AFI Conservatory 2014 Application is closed. The 2015 application will be available in September.

Please refer to the 2014 requirements below as reference only. Requirements are subject to change in 2015 application.

If you have any questions about the application or the requirements, please contact the admissions office at 323.856.7740 or

Please review the requirements on the admissions tab to prepare with the online application.

The following profile describes desired qualities of AFI Conservatory applicants:

  • A demonstrated passion for narrative filmmaking
  • A demonstrated desire to collaborate with other artists in a rigorous training environment
  • A demonstrated experience and/or educational background relating to the discipline to which the applicant is applying
  • The ability to supply portfolio (submission) materials conveying skill and experience in the applicant's desired discipline
  • The ability to commit full-time (often seven days a week) to the program
  • An adequate and sound financial plan and resources, either through loan programs or personal funding, to study full-time for the entirety of the program

All applicants are expected to be at least 21 years of age.

2014-2015 Admission Requirements

In addition to your online application, applicants must submit a (non-refundable) $85 application fee in order for their application to be reviewed.

NARRATIVE STATEMENT: (saved as a PDF, typed, double-spaced, five pages maximum, listing your name and discipline at the top of the page) to include the following elements:

  1. A two-to-three-paragraph autobiographical sketch giving a sense of the applicant's background and the world from which he or she draws inspiration and motivation
  2. Detail of the applicant's personal philosophy regarding their chosen discipline
  3. Description of the applicant's personal goals in applying to the AFI Conservatory

This statement should be focused and a thoughtful, mature demonstration of the applicant's personal thinking.

If applying to more than one discipline, each narrative statement should reflect particular thoughts regarding that individual discipline. Please do NOT use the same statement for applications in different disciplines; instead, create narrative statements that address each discipline specifically.

RÉSUMÉ: Your résumé should detail your professional work and education to date.

LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION: (two minimum/four maximum) Applicant will provide recommender's name and email address in the online application. The recommender will be emailed a link to an online recommendation form from AFTER the applicant submits the application. Please follow up with your recommenders to ensure they have completed the online recommendation, as your application cannot be reviewed without the minimum two completed recommendations.

TRANSCRIPTS: Please request original transcripts from all colleges/universities attended be sent directly to the AFI Conservatory:

Attn: Admissions
AFI Conservatory
2021 N. Western Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027

If you choose to collect your transcripts to mail to the AFI Conservatory, please be sure all transcripts remain unopened and under their original seal.

For International applicants: all credentials and transcripts must include an original (no copies) plus an official English translation (if applicable). The Registrar determines final evaluation of applicants' records.

SUBMISSION AGREEMENT: Please download, print, sign, scan and save as PDF. Label PDF: Discipline Applying To_Last Name_First Name_SA (for example: SCR_SMITH_FRED_SA).

You will be asked to upload the signed Submission Agreement to the application.



CINEMATOGRAPHY: Submit UP TO two different examples of original work that best demonstrate talent, ability and experience as a Cinematographer. Each moving image submission can be no longer than 20 minutes in length (i.e. 40 minutes maximum for both samples). Submit only moving image submissions on which you were the sole Cinematographer.

All submissions should include whether the submission was completed at an educational institution and the format(s)/camera used for each submission (please notate in an insert inside the DVD or Blu-ray cover).

Your submission can include a summary "reel" of up to three minutes, still photographs and/or slides.

  1. Moving image submissions must be Region 1 on DVD or Blu-ray A/1 regardless of the original format.
  2. Submissions must be NTSC formatted and playable on DVD players. MOV, AVI, VOB and other computer movie files will not be accepted.
  3. Each moving image submission can be no longer than 20 minutes in length (i.e. 40 minutes for maximum for both samples).
  4. Submissions should demonstrate NARRATIVE ability.
  5. Include two copies as part of your submission.
  6. Label all discs with your full name, discipline and year for which you are applying, title(s) of project(s) included and total run time – for example: John Smith CIN 2014-15 "My Film" TRT 5:08
  7. Please test all DVDs or Blu-rays on at least two players prior to submitting. Submissions not sent in the required format will not be considered.

Send to: Attn: Admissions, AFI Conservatory, 2021 North Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027

DIRECTING: Submit up to two different examples of moving image projects that the applicant has personally directed that best demonstrate individual talent and ability. Each moving image submission can be no longer than 20 minutes in length (i.e. 40 minutes maximum for both samples). Only work that the applicant has directed (not co-directed) will be considered. At least one of the examples should be in the form of a narrative.

Submissions are accepted via a link to YouTube or Vimeo in the online application. We recommend that you do not password protect your samples to ensure the Admissions Committee access. Examples should either be in English or be subtitled in English.

EDITING: Submit two different examples of original work that best demonstrate talent and ability. Full-length pieces of no more than 20 minutes are required; no editor reels will be accepted.

Submissions will be accepted via a link to YouTube or Vimeo in the online application. We recommend that you do not password protect your samples to ensure the Admissions Committee access.


Submitted via DVD (must be Region 1, regardless of the original format). All material must be NTSC formatted. No PAL format will be accepted. Projects can be combined on one disc – two copies are required.

Label all discs with your full name, discipline and year for which you are applying, title(s) of project(s) included and total run time. For example: John Smith EDT 2014-15 "My Film" TRT 5:08

Send to: Attn: Admissions, AFI Conservatory, 2021 North Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027

PRODUCING: The most important pieces of the producing application are the résumé, letters of recommendation and narrative statement. Within the statement, producing applicants must explain why they are interested in producing, as opposed to another filmmaking discipline.

Applicants may submit a PDF of treatments or screenplays (20 pages maximum) that they feel display their narrative talent.

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Submit samples of work that demonstrate evidence of the applicant's design process such as hand-drafting and model-making skills, perspective and life-drawing ability, set or prop construction experience and computer knowledge (CAD, Vectorworks, Photoshop, SketchUp).

Submissions are strongly preferred as a traditional portfolio (photocopies only). In addition, submissions can be presented on a flash drive or CD/DVD. Applicants may submit any moving image production featuring their work as a production designer or art director. Please specify the exact title of your role in each production.

If a moving image is submitted, it must be Region 1 on DVD, regardless of the original format. All material must be NTSC formatted; no PAL format will be accepted. Provide two copies of DVD, CD and/or Data disc submissions. Label all discs with your full name, discipline and year for which you are applying - for example: Jane Smith DES 2014-15 Portfolio

Send to: Attn: Admissions, AFI Conservatory, 2021 North Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027

SCREENWRITING: Submit a PDF of a typed screenplay or script (20 pages maximum) of which you are the sole screenwriter. If the sample is from a longer script, submit a descriptive one-paragraph synopsis of the entire script for reference purposes. Co-authored and adaptations will not be considered. Be sure to include a title page with your name, 2014-15 SCR and email. The PDF will be uploaded to the online application. Please label your PDF: Discipline applying to_Last Name_First Name (for example: SCR_SMITH_FRED).

INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS REQUIREMENTS: International applicants must submit a TOEFL or IELTS score if English is not the applicant's native language. Applications will not be reviewed without a qualifying TOEFL or IELTS score. No exceptions.

The minimum TOEFL score requirement is 100 Internet-based score (IBT), 250 computer-based (CBT) or 600 paper-based (PBT). The minimum IELTS score requirement is 7.0. Please allow appropriate time for test scheduling. For testing information, go to or TOEFL or IELTS tests must be taken within 24 months of date of applying for the Conservatory.

Please have TOEFL and IELTS submit test results electronically. The AFI Conservatory testing code is 9760.

Scores submitted by the applicant will not be deemed official.

DEADLINES: The application deadline for Cinematography, Directing and Screenwriting is December 1, 2013. The online application must be completed and all materials not submitted online must be postmarked by December 1, 2013.

Editing, Producing and Production Design will be on a rolling admissions schedule, meaning completed applications and all supporting materials will be accepted on a continual basis until the class is full.

Final Deadline: No applications will be accepted after July 1, 2014 in order to allow sufficient time for review, interview and notification.

Please check for updates.

Notification Dates:


Production Design
April 1, 2014
March 14, 2014
March 14, 2014

Rolling admissions notifications will be approximately three months after receipt of application or by July 1, 2014.

Review Process and Notification: Applicants will be notified of their status via mail postmarked on the notification deadline date.

The Admissions Committee does not provide individual critiques of any applicant's work. The decisions of the Admissions Committee are final and not subject to appeal. Individuals who are denied admission to a program of study are not entitled access to materials relating to the denied application. As the review process is quite extensive, please do not call the Admissions Office regarding status. If an application is reviewed positively, the applicant will be contacted for a requisite personal interview. If reviewers have any questions regarding application or materials submitted, the applicant will be contacted.

Questions about any of the above?
Please contact Admissions

Degree and Certificate Qualifications
Applications may be submitted to the First Year program in the disciplines of
Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design or Screenwriting.

A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution is required to receive a Master of Fine Arts degree after the successful completion of the program. An applicant without an undergraduate degree will be considered for acceptance as an Associate Fellow. Associate Fellows who successfully complete the requirements will receive a Certificate of Completion, finishing the same curriculum as the degree programs. The degree and certificate programs require 60-plus credit hours and may be completed in approximately two to two-and-one-half calendar years. Due to the cumulative and collaborative nature of the curriculum, the AFI Conservatory does not accept transfer students or credits.

Those applicants who have completed a program outside the US and do not have a posted bachelor's degree are required to submit a bachelor's degree equivalency document prior to the end of the first term of attendance if the intention is to receive the Master of Fine Arts degree. It is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain the equivalency document and it is recommended to have the document before entering the AFI Conservatory. For degree evaluation agencies, please contact the Registrar's Office.

Click here for Certificate of Completion gainful employment disclosures.

Accreditation And Approvals
The AFI Conservatory is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, 510.748.9001.

The AFI Conservatory is also accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), 11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21, Reston, VA 20190, 703.437.0700. This school is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students. These approvals are available for review in the Registrar's Office during regular business hours (Warner Bros. Building, Room 214).

Notice of Non-Discriminatory Policy
The AFI Conservatory admits individuals of any sex, race, color, ancestry, religious creed, national origin, disability, medical condition, age, marital status or sexual orientation, according to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to Fellows at the AFI Conservatory.

Policy Changes
The AFI Conservatory reserves the right to change or modify curriculum, programs, faculty or fees without advance notification.

AFI Membership
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