Q What is the MTV ENTERTAINMENT STUDIOS’ First Time Directors Initiative (Initiative)?

The Initiative was designed to attract the talents of a diverse group of filmmakers including BIPOC and women filmmakers. Participating filmmakers will have the opportunity to work alongside high-profile executive producers and create original movies that will premiere in our portfolio. We believe our community is enriched when the stories told on film reflect the distinct vision of independent artists from every facet of our multi-cultural community. We are seeking fresh, unique, and exceptional talent behind the camera.

Q What is the current submission period for the MTV Entertainment Studios’ First Time Directors Initiative?

A The current submission window for the First Time Directors Initiative begins 12:00 AM ET on August 2, 2021  through September 1, 2021 at 11:59 PT.

Q How old do I have to be to apply?

A You must be 18 years or older as of September 1, 2021 to apply or be considered for the First Time Directors Initiative.

Q How many participants will be selected to enter the First Time Directors Initiative?

A The class size will depend on the discretion of MTV Entertainment Studios and the composition of candidates available to match to projects.

Q Is the First Time Directors Initiative full-time?

A If selected to direct a project, participants are expected to commit to the project/program in a manner consistent with industry standards, which will require exclusivity during production periods. There may also be meetings and seminars that require attendance as part of the FTD Initiative.

Q Are program participants compensated?

A Participants who are hired as a First Time Director on a project will be compensated and may also receive reimbursement for any travel or lodging required by MTV Entertainment Studios.

Q Who oversees the Initiative?

A MTV Entertainment Studios’ Content Team will oversee the First Time Directors Initiative, in partnership with participating MTV Entertainment Group brand representatives.

Q Is it necessary to have professional directing experience to apply to the First Time Directors Initiative?

A Although professional directing experience is not necessary, a strong directing, production or related creative background is encouraged.

Q If I work for ViacomCBS or one of its brands or employers, am I still eligible to apply?


Yes! ViacomCBS Employees are welcome and encouraged to apply. Please make sure to notify us at firsttimedirectors@viacom.com after submitting your information.

Q If accepted into the MTV Entertainment Studios’ First Time Directors Initiative, when do participants begin?

A Participants begin the First Time Directors Initiative in Fall/Winter 2021, on a rolling basis, as projects move into production.

Q Will I need to relocate to LA or NYC?

A While assignment locations will vary, the Initiative will cover the cost of your travel and necessary lodging per industry standards.

Q How will the selection process work?

AThe selection process comprises two rounds.
During Round 1, program applicants will submit their materials, and Initiative representatives will identify potential program candidates. During Round 2, candidates will interview with a combination of First Time Directors Initiative representatives and/or participating MTV Entertainment Group brand representatives. Upon completion of Round 2, final participants will be chosen.

QAre there other ViacomCBS Initiatives I can submit to?

A Yes, some additional programs are:

Q Can I follow up?

A Please do not telephone or email MTV Entertainment Studios. No phone calls or emails regarding the First Time Directors Initiative application process will be accepted.

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