Alumni Events & Announcements

The arts and entertainment community will come together to honor the recipient of the 44th AFI Life Achievement Award, John Williams, with a Gala Tribute.

Date: Thursday, June 9, 2016
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Dolby Theatre
6801 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Ticket sales are closed. The televised event will air on TNT on June 15 at 10:00 p.m. (ET/ PT), followed by an encore presentation on TCM on September 12 during a night of programming dedicated to John Williams.

You are invited to the annual AFI Production Design Showcase Opening Night Reception, featuring work from first and second year Production Design Fellows.

Date: Monday, June 13, 2016
Time: 7:00–10:00 p.m.
Location: AFI Soundstage


AFI Conservatory Commencement will take place on Wednesday, June 15, when AFI will celebrate the Class of 2016 and confer Honorary Degrees upon actress Rita Moreno and director/writer Quentin Tarantino.

One of only a handful of performers to have won all four major entertainment awards, the Emmy®, Grammy®, Oscar® and Tony®, collectively known as the coveted EGOT, actress Rita Moreno is perhaps best known for her iconic and acclaimed performance as Anita in WEST SIDE STORY. Spanning seven decades, her celebrated career as actress, singer, dancer and author has included widely varied roles across film, TV and stage — such as CARNAL KNOWLEDGE, JANE THE VIRGIN, THE KING AND I, THE MUPPET SHOW, HBO's OZ and SINGIN' IN THE RAIN. Moreno is currently working on Netflix's ONE DAY AT TIME. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004, the National Medal of Arts in 2010 and the Kennedy Center Honor in 2015.

Director, screenwriter, producer and actor Quentin Tarantino is a bold voice in American filmmaking — one whose work is often characterized by its stylized storytelling, dark comedy, eclectic soundtracks and fluency in the vocabulary of film history. He first commanded attention with 1992's RESERVOIR DOGS and earned a Best Screenplay Oscar® for PULP FICTION — a film that ranks among AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies list of the greatest American movies of all time and for which Tarantino was also nominated for Best Director. He has continued to gain a loyal following with his master classics like DJANGO UNCHAINED, THE HATEFUL EIGHT, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS and KILL BILL: VOL. 1 and KILL BILL: VOL. 2.

AFI DOCS is a five-day international documentary film festival that takes place across venues in Washington, DC, and at the world-class AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. Bringing together artists, audience members and political leaders, the festival shines a bright light on documentary film and harnesses the power of this important art form to inspire change.

AFI alumni receive discounts on AFI DOCS passes and eligible individual tickets.


Female cinematographers are banding together to form a new collective aimed at giving a public face to their often overlooked minority in the industry. The newly formed International Collective of Female Cinematographers (ICFC) is billed as a collective of professional female cinematographers from around the US and the world, who provide each other with community support and industry advocacy. Current AFI alumni members are:

  • Conci Althouse (2012)
  • Tarin Anderson (2004)
  • Ashley Barron (2011)
  • Ava Berkofsky (2013)
  • Leslie Bumgarner (2010)
  • Kimby Caplan (2007)
  • Johanna Coelho (2013)
  • Andressa Cor (2014)
  • Carolina Costa (2013)
  • Magela Crosignani (2008)
  • Kimberly Culotta (2010)
  • Kristen DiLiello (2012)
  • Rose Fadem-Johnston (2013)
  • Kristin Fieldhouse (2013)
  • Catherine Goldschmidt (2009)
  • Halyna Hutchins (2015)
  • Ludovica Isidori (2013)
  • Sevdije Kastrati (2011)
  • Alison Kelly (2003)
  • Hana Kitasei (2015)
  • Michelle Lawler (2012)
  • Daga Malinska (2014)
  • Stephanie Martin (2002)
  • Valentina Martinico (2014)
  • Carole McClintock (2012)
  • Hilda Mercado (2003)
  • Moira Morel (2014)
  • Arlene Muller (2015)
  • Daniela Nowitz (2014)
  • Sara Ross-Samko (2013)
  • Angelia Sciulli (2011)
  • Sandra Valde (2006)
  • Marianne Williams (2015)

A24 acquired domestic film rights to Andrea Arnold's (AFI Class of 1991) AMERICAN HONEY. Focus Features acquired rights for the majority of key international territories — UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Italy and Scandinavia. The Cannes competition Jury Prize winner is a coming-of-age teen tale that stars Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf and Riley Keough.

Shaz Bennett (AFI DWW, Class of 2012) and Sian Heder (AFI DWW, Class of 2005) were selected for the Sundance Institute's new FilmTwo Initiative, a program that provides support for second-time feature filmmakers, addressing a growing need in the field of independent storytelling, especially for women and filmmakers of color.

Chelsea Benson (AFI Class of 2012) is now a literary manager at Echo Lake Management.

Greg Boghosian (AFI Class of 1998) produces, directs, writes and hosts THE NEW ENGLAND TRAVELER, a lifestyle/travel series broadcast on New England Sports Network (NESN) for the past two years. The show was recently nominated for a Boston/New England Emmy® Award and is switching to a new network this summer.

24: LEGACY has been picked up by 20th Century Fox Television, Imagine Television and Teakwood Lane Productions. Manny Coto (AFI Class of 1984) is an executive producer and writer on the pilot.

Jeff Daniels and Scoot McNairy are in talks to board Scott Frank’s (AFI Class of 1984) GODLESS for Netflix, joining the previously announced Jack O’Connell. The project is a limited period drama series from the OUT OF SIGHT duo of Steven Soderbergh and Scott Frank.

CBS has picked up the pilot for the comedy SUPERIOR DONUTS. Bob Daily (AFI TVW, Class of 1996) is the executive producer and writer.

NBC's THE BLACKLIST: REDEMPTION has been picked up by Sony Pictures Television. Michael Dinner (AFI Class of 1979) directed the series pilot.

CBS has ordered the drama BULL to series. Rodrigo García (AFI Class of 1986) is an executive producer and the director of the pilot.

Since winning the Grimme Award for the cross-genre event programming of his investigative feature film MEISTER DES TODES (MASTERS OF DEATH) and documentary TÖDLICHE EXPORTE (DEADLY EXPORTS), filmmaker/journalist Daniel Harrich (AFI Class of 2008) is now being investigated by German authorities for uncovering an illegal Mexican arms deal.

Susan Johnson (AFI Class of 2000) was interviewed by Variety on her feature directorial debut CARRIE PILBY, based on the bestseller YA novel by Caren Lissner and starring rising star Bel Powley as the title character.

Academy Award®-winning cinematographer and frequent Steven Spielberg collaborator Janusz Kamiński (AFI Class of 1987) is set to direct THE RABBIT GARDEN, a film based on the life of award-winning author Jerzy Kosinski. Production is set to commence next year.

ABC has picked up the quirky off-cycle comedy DOWNWARD DOG to series. This is the first broadcast series for Legendary TV, which is co-producing with ABC Studios. Michael Killen (AFI Class of 1991) is an executive producer and director/writer of the pilot.

Paul Kowalski (AFI Class of 2015) was interviewed by UK's Your Local Guardian on living in Los Angeles and attending AFI.

Mia Lidofsky's (AFI DWW, Class of 2015) DWW pilot STRANGERS was picked up by Refinery29.

David Lynch (AFI Class of 1970) has unveiled the entire 217-member cast of TWIN PEAKS, the Showtime followup to his cult ABC series. The new season, which mixes original and new cast members, has wrapped. The new installment is directed entirely by Lynch and will premiere on Showtime in 2017.

Adam Moore (AFI Class of 2005) will be an assistant professor in the Department of Film and Electronic Arts at California State University, Long Beach, beginning in the fall.

Jeff Kwatinetz's The Firm has acquired an untitled script of an Angela Davis biopic by SHAMELESS scribe LaToya Morgan (AFI Class of 2005). Davis, accused of conspiracy in the murder of a federal judge, became the first woman on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list and an iconic symbol of an era. In the script, after fleeing from authorities, she is eventually captured and must exonerate herself from an all-white jury during the racially turbulent early 1970s.

Mahesh Pailoor (AFI Class of 2006) was interviewed by India Currents Magazine on his film BRAHMIN BULLS.

Rafael Palacio Illingworth (AFI Class of 2009) was interviewed by Show Biz Café on his film BETWEEN US, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

AFI Conservatory Executive Vice Dean Joe Petricca (AFI Class of 1990) was interviewed by KPCC on recent shifts in MFA programs that aim to help students prepare for life after film school.

The Cannes Film Festival's Critics' Week kicked off sales with director/writer Asaph Polonsky's (AFI Class of 2012) ONE WEEK AND A DAY, which also took the GAN Foundation Award. Jan Naszewski's New Europe Film Sales closed the deal on the Israeli black comedy on May 11. The Warsaw, Poland-based sales agent has sold all rights for Australia to JIFF Distribution. French rights were sold to Sophie Dulac Distribution. Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired U.S. rights

Dwarf Studios has picked up the pilot for THE CURIOUS KITTY AND FRIENDS for Amazon Studios. Kent Redeker (AFI Class of 1995) is the writer.

Frank Spotnitz (AFI Class of 1989) is currently working on the Renaissance set MEDICI: MASTERS OF FLORENCE. Starring Dustin Hoffman as Giovanni de’ Medici and GAME OF THRONES alumnus Richard Madden as his son Cosimo de’ Medici, the eight-episode first season of the series was created by Spotnitz and Nicolas Meyer and is being sold internationally by Wild Bunch TV.

Lindsay Stidham (AFI Class of 2005) is a quarterfinalist in the 2016 ScreenCraft Comedy Screenplay Contest, culled from over 900 submissions.

Noomi Rapace will star in the science-fiction thriller BOY with Danish helmer Jonas Arnby on board. Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Ben Pugh and Leon Clarance are producing. The script, featured on the 2015 Black List, was written by Mattson Tomlin (AFI Class of 2014).