Seith Mann

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Seith Mann (born 1973)[1] is an American film and television director. He directed the award-winning Five Deep Breaths and has gone on to direct for The Wire, Grey's Anatomy and Fringe.


Mann was inspired to become a director when he saw the Spike Lee film Do the Right Thing.[1] Mann graduated from Morehouse College and later earned an MFA in film at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.[1][2]

Five Deep Breaths[edit]

Mann's thesis at New York University was the short film Five Deep Breaths.[2] It was awarded the Spike Lee fellowship while in development in 2002.[3] The film is set an all-black college. After a physical assault upon a young woman by her boyfriend, another man, Mark, and his friends are moved to take revenge.[2][4] Mann has commented that he likes morally ambiguous situations.[2] The short starred Jamie Hector, Anslem Richardson, Marcuis Harris, Harvey Gardner Moore, Curtiss Cook, and Ka'ramuu Kush. The score was composed by jazz musician Jason Moran.[2]

The film premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.[1][2] It won first place in the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation award (for Best Short Film[2]), and The Carl Lerner Award for Film with Social Significance at the 2003 New York University First Run Festival. It was selected to screen at the 2003 Tribeca Film Festival and one of four American shorts to screen at the Cinefondation Competition at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.[1][2] It won a Gold Plaque for Narrative Short Film at the 2003 Chicago International Film Festival.[5] It also won the Best Narrative Short Film award at the 2003 Los Angeles IFP/West Film Festival.[6]

Film maker magazine named Mann one of their 25 new faces of independent film in 2003.[2] They praised his direction of Five Short Breaths as "skillful".[2] The IFP gave Mann the Gordon Parks Awards for Emerging African-American Filmmakers following the film's release.[7]


Television Producer Robert F. Colesberry saw Five Deep Breaths and introduced the other producers of HBO drama The Wire to it.[1] The producers approached Mann and asked him to shadow their directors during production of the third season in 2004.[1] Show runner David Simon recalls that Colesberry wanted Mann to direct a third season episode but Colesberry's untimely death left the other producers reeling and they felt unable to risk a directorial debut in their first season without him.[8] Simon recalls Mann shadowing director Ernest R. Dickerson and showing a "careful interest in the process."[8]

In 2006, Mann joined the directing crew of The Wire's fourth season.[9] Simon felt obligated to give Mann a chance after his dedication to shadowing Dickerson.[8] Mann made his television directing debut with the third episode of the season, "Home Rooms".[10][11] Simon was pleased with the episode and described it as "beautifully covered."[8]

Mann also was an ABC DGA Fellow class of 2005, a fellowship aimed at encouraging "diversity of race, gender and spirit in the filmmaking community."[12] In 2007 Mann was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the category Outstanding Directing in a Dramatic Series for his work on episode "Home Rooms".[1][13] Mann has commented that he was "excited" to receive the nomination and grateful to the NAACP for their work.[1]

After The Wire, Mann worked on Grey's Anatomy directing two episodes in 2006, "The Name of the Game" and "Don't Stand So Close to Me". In 2007, Mann was nominated for a DGA Award in the category Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series for his work on the "The Name of the Game".[1][14][15] Mann has also directed episodes of Heroes, Cold Case, Lincoln Heights, Jericho, Entourage, Friday Night Lights, Men in Trees, Shark, Fringe and The Walking Dead.

Future projects[edit]

Mann was announced as the director of the upcoming Harriet Tubman biopic film Harriet.[16][17][18] Mann is working on a feature film script entitled Come Sunday.[1] The script won two development awards (the Emerging Narrative Screenwriting Award and the Gordon Parks Award for Screenwriting) from the IFP in 2004.[19]



Year Show Episode Notes
2015 The Walking Dead "Consumed" Season 5, episode 6
2014 Homeland "There's Something Else Going On"
2013 Dexter "Get Geller" Season 6, episode 9
2010 Fringe "Brown Betty" Season 2, episode 20
2009; 2014 Californication "Dogtown" and "Getting the Poison Out" Season 3, episode 10 and Season 7, episode 5
2009 Heroes "Cold Wars" Season 3, episode 17
2008 Brotherhood "The Course of True Love Never Did Run Smooth" Season 3, episode 4
Crash "Panic" Season 1, episode 3
Everybody Hates Chris "Everybody Hates the English Teacher" Season 4, Episode 4
Sons of Anarchy "AK-51" Season 1, episode 5
Entourage "Redomption" Season 5, episode 6
"Fire Sale" Season 5, episode 4
The Riches "Slums of Bayou Hills" Season 2, episode 4
Jericho "Patriots and Tyrants" Season 2, episode 7
The Wire "The Dickensian Aspect" Season 5, episode 6
2007 Shark "Student Body" Season 2, episode 5
Men in Trees "Chemical Reactions" Season 2, episode 2
Friday Night Lights "Are You Ready for Friday Night?" Season 2, episode 3
Entourage "The Dream Team" Season 4, episode 5
Jericho "One If by Land" Season 1, episode 20
Lincoln Heights "House Arrest" Season 1, episode 12
Cold Case "Blackout" Season 4, episode 13
2006 Grey's Anatomy "Don't Stand So Close to Me" Season 3, episode 10
"The Name of the Game" Season 2, episode 22
The Wire "Home Rooms"[10][11] Season 4, episode 3
2003 Five Deep Breaths
2001 Apology


  • All We Know of Heaven (2004)
  • Where to Find God on Sunday (2000)
  • Kiss It Up to God (2000)


  • Five Deep Breaths (2003)
  • Apology (2001)

Assistant Director[edit]

  • The Living Silence (2003)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k George Alexander (2007-03-14). "Mann on the Move". Black Enterprise. Retrieved 2007-11-05. [dead link]"March 14, 2007...At 33, the D.C. native is one of the youngest African Americans directing television dramas" Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Black_Enterprise" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "25 NEW FACES OF INDIE FILM 2003". Film Maker Magazine. 2003. Retrieved 2007-11-05. 
  3. ^ "American Independent Competition: Short Films". Florida Film Festival. 2003. Archived from the original on 2007-10-20. Retrieved 2007-11-05. 
  4. ^ "See the Short That Got Filmmaker Seith Mann a Job on 'The Wire'". Vulture Picture Palace. 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-10. 
  5. ^ "39th Chicago International Film Festival Winners". Chicago International Film Festival. 2003. Retrieved 2007-11-05. 
  6. ^ "NINTH ANNUAL IFP LOS ANGELES FILM FESTIVAL". Movie City News. 2003. Archived from the original on November 21, 2008. Retrieved 2007-11-05. 
  7. ^ "Rosie Perez Hosts IFP Market Awards". IFP. 2003. Archived from the original on September 2, 2009. Retrieved 2007-11-05. 
  8. ^ a b c d Jim King (2003). "3rd Exclusive David Simon interview". The Wire at AOL. Retrieved 2007-11-05.  Page 5
  9. ^ "The Wire season 4 crew". HBO. 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
  10. ^ a b Seith Mann (director); Richard Price (story and teleplay), Ed Burns (story) (2004-09-24). "Home Rooms". The Wire. Season 4. Episode 03. HBO. 
  11. ^ a b "Episode guide - episode 40 Home Rooms". HBO. 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-25. 
  13. ^ "2007 Image Award nominees and winners". Hollywood Reporter. 2007. Archived from the original on March 15, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-05. 
  14. ^ Dave McNary (2007-01-11). "DGA nominates TV favorites". Variety. Retrieved 2007-11-05. 
  15. ^ "Directors guild award nominees". Variety. 2007-01-31. Retrieved 2007-11-05. 
  16. ^ "Harriet Tubman Biopic in Development From ‘Homeland’ Director" by Dave McNary, Variety, May 2, 2016
  17. ^ "Charles D. King’s MACRO, Debra Martin Chase and Director Seith Mann Team Up for Harriet Tubman Film" Shadow and Act April 20th 2017
  18. ^ "Cynthia Erivo To Star As Harriet Tubman In Upcoming ‘Harriet’ Biopic" by Amanda N'Duka, Deadline Hollywood February 8, 2017 10:00am
  19. ^ Brian Brooks (2003). "IFP/New York Presents Six Awards At Annual IFP Market". IndieWIRE. Retrieved 2007-11-05. [dead link]

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