Q: What makes AFI different from a university program?
A: Each and every program is unique. AFI is based on a Conservatory
model, which focuses the educational experience in a hands-on production
environment. For example, during the first year, each Directing, Producing and
Cinematography Fellow has the opportunity to make three narrative projects;
Editors work on up to six projects; Production Designers work on up to four;
and Screenwriters write at least one of the narrative projects produced as well
as commence work on a feature screenplay. The AFI Conservatory focuses
training in the moving image arts.
Q: I do not have a Bachelor of Arts degree. Would I still be considered
A: Yes, you do not need a BA to apply to the Conservatory. Upon successful
completion of your program's requirements, you would be awarded a
Certificate of Completion. Click here for Certificate of Completion gainful employment disclosures.
Q: May I apply to more than one discipline? Is it possible to enroll in more than one field of study?
A: The AFI Conservatory is designed for those who want to advance their craft in a specific discipline. Most applicants are committed to only one discipline, but yes, you may apply to more than one area of interest. You must submit a separate application (including a discipline-specific narrative statement, submission materials and application fee) for each discipline to which you wish to apply. Due to the collaborative nature of the program, successful applicants will be accepted into only one discipline.
Q: What submission materials are best to send with my application?
A: While each program will require examples of work specific to the chosen
discipline, film submissions should be no more than 20 minutes in length, and
personally demonstrate individual talent and ability. AFI focuses on narrative
filmmaking; samples should also be narrative in format.
Q: I want to apply to the Conservatory now, but I am only 19.
The application states that all applicants are expected to be at least 21.
How firm is that requirement?
A: Our program is very rigorous. The average age of Fellows is 27 and
almost all have previous professional experience or an undergraduate degree
in filmmaking. The maturity of the class guarantees their ability to collaborate
and succeed with little introductory training. Also, due to the AFI on-set production
insurance coverage and the lack of campus housing, adults are preferred.
The Conservatory does consider candidates who will be 21 by registration.
Q: How many individuals apply and how many are accepted?
A: The AFI Conservatory receives hundreds of applications each year.
Enrollment is limited to 140 Fellows (students) — 28 Cinematographers, 28 Directors,
14 Editors, 28 Producers, 14 Production Designers and 28 Screenwriters.
Q: Are scholarships available?
A: Limited AFI scholarships are available to incoming and current Fellows. For more information, please see the Scholarship page. Applicants are encouraged to actively explore all funding options and to research outside (non-AFI) scholarships, even before acceptance into the school, and to develop a plan to support the costs of graduate study for the duration of the program. Many outside scholarships can take up to one year to process. Applications for these scholarships should be submitted in advance of desired entry into the program. Please consult the Scholarship page for a list of outside scholarship opportunities.
Generally, Federal student loans comprise the majority of aid eligibility at the AFI Conservatory. The Federal, Direct Unsubsidized, and the Federal Graduate PLUS Loans are the foundation of aid offered to graduate students. The Financial Aid page can provide more information on these loans.
Q: How do I apply for scholarships?
A: Please see the Scholarship page for more information.
Q: I applied last year and was not accepted. Should I reapply?
A: Yes, and you are encouraged to do so. It is strongly recommended that you
reapply only if you have new work to submit and if your experience or submission
materials have enhanced your qualifications.
Q: I've heard conflicting information about Fellows (AFI students)
transitioning into the Second Year. Is it true that AFI only allows a small
fraction of its First Year students to continue to their second year?
A: At the end of the First Year, all Fellows are provided with an "end-of-year"
portfolio review, which provides an overall evaluation of the Fellow's work
during the First Year. All Fellows are reviewed within their disciplines by the
Senior Filmmakers-in-Residence and faculty. Fellows are evaluated on the basis
of the quality of the work completed during the reviewed period, attendance and
participation in the program, collaboration, professional attitude and creative
potential. As with other graduate-level programs, continuation is based on the
faculty's overall evaluation of progress and potential; a Fellow will be invited
to continue in the MFA/Certificate program by decision of the faculty.
Q: Does the AFI Conservatory accept Veteran Administrations' benefits?
A: Yes, we do. We accept all chapters of veterans benefits. However, at this time, we do not participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program. For more information, please contact the Registrar's Office at 323.856.7698.
Q: May I visit AFI?
A: Yes, you are welcome to visit the campus. Tours are conducted on Tuesdays at 11:00 a.m. You may call the Admissions Counselor at 323.856.7628, or e-mail the Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP. Regular office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, during the academic year.