides opportunities for a limited number of individuals to become assistant directors in film, tele-vision and commercials

How it works: The program provides 350 days of on-the-job training, combined with seminars and special assignments. Trainees work on a variety of productions shot primarily in the New York area. After completion, trainees are eligible to join the DGA as second assistant directors.

Compensation: Weekly scale begins at $540 and tops out at $663. Trainees are entitled to overtime pay.

Who is eligible: Applicants must be at least 21. On average, the program receives 250-300 applications a year for six spots.

How to apply: Applications can be downloaded from the Web site ( or requested through regular mail by calling (212) 397-0930.

Streetlights Production Assistant Program

Designed to help minorities establish careers in the entertainment industry

How it works: Program includes 240 hours of classroom work and paid on-the-job training that prepares graduates for entry-level jobs as production assistants in film, TV and commercials. Program provides job placement and includes financial assis-tance, career counseling, scholarships and services for career advancement.

Duration: Six weeks of free training; six months guaranteed employment

Who is eligible: Men and women at least 20 years old; must be low-income. Strong interest in film/TV production is a must.

Compensation: Books, materials, parking, lunch and transportation are covered. During on-the-job training, students are paid at a training wage by the productions that employ them.

How to apply: Go to for application information

Warner Bros. Global Trainee Program

Provides broad-based work experience and classroom instruction within a specific discipline and business unit; program com-ponents are: undergraduate, MBA and international

How it works: Global trainees get on-the-job training and classroom instruction on topics such as team building and key issues relating to entertainment businesses. Each trainee is assigned a mentor to help with career guidance.

Duration: Trainees are selected for a one-year entry-level professional trainee opportunity that begins every August.

Who is eligible: Recent graduates with a bachelor’s degree or MBA (or MBA component) in specific disciplines identified, a minimum of 3.0 GPA, well rounded and involvement in extracurricular activities with proven skills through achievement awards.

Compensation: Global trainees receive salary and appropriate benefits package.

How to submit a resume: Resumes are submitted directly to participating university career placement centers for spring on-campus interviews, or via Warner Bros.’ Web site,


Matches high school girls from underprivileged communities in Los Angeles with professional women writers who mentor them on a weekly basis in creative writing, journalism and other styles of writing

How it works: Mentors and mentees meet one on one once a week to develop writing skills and attend monthly full-day crea-tive writing workshops.

Duration: Each season runs from October until June.

Highlights: A series of public readings and the publication of an anthology at the end of the season

Who is eligible: Eighth- to 12th-grade girls in the Central L.A. area

How to apply: Visit to become a mentor, mentee or support volunteer, email or call (323) 363-1287

Youth Mentoring Connection (YMC)

Innovative mentoring programs that match companies such as HBO, Endeavor and Warner Bros. with at-risk youth.

How it works: YMC matches companies with a school or youth center and their employees mentor the youth at their corpo-rate office.

Duration: Most programs last one school year.

Highlights: HBO, Endeavor and Warner Bros. mentees travel to the host company twice per month to meet up with their mentors. Mentors are encouraged to develop personal relationships with the youth through fully facilitated group sessions, one-on-one sessions and optional weekend outings. Check out these programs at

Who is eligible: Youth are invited to participate by the school or center with which they are affiliated.

How to become a member: Youth Mentoring Connection matches companies with a specific school or center and then facili-tates the entire program from recruitment to training to leading workshops and supporting both mentors and mentees. So if you or your company is interested, please contact Youth Mentoring Connection by email or call (323) 525-1049.

— Compiled by Gloria Franke and Breanne Grady

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  1. wwoodyhays says:

    I am very interested in finding a Mentor to consult with about a new television network that I have a business plan; a network theme and concept; and can acquire 168 hours of programming per week that would be quality and for general audiences.
    can you help me find such a Mentor?

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