Cecilia Aldarondo, Nicole Mejia, and Yulene Olaizola are the recipients of the inaugural Adelante Directors Fellowship, which is sponsored by The Latinx House, Sundance Institute, Netflix, GloNation, and Shondaland.
The program supports authentic and inclusive storytelling from emerging Latina directors. Each of them will receive a grant, the opportunity to shadow a director on an episode of a TV series, and other networking opportunities.
“As new research highlights the lack of diversity in media, this program seeks to mend the gap and create a more sustainable pipeline of talented directors and diverse voices,” Olga Segura, The Latinx House co-founder, said in a statement.
The Adelante Directors Fellowship aims to “help to create more behind-the-camera opportunities for underrepresented voices [to] create more honest, inclusive, and authentic narratives” and “empower underrepresented creatives to control their own stories and create storylines that touch on the diversity of the Latinx experience.”
Aldarondo is a Puerto Rican director and producer whose work includes the documentaries Memories of a Penitent Heart and Landfall. She was nominated for a Film Independent Spirit Award for the latter. Currently, Aldarondo is directing her third feature for HBO.
Mejia is a Honduran director, writer, and producer. Her work includes the films A Place in the Field and My Life Stopped at 15, which are based on her personal story of healing from sexual abuse. Mejia was awarded the Audi Fellowship for Women from her alma mater, The American Film Institute.
Olaizola is a Mexican director who has made five feature films, including her latest, the thriller Tragic Jungle, which was released on Netflix last year. Over the years, she has screened her films at prestigious festivals in Cannes, Venice, Toronto, and San Sebastian.
“We hope that through innovative mentorship and professional support, The Adelante Fellowship can help amplify these extraordinary directors and their pursuit to bring more Latinx experiences to the screen,” Bela Bajaria, Head of Global TV at Netflix, said in a statement.