NSI Diverse TV Director Apply

Application deadline

Applications are closed.

Our most recent course information is listed below for reference only. Please note this information is subject to change.


Call Elise Swerhone on (204) 956-7800 or (800) 952-9307 or email diversetvdirector@nsi-canada.ca

Application fee

$100 non-refundable fee per application. Payment is processed through PayPal.


$1,500 non-refundable fee per selected participant. Due one week after acceptance into the course.


Call for applications: Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Close of applications: Monday, March 14, 2016
Announcement of four selected directors: early April 2016
Phase 1 – six-day boot camp: May 2016, exact days to be confirmed
Phase 2 – four-week director shadowing: to be confirmed depending on show shooting schedule.

What does NSI Diverse TV Director, in association with NSI, offer?

NSI Diverse TV Director is an advanced two-phase diversity training course for up to four diverse directors who are female and/or Indigenous (male or female) and/or a visible minority (male or female) and/or a person with a disability (male or female).

The course is intended for directors ready to make the leap to TV series direction with development training and job shadowing.

The course is designed specifically for directing scripted television (drama or comedy) series. Applicants must have short film and/or feature film and/or non-series television directing experience and a desire to direct for the fast-paced, market driven world of series television.

What is the course format?

NSI Diverse TV Director, in association with NSI, is comprised of two phases.

Phase 1: an intensive six-day training session in Toronto in mid-late May 2016.

Topics include:

  • Hearing firsthand from series directors about making the move to TV series direction and how they did it
  • Getting an agent
  • Intense sessions with showrunners, producers and line producers about what they look for in a director and what they expect once they get the job
  • Politics of series direction
  • Preparing a script for shooting
  • Blocking and shooting a variety of scripted scenes

At the end of phase 1 course faculty will decide which directors will advance to phase 2 – shadowing a director on a series (mandatory attendance).

The decision will be based on:

  • Readiness of the director to handle the high-energy, high-stress position of a television series director
  • Commitment to the craft of TV series direction

Phase 2: participants will be placed on a series to director shadow for four weeks. Exact phase 2 dates to be determined in consultation with the series broadcasters, pending their shooting schedule.

What do I have to commit to the course?

One week, full time at the boot camp in Toronto in May 2016 and four weeks director job shadowing (if selected to phase 2), time to be confirmed.

Who can apply?

In order to be eligible applicants must:

  • Be an Indigenous person who is a North American Indian or a member of a First Nation, Métis or Inuit. North American Indians or members of a First Nation include status, treaty or registered Indians, as well as non-status and non-registered Indians;


  • Be a visible minority person (other than an Indigenous person as described above) who is non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour, regardless of birthplace;


  • Be female;


  • Be a person with a disability(s). Persons with disabilities, as defined under the Employment Equity Act, are persons who have a long term or recurring physical, mental, sensory, psychiatric or learning impairment and who:
    (a) consider themselves to be disadvantaged in employment by reason of that impairment, or
    (b) believe that an employer or potential employer is likely to consider them to be disadvantaged in employment by reason of that impairment and includes persons whose functional limitations owing to their impairment have been accommodated in their current job or workplace.

All applicants must:

  • Have a minimum of five years’ experience directing short or feature dramatic films or dramatic, non-series television
  • Demonstrate you are already a strong director
  • Not be currently enrolled in any full-time school or university program
  • Not be a participant in any other training course that would conflict with your ability to commit to the NSI Diverse TV Director course
  • Be a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant and be over the age of 18

How do I apply?

Only complete applications will be considered. This means you must fill out all required sections of the application form and must include all the documents listed below as one document (PDF or Word doc).

Your application will be disqualified if any of the sections are incomplete or missing. A checklist has been provided for your use on the application form.

  • Director reel (Vimeo or other online link with password, if appropriate)
  • Two current samples of directing work
  • Resume
  • Letter convincing us why you are ready to transition to TV series direction
  • Two current, objective reference letters (not a parent or other relative) from professionals within the film and television industry
  • IMDb.com link
  • $100 non-refundable entry fee

How are participants selected?

All applications will be assessed for eligibility and completeness. Incomplete applications will be rejected.

The NSI Diverse TV Director manager and faculty will read each application and create a shortlist.

The shortlist will be distributed to a jury of industry representatives with senior level experience in the television industry.

The jury will select up to four directors to participate in the course. They will be selected based on their reel, samples of work, experience and commitment to move into TV series direction.

When will I know if I’ve been selected?

Shortlisted applicants will be notified via email. Final selection of directors will be complete in April 2016.

Please note, there is a very tight turnaround between selection and training boot camp. Please ensure you are available for the training dates (to be confirmed very soon).

Tuition payment will be required one week following notification of acceptance into the course.

If you are not selected, you will be notified by email. We will do our best to notify everyone by April 2016.

Who is the NSI Diverse TV Director program manager?

Elise Swerhone

As manager of programs and development, Elise is co-manager of the NSI IndigiDocs course.

She is an award-winning director. Her extensive work includes the feature documentaries TuTu Much and Ballet High as well as several documentaries for CBC’s The Nature of Things.

She has made over 30 documentaries which have been shown around the world including work for the NFB, Global TV, CBC, HGTV, Vision, National Geographic and Discovery US.

Her dramatic work includes Miss Manitoba, Now & Then, The Mayor of Odessa, episodes of Adventures of Shirley Holmes and the MOW My Mother’s Ghost. Elise is also an alumna of NSI DramaLab.

What financial assistance will I receive?

Phase 1 participants living outside Toronto will have their airfare and accommodation covered by the course while they are in Toronto for the six-day training session.

Students are responsible for covering the costs of food and ground transportation. NSI does not cover these costs.

Phase 2 participants receive one return air ticket to the series location and accommodation during the shadowing if the series is being shot outside the student’s home town. Students are responsible for covering the costs of food and ground transportation. NSI does not cover these costs.

What is the relationship between the National Screen Institute and the successful applicant?

The relationship between the applicant and NSI shall not be deemed to constitute a partnership or joint venture. The applicant shall not have the right to incur any debts nor to make any commitment of or on behalf of NSI.

Can I submit my application by fax or email?

No. All applications must be received using the online form.

I have more questions. Who do I contact?

Email your question to diversetvdirector@nsi-canada.ca or call us at (800) 952-9307.