EXCLUSIVE: DirecTV is partnering with playwright-screenwriter Neil LaBute (The Shape Of Things) to produce a series of ten short films which will air on the satcaster’s Audience Network. LaBute will write, direct and produce the stand-alone tales, each of them exploring human relationships. The deal comes a month before the premiere of DirecTV’s limited series Full Circle, which was based on LaBute scripts. LaBute plans to be far more involved in the short films than he was in Full Circle, making the new project his first serialized TV effort. “I’m very excited to move forward on this new project, and there is not a better home than DirecTV for an ambitious series like this,” he said. “Although I am incredibly proud of my scripts for Full Circle, I was disappointed I was not available to be a part of the production. That fact drove home for me how important it is, from an artistic standpoint, to roll up my sleeves and immerse myself in all aspects of the creative process on television.” Chris Long, DirecTV’s SVP Original Content and Production, stressed that LaBute will be given full creative control in making the short films. “We are proud that Neil has chosen DirecTV as the first place to write, produce and direct his own material,” he said. “The films will be produced with a true auteur model; we’re striving for the least possible distance between the artist’s vision and the final product.” DirecTV and ICM Partners-repped LaBute are aiming at a quick turnaround, with production set to begin in September and the films slated to begin airing in the late fall.