(June 29, 2000 – Burbank, CA) – John Wells Productions has initiated an internship program for aspiring minority and female television directors. For six episodes, an intern will shadow the director of one of the JWP shows: “Third Watch,” “The West Wing” or “ER.” Upon successful completion of the internship, the intern will have the opportunity to direct one of the episodes of a JWP series. The intern will also be provided with a stipend for the duration of the internship. “I have always believed it is important for television to not only reflect our diverse society on screen, but also behind-the-scenes. This internship program will enable us to move quickly towards that goal while also developing a new pool of talented television directors,” said John Wells. The first class of interns includes: Jessica Yu, a filmmaker and writer who won the 1997 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject for “Breathing Lessons: The Life and Works of Mark O’Brien.” Julie Hebert, a veteran writer and theater director, who earned an NAACP Image Award for Directing for the play “Fool for Love” at Circle Rep in NYC. She also directed “A Lie of the Mind” for the Steppenwolf Theatre Company and earned a Pen Drama Award for writing the stage production, “The Knee Desires: The Dirt.” Scott Sanders wrote and directed the feature film “Thick as Thieves,” starring Alec Baldwin and Andre Braugher for USA Films, and is currently working on the feature film “My Search for Warren Harding” for Killer Films. John Wells Productions is a television and film production company. Wells’ television series, produced in association with Warner Bros. Television, include the dramas “Third Watch” and the Peabody Award-winning and Golden Globe Award-nominated “The West Wing,” both of which have been renewed for a second season on NBC. He also serves as an executive producer on the Emmy Award-winning “ER,” which is going into its seventh season as the #1-rated drama series. In films, John Wells Productions has put together an impressive development slate which includes the remakes: “Bob the Gambler” (“Bob le Flambeur,” 1955, directed by Jean-Pierre Melville), a casino heist written by and to be directed by Neil Jordan, targeted for production this year; “Bandits,” a 1997 German film by Katja Von Garnier, about four female prisoners who form a rock band, break out and become an underground sensation as they run for the border; as well as the adaptation of the highly-acclaimed and best-selling novel “White Oleander” by Janet Fitch, the powerful coming-of-age story of a teenage girl as she grows up in a series of foster care homes in Los Angeles; Mary Agnes Donaghue (“Beaches”) is adapting.
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