Learn about NBC’s talent development initiatives from some of the writers and directors that have experienced them first-hand. Then take a deeper dive into the complexities of Filipino identity within the Asian American monolith in media.
Presented by NBCUniversal
Grass Moss (Moderator)
Grace Moss is the Director of Talent Development & Inclusion for NBC Entertainment. In this role, she oversees multiple programs that focus on discovering, cultivating and showcasing talented writers and directors of diverse backgrounds, with the objective of getting them staffed on NBC’s scripted programs. Grace also manages nationwide outreach efforts and develops relationships with community partners, such as the National Hispanic Media Coalition, Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment and East West Players.
Anthony Ocampo is Associate Professor of Sociology at Cal Poly Pomona and a Ford Foundation Fellow. He is the author of The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino Americans Break the Rules of Race. Dr. Ocampo’s research and commentaries on race and immigration have been featured on NPR Morning Edition, NPR Codeswitch, Public Radio International, The New York Times, NBC, BBC, and The San Francisco Chronicle. He is working with NYU Press on his second book Brown and Gay in LA, which chronicles the coming of age of Latino and Filipino American queer men in Los Angeles.
Heather Jack is an independent filmmaker focused on comedy. Selected as part of NBC’s Female Forward initiative, Heather recently directed an upcoming episode of the show SUPERSTORE. Her short film, LET’S NOT PANIC, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, and continued its run at numerous festivals before debuting online as a Vimeo Staff Pick and Short of the Week, in addition to screening on United Airlines.
Krystal Banzon is a queer, first-generation Filipina American who was raised in the Breaking Bad deserts of California. Born out of a marriage of convenience between a gambler-dreamer father who wanted a family and practical nurse mother who wanted a green card, it makes sense that Krystal writes about families, relationships, desire, and ambition. Krystal is an alumni of the CBS Writers Mentoring Program and recently wrapped season one of Amy Poehler’s NBC comedy, I FEEL BAD.
Tess Paras is an actress who has had notable TV credits on shows like JUST ADD MAGIC, CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND, TAKE MY WIFE, GIRL MEETS WORLD, and more. As a filmmaker, Tess wrote and directed THE PATIENTS, a short film inspired by events in her own life, that will make its world premiere at the 2019 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. In the comedy space, Tess serves as a performer, director, writer, and teacher. She was recently the Assistant Director for the 2019 CBS Diversity Showcase, after writing and performing in the program in 2014.