Alumni Events & Announcements



The Alumni Script Reading Series gives AFI alumni the opportunity to submit a screenplay to be read with professional actors and receive constructive feedback from others in the artistic community. Please join us for the next selection of the series:

Written by Sylvia Sether (AFI Directing Workshop for Women, Class of 2009)

A troubled young woman returns to Norway to say goodbye to her dying father, and in the process, finds deliverance through love and letting go.

Date: Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Time: 7:00-10:00 p.m.
Location: Ahmanson Room, Louis B. Mayer Library | AFI Campus
RSVP: Click here

Sylvia's love of music and photography led her to directing and editing music videos, which gave her the opportunity to explore different visual techniques. Ultimately, this helped her develop a distinct narrative style and visual aesthetic, which has become an obvious through-line in her work today.

In 2009, Sylvia was one of eight women to be selected for the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop For Women. Her latest short film KING OF NORWAY (KON) premiered at Palm Springs ShortFest in June 2013 and took home the award for "Best Narrative Short Film" at Napa Valley Film Festival.

KON went on to have a successful festival run, and KON's DP, VanNessa Manlunas, was one of eight honored by the International Cinematographers Guild with an Emerging Cinematography Award for her work on the film. KON is a proof of concept for her feature script NORWAY.

Recently, Sylvia was one of four fellows selected for the 2014 Sony Television Diverse Directors Program. She is currently producing a documentary called WE GOTTA GET OUT OF HERE about five youth struggling to thrive within the imploding California Foster Care system.


Derek Asaff (AFI Class of 2014) was awarded second place at the Emerging Screenwriters 2014 Screenplay Competition for his screenplay, "After the Merge."

Eduardo Barraza (AFI Class of 2010) served as cinematographer for LET'S KILL WARD'S WIFE, starring Amy Acker, Donald Faison and Patrick Wilson. The feature film is now available online.

Jonathan Cohen (AFI Class of 2009), Narineh Hacopian (AFI Class of 2011), Lorne Hiltser (AFI Class of 2010), Sage Scroope (AFI Class of 2011) and Andrew Wheeler (AFI Class of 2010) recently completed a global TV spot for the phone company HTC with Robert Downey Jr. narrating.

The Center for Asian American Media's CAAMFest 2015 is presenting "Spotlight: Arthur Dong," featuring two world premieres and a special on-stage conversation in honor of Arthur Dong (AFI Class of 1984) for his contributions to Asian American experiences through cinema.

Sabrina Doyle (AFI Class of 2012) and Camille Stochitch (AFI Class of 2013) have been selected as finalists in the Twilight Storytellers competition run by Lionsgate and Women in Film.

Rachel Goldberg (AFI Directing Workshop for Women, Class of 2010) recently spoke with Max Timm of the International Writers Association about her work and women in film, featured in the ISA Special Edition Newsletter.

U.S. and Canadian rights for THE SILENT MOUNTAIN, from director/producer Ernst Gossner (AFI Class of 2001), were acquired by Entertainment One (eOne). The film has been sold to more than 50 countries worldwide.

Brad Ingelsby's (AFI Class of 2005) screenplay for THE BURNING WOMAN is being produced by Scott Free and Anne Hathaway is in talks to star. Ingelsby's RUN ALL NIGHT is currently in theaters and stars Liam Neeson and Ed Harris.

DIAL A PRAYER is releasing theatrically and on all digital platforms on April 10 and is the second feature from director/writer Maggie Kiley (AFI Directing Workshop for Women, Class of 2009).

TALES OF THE GRIM SLEEPER was broadcasted on Sky Atlantic (UK) on March 30 will be on HBO on April 27. Erin Li (AFI Directing Workshop for Women, Class of 2013) is the film's associate producer.

Luke Lynch (AFI Class of 2009) recently edited M.A.A.D., a short film, two-screen installation piece directed by Kahlil Joseph, which was acquired by and is showing at MOCA until August.

Creative director of Chicago-based Cutters Studios, Manuel Pérez Peña (AFI Class of 2008), was recently featured in a story in Screen Magazine, "Manuel Perez Pena Fuses Interior and Production Design at Cutters."

Alex Simon's (AFI Class of 2005) screenplay BARON OF HAVANA was selected as a top 10 finalist in Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope Screenwriting Competition.

Season three of the Tandem Communications' crime drama CROSSING LINES has been greenlit for 12 episodes with Frank Spotnitz (AFI Class of 1989) joining as executive producer. Elizabeth Mitchell, Goran Visnjic and Donald Sutherland will star.


Jack Swanstrom (AFI Class of 1998)
1961–2015. Jack Swanstrom received a Master of Fine Arts in Directing from AFI in 1998 and was Assistant Professor of Design at the American University of Sharjah from 2002 until his death.