The Telly Awards Podcast

Episode 3: Directing – Commercial Directors vs Feature Film Directors

In the film and video industry, one of the most coveted roles, and arguably the hardest role to land, would be the role of Director. For years, this position was reserved for the Hollywood elite, well-connected, well-off, and male but in 2020, women represented 16% of directors working on the 100 highest grossing films of the year, and the number is shown to be rising in both film and commercial statistics. As low a number this may be, these numbers can be considered historical by statistical standards, having quadrupled since 2018. Since Alice Guy-Blanche made her mark  with La Fée aux choux (“The Cabbage Fairy”), in 1896, women have been slowly but steadily inching their way into film and video success. Names such as Hannah Lux Davis and Nina Meredith have been a sight for sore eyes used to the John, Martin, Steven, and Rogers that have dominated the end credit rolls for years. For women in film, the rise of female directors in both the commercial world and feature film world sparked our interest in the differences between short form and long form directing. Is one more popular than the other? Are the creative processes different? More so, is one easier to penetrate than the other, especially for women? With these questions in mind, what better way than to ask the rising professionals themselves?

We invited Mexican born, multidisciplinary writer and a 2019 Commercial Director’s Diversity Program Fellow, Sofia Garza-Barba, 2019 and Award-Winning Documentary Director of ‘Circus of Books’, Rachel Mason to compare and contrast their careers as successful short form and long form directors. What is different about their creative process? What experiences do they share as female directors in a male dominated industry? And importantly, are the tides truly shifting in favor of women and more diverse creators in these areas? 

Listen to Episode 3 of The Telly Awards podcast below:


The Telly Awards Podcast – the podcast that brings together two leaders from the video and television community, with similar expertise in different disciplines to share their craft, debate their differences, and find common ground in their forms of storytelling. Hosted by Executive Director of The Telly Awards, Sabrina Dridje, the series explores: What is different? What is common ground? What can we as an audience – and the speakers – discover from this analysis? These are some of the questions we aim to find answers to monthly, on The Telly Awards Podcast. Now available on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Amazon Music and ACast. 
Do you have someone you think should be featured? Do you have an industry area you’d like us to compare and contrast? Get in touch with our Senior Producer, Dina Graham at for the chance to be featured!