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.


Justin Ambrosino (AFI Class of 2008) won the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Fellowship for Video/Film.

Netflix launched its first film, BEASTS OF NO NATION, in 19 Landmark Theaters. Bill Benenson (AFI Class of 1975) is the film's executive producer.

Pippa Bianco (AFI DWW, Class of 2014) was featured in Filmmaker Magazine's 25 New Faces of Independent Film.

Sarah Broshar (AFI Class of 2005), Mátyás Erdély (AFI Class of 2005) and Affonso Gonçalves (AFI Class of 1993) were selected for Variety's Below the Line Impact Report 2015.

Former Ryan Murphy Television president Dante Di Loreto (AFI Class of 1991) was named President of Television at Chernin Entertainment, where he will oversee the day-to-day development and production for the company in the TV arena.

Sabrina Doyle (AFI Class of 2012) and Kevin Lacy (AFI Class of 2013) are semifinalists for the 2015 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting.

Creator/executive producer/writer Sam Esmail's (AFI Class of 2004) show, MR. ROBOT, is the second highest rated cable television show. Esmail has just signed a seven-figure deal with Universal Cable Productions (UCP), the studio behind his hit television show, and will continue as executive producer and show runner. The accord also means he will continue working with Anonymous Content, founded and led by Steve Golin (AFI Class of 1981), on various programming throughout UCP.

Anthony Gagnon (AFI Class of 2012) is writing and directing a pilot for Netflix that starts shooting on September 24.

Lee Grant (AFI DWW, Class of 1974) was interviewed by SF Gate. The Academy Award® and Emmy Award® winner's show business memoir, "I Said Yes to Everything," has been published and is available in paperback.

The new truTV comedy SIX DEGREES OF EVERYTHING premiered on August 18. David Harris (AFI Class of 2003) is the show's supervising producer, Robert Vroom (AFI Class of 2007) is the cinematographer, George Su (AFI Class of 2007) is the camera operator and Arthur Meyerhoff (AFI Class of 2006) is the gaffer.

Short film WINTER LIGHT will play a weeklong Oscar-qualifying theatrical run at the Sundance Sunset Cinema in West Hollywood, September 18–24. Julian Higgins (AFI Class of 2010) directed and produced the film, Wei-Ning Yu (AFI Class of 2010) wrote the screenplay, Andrew Wheeler (AFI Class of 2010) is the cinematographer, Erika Ann Walters (AFI Class of 2010) is the production designer and Benjamin Ralston (AFI Class of 2012) served as art director. Based on a story by acclaimed author James Lee Burke, WINTER LIGHT is a modern-day Western thriller set in the snowy wilderness of Montana.

NPR spoke with Aviva Kempner (AFI DWW, Class of 2001) about her new documentary ROSENWALD, which tells the story of an early 20th-century businessman who built thousands of schools for African Americans across the South in the first half of the 20th century.

Hak-Soon Kim's (AFI Class of 1991) second feature film, NORTHERN LIMIT LINE, was released. Kim is the Korean film's director, writer and producer.

Jonathan Levine (AFI Class of 2004) has been offered and is in early talks to direct the Fox film that Amy Schumer hopes to make as her follow-up to the summer hit TRAINWRECK. The film is an untitled mother-daughter relationship story that takes place on a vacation gone wrong.

Jacqueline Lyanga (AFI Class of 2001) is on the Canadian awards jury for the Toronto International Film Festival.

Valerie "Spark" Malachowski (AFI Class of 1992) was featured in Jackson Hole News & Guide. Once a month for three years, Malachowski has shown classic films of cinematographic importance at Teton County Library.

David Mallin's (AFI Class of 2008) OUR NATION will premier at an event in Norfolk, VA on September 18, preceding a screening of the 1920 silent film WITHIN OUR GATES. The film stars Marsha Stephanie Blake (ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK). Mallin is the short film's writer, producer and cinematographer. Soojin Chung (AFI Class of 2008) is the editor.

Rachel Morrison (AFI Class of 2006) was featured in Filmmaker Magazine for her role as cinematographer on DOPE.

Andrea Odezynska's (AFI Class of 1990) script "Greenpoint" made it to the next round at the 2016 Sundance Screenwriting Lab.

Shani Rotkovitz (AFI Class of 2004) is a judge for the Comedy category at the HollyShorts Film Festival.

Robert Taylor (AFI Class of 2011) has accepted a position as a staff writer on an upcoming Netflix series.

SLOW LEARNERS has been acquired by IFC Films/Sundance Selects and is being released in theaters and on iTunes and OnDemand. Tammy Tiehel-Stedman (AFI Class of 1994) is the film's producer, and Allison Jones (AFI Class of 1981) is the casting director.

Juan A. Uribe's (AFI Class of 1989) Producciones Del Cielo is working on an English-language fiction project called A TRIP TO ROME based on a true story about two homosexual Roman Catholic priests who become the instigators and victims of their own deaths. Uribe is directing and co-writing the script with Joe Petricca (AFI Class of 1990).

Noemi Zeigler Sanchez (AFI Class of 1992) directed, edited and performed in a music video called "Rabbi of Rap," which was the SF Jewish Film Festival's monthly pick for August. Zeigler Sanchez was interviewed by the festival, and the video has been written about in several publications, most recently J. Weekly.


Margaret Anne Smith (AFI Class of 1983)
1945–2015. Margaret Anne Smith was an independent documentary filmmaker who immersed herself in the new cinema emerging in Australia in the early 1970s. She came to AFI in 1983 and met leading writers, directors and editors who taught her to strive beyond her comfort zone for a more revealing depiction of the life and culture around her.