Wells bows intern course for helmers

Women, minorities to learn by shadowing pros

John Wells is looking for a few good women and minority directors.

Wells’ production company has launched an internship program to train a diverse roster of candidates in television directing. Interns will shadow directors for six episodes on one of Wells’ series: “ER,” “Third Watch” or “The West Wing.”

“I have always believed it is important for television to not only reflect our diverse society on screen, but also behind the scenes,” Wells said. “This internship program will enable us to move quickly toward that goal while also developing a new pool of talented television directors.”

Interns selected for the first class include Jessica Yu, who won the 1997 Academy Award for best documentary short subject for “Breathing Lessons: The Life and Works of Mark O’Brien”; Julie Hebert, who directed the play “Fool for Love” at Circle Rep in New York, earning an NAACP Image Award; and Scott Sanders, who wrote and directed the USA Films feature “Thick as Thieves,” starring Alec Baldwin and Andre Braugher.

Interns will be paid a stipend. Upon the conclusion of their stints, the participants will get a chance to direct one of the three shows.

In addition to the three television series, John Wells Prods. is developing a remake of the 1997 German film “Bandits,” adapting the Janet Fitch novel “White Oleander” and producing “Bob the Gambler,” written and to be directed by Neil Jordan.

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