This year we are striving to offer new professional opportunities to Native Americans in entertainment.  The American Indian Committee at the Writers Guild of America, the American Indian Task Force at the Screen Actors Guild and DISNEY/ABC has created an incredible workshop that seeks to not only develop our creativity but advance our careers.



The 2011 NATIVE AMERICAN IMPACT WORKSHOP was a great achievement.  We can’t thank our partners enough for providing great panelists and speakers.  The L.A. Skins Fest oversaw the workshop for aspiring TV writers, directors, and actors.  It took place November 15, 2011 and featured several high profile panelists and speakers including Peter Murrieta, Seith Mann and Ed Harris.

     In association with The L.A. Skins Fest, The SAG Native American Task Force, Native Voices at The Autry National Center, Disney | ABC Television Group’s Talent Development & Diversity was pleased to present this unique learning opportunity for working and aspiring professionals. The program focused on directing, screenwriting, and acting best practices for nurturing a viable career in entertainment. The curriculum for the program included workshops and panel discussions with industry experts.

   This workshop is geared toward individuals with various levels of entertainment industry experience.  Guest speakers were drawn from the professional ranks of the television and film industry and provided insight into their own paths, goals and successes in entertainment.


Frank Bennett Gonzalez currently serves as Director, Talent Development & Diversity, for The Disney | ABC Television Group. He runs the Disney | ABC Writing Program which is one of the leading writers development and staffing opportunities in the entertainment industry.

Gonzalez leads the selection, the development and staffing of program writers for The ABC Television Network, ABC Family, Disney Channel, and DisneyXD. Gonzalez prepares individuals for working in the writer's room and works creatively in developing material for staffing. Through this program, Gonzalez has been able to staff writers on shows such as “Private Practice,” “Happy Endings,” and “Once Upon A Time.”

Gonzalez started as an assistant in current programming in 2000, and hired specifically to work on the then Walt Disney Studios & ABC Entertainment Fellowship Program. Additionally, during his tenure at ABC, in addition to leading and growing the Writing Program, Gonzalez was directly involved in the development of The ABC/DGA Directing Program, The ABC Casting Project, The IAIA (Institute of American Indian Arts) Summer TV & Film Workshop, and created The IMPACT Summit, The Native American IMPACT Workshop, The IMPACT Speaker Series, and The IMPACT Podcast Series.

Gonzalez earned a Master of Fine Arts from the UCLA Producer’s Program and a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies from UC Irvine. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), served as Co-Chair for the 2012 NALIP National Conference, and is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATAS) Diversity Committee.

2011 NATIVE AMERICAN IMPACT - directing track

     This track will feature working directors who can offer insight into their respective career paths.  The focus of this workshop is to offer genuine guidance into directing television and provide individual counsel on advancing one’s directing career.  Most importantly, the workshop is to assist participant/directors to discover new ways to advance their professions.

Bradley Glenn

     Bradley Stewart Glenn has been a motion picture and television literary agent at Kaplan Stahler since 2004, and is the head of the department.  Before moving to Kaplan Stahler, Mr. Glenn was an agent at Metropolitan Talent Agency for eight years.  Prior to his career as a representative, he was a location manager for television and commercials.

Aundre Johnson

     Aundre Johnson is a native of Los Angeles. He studied film production at Chapman University in Orange, California. During this time he directed a short film, Hungry Please Help, which garnered attention not only domestically but internationally as well, providing Aundre the opportunity to further his film studies at the International College de Cannes and Richmond International University in London.
     Upon graduation Aundre worked as a production assistant on Fox Television’s, 24, and MGM produced, Dark Blue, directed by Ron Shelton in which Aundre was given added responsibilities to shoot behind the scenes materials. This experience led Aundre back to Fox Television where he shot behind the scenes videos for the pilots of Terriers, Sons of Anarchy, Raising Hope, The New Girl and Last Man Standing.  Aundre is currently working in the same capacity for the Emmy winning show Modern Family.

Janine Jones

     Janine Jones was named Director, Talent Development & Diversity, 
Disney | ABC Television Group (DATG) in September 2007.
     In her role, Jones oversees DATG’s Directing Program, which is in partnership with the Directors Guild of America.  She is also involved in such programs as DATG’s Writing Fellowship, the Television & Film Summer Workshop at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), and the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) Latino Television Writers Program.  Additional responsibilities include leading outreach efforts to recruit new talent, overseeing all aspects of internal and external communications, and departmental branding efforts.

Seith Mann

      Seith Mann is a Morehouse College alumnus and a graduate of the Graduate Film Program at New York University.  His thesis film, five deep breaths, premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, won Best Narrative Short at the 2003 IFP Los Angeles Film Festival, and the 1st Place King Award and The Carl Lerner Award for Film with Social Significance at the 2003 New York University First Run Festival.  It was subsequently selected to screen at the 2003 Tribeca Film Festival and the Cinefondation Competition at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.  After film school, Seith completed the prestigious ABC/DGA Television Directing Fellowship Program, where he shadowed on television shows including Grey’s Anatomy and Alias.

Chris Mills

     Chris Mills has been working in the film and television industry since his first job out of college working for Mega-Producer, Lynda Obst, in 1996.  After stints working for other production companies (Davis Entertainment), agencies (Metropolitan Talent Agency) and management companies (Imparato Fay Management), Chris joined the literary management and production company, Magnet Management, in 2005.

2011 NATIVE AMERICAN IMPACT - writing track

     This year the Writer’s Guild of America and DISNEY/ABC have provided an incredible group of writers to teach, inspire and speak on their careers, goals and achievements.  This year’s program will focus on writing your best spec and the art of the pitch.  Most importantly, this program will develop each writer/participant in a creative and professional capacity.

Jason Gavin

Jason Gavin’s credits include one-hours “Friday Night Lights”, “Royal Pains”, “Greek” and sitcom “According to Jim”.  He has shared two WGA nominations for Best Television Drama.  Jason(Blackfeet tribe) is Chair of the WGA’s American Indian Writers Committee. After graduating from Harvard University, Jason served as a lobbyist for American Indian colleges in under served tribal communities and also worked for the American Indian Science & Engineering Society.  He has traveled to over 50 Indian reservations in his work.

Nancy Miller

     Nancy Miller is a veteran television series producer and writer. She most recently created the acclaimed TNT series Saving Grace which starred Academy Award winner Holly Hunter. The series is the fourth original series created by Miller.
     Miller also created and served as executive producer on the successful drama series Leaving L.A. and the highly popular series Any Day Now starring Annie Potts. She created and produced the television series The Round Table. Currently, she is executive producing Lifetime's Against The Wall, which premiered this summer. She’s produced many other shows and written for whoever would hire her.

Peter Murrieta

     Two-time Emmy Award winning producer/writer Peter Murrieta is a versatile performer, producer and writer. His roots, grounded in improv and sketch comedy, have established him as an executive producer and show runner for the highly anticipated live-action series for Cartoon Network “Level Up,” and for Disney Channel’s “Wizards of Waverly Place.”  He was also the creator/show runner of the WB's "Greetings from Tucson."
     Murrieta’s primetime television background made the Disney Channel franchise "Wizards of Waverly Place" and the network's telefilm "Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie" (a huge hit. Nominated for a total of three Emmy Awards for both “Wizards of Waverly Place” the series and the telefilm, Murrieta took home the award for Outstanding Children’s Programming for his work on “Wizards of Waverly The Movie” in 2010 and for the series in 2009.

Ligiah Villalobos

Ligiah Villalobos is the Writer and Executive Producer of the independent feature film Under the Same Moon, (La Misma Luna).  The film was an Official Selection at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and became the highest sale for a Spanish-language film in the history of Sundance.  After its release on March 19, 2008 by Fox Searchlight and The Weinstein Company, the film went on to break the 3-day opening weekend record for a Spanish-language film.  Made for under $2M, the film has earned over $23M worldwide.

Born and raised in Mexico, Villalobos moved to the U.S. at the age of 11.  She attended Brigham Young University, majoring in Cultural Geography and Dance.

Sierra Ornelas

Sierra Teller Ornelas grew up in Tucson, Arizona.  A graduate of the University of Arizona, she worked as a writer/producer for Comedy Corner, the longest running weekly college sketch comedy show in the country.  After graduation, she moved to Washington D.C.


THE DISNEY | ABC TELEVISION GROUP Talent Development & Diversity in collaboration with The L.A. Skins Fest presents the 2011 NATIVE AMERICAN IMPACT WORKSHOP for aspiring TV writers, directors, and actors. It takes place November 15, 2011.