Shari Lynette Carpenter, Miko Lim and Oscar Rene Lozoya have been selected to participate in the 2023-2025 Paramount Directors Initiative, Paramount Global announced on Thursday.
The two-year program, which is now in its 19th year, matches these directors with CBS Television Network, CBS Studios, Paramount Television Studios and Paramount Global drama and comedy series directors. The primary focus of the program is to provide access and opportunities to directors, with a focus on those from underrepresented groups.
Throughout the program, the directors will receive invaluable exposure to the Paramount Global network episodic directing process. In addition to getting a chance to observe the in-depth, technical aspects of the process, participants develop relationships with showrunners, producers, network executives and other significant decision makers.
The program also now guarantees participants an episode of television to direct on the CBS Television Network.
“At Paramount, we believe that diversity and inclusion are key to creating compelling and meaningful content for our audiences, and this program is an important step in achieving that goal,” said Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i, executive vice president of entertainment diversity and inclusion at Paramount. “We are thrilled to announce our initiative’s newest class of talented directors who are looking to break into network television. We are also proud to have Yasmin Dunn, vice president of diversity and inclusion at Paramount, spearheading this project as we are committed to creating a pipeline of inclusive talent for our industry.”
Carpenter is an award-winning writer and director who began her career with a fan letter she wrote to Spike Lee. During her decade and a half tenure as script supervisor for Lee, and many other notable directors, Carpenter was building her own writing and directing portfolio, making a series of shorts and indie features. In 2021, Ava DuVernay invited Carpenter to direct her first episode of television on the critically acclaimed series Queen Sugar. Carpenter has also directed three made-for-television movies, Three’s Complicated for TVOne, as well as Single Black Female and Mary J. Blige’s Strength of a Woman for Lifetime. An NYU graduate, Carpenter is a member of the DGA Women’s Steering Committee Squad and a The Writer’s Lab finalist. She is a Rockefeller grant nominee, a Gordon Parks Award nominee and a Stowe Story Lab Board member and alumna.
Lim is an award-winning director and photographer based in Los Angeles with clients such as Nike, Coca-Cola, Meta and Citi Group, which have all tapped Lim’s unique talent to direct branded content and commercial films. In 2022, his short documentary Ocean Mother won him a Best Director Clio, his Adidas spot What’s One More was shortlisted at Cannes, and he was also named Advertising Sport Photographer of the Year by the Associated Press. Lim has directed a wide range of celebrity talent, athletes and musicians, like Jennifer Lopez, Jay-Z, Michael Jordan and Patrick Mahomes. His films have accumulated well over 1 billion views on YouTube, and he has the most-viewed Adidas commercial of all time. Additionally, Lim is a vocal advocate for environmental justice, most recently directing pro-bono work for the Surfrider Foundation.
Lozoya is a director based out of Los Angeles who began his career as an editor/photojournalist for the local Bakersfield news station KBAK, a Fox News (national) correspondent, as well as a broadcast/commercial director for the National Basketball Association. Oscar’s passion for narrative storytelling led him to a position with Wolf Films as a film editor. It was there he developed the skills in editing that would lead to a 10-year career in TV post-production. Apart from Wolf Films, he has worked on many other shows with companies such as ABC, Bad Robot, Warner Bros. and CBS. In 2022, Oscar was given an opportunity to direct an episode of Law & Order: SVU.
Past participants of the Paramount Directors Initiative include Zetna Fuentes (Madam Secretary, Zoo, Jane the Virgin), Laura Belsey (NCIS: New Orleans, Bull, Criminal Minds), Lily Mariye (Criminal Minds, NCIS: Los Angeles MacGyver) Kevin Berlandi (Bull, Criminal Minds), Joy T. Lane (Fire Country) and Lionel Coleman (NCIS: New Orleans), among others.