Universal Filmed Entertainment Group’s recently launched unit, Global Talent Development & Inclusion, has set the first eight directors who will take part in the studio’s new program, “Directors Intensive: Pitch to Premiere.”

The studio, which exclusively sponsors the Sundance Institute FilmTwo initiative and is a sponsoring partner of AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women, will for the first time convene participants from these two programs for a week-long initiative. It is designed to introduce selected filmmakers to executives from Universal Pictures and Focus Features and offer a look inside the studio’s production process from development to distribution.

“With this program we hope to create an opportunity that not only leverages the access these two initiatives provide to our studio’s executives, creative partners and storied lot, but to also establish an inspired and unique network of champions to build upon the directors’ career momentum and development while supporting a new generation of incredibly talented filmmakers,” said Janine Jones-Clark, senior vice president of global talent development and inclusion.

FilmTwo Fellows participating in the Universal initiative include actor Clea DuVall (Veep); playwright Cory Finley, whose debut feature Thoroughbreds was recently acquired by Focus Features; British director Sally El Hosaini (My Brother the Devil, Babylon); and episodic television director Tanya Hamilton (American Crime, Queen Sugar, Greenleaf). Participating AFI DWW directors include: Tribeca Film Fellow Joey Ally; documentary and commercial director Rosie Haber; former music journalist Tannaz Hazemi; and Manjari Makijany, whose short film took a top prize at the Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival.