Alumni Events & Announcements

Each year, the University Film and Video Association (UFVA) holds a conference attended by faculty from various film schools across the country. The AFI Conservatory held an alumni mixer at this year's UFVA conference in Henderson, Nevada on August 1 — thank you to all who attended!

AFI alumni presenting at the UFVA conference:

Mitchell Block (AFI Class of 1974)
Jacob Bricca (AFI Class of 1998)
Clay Haskell (AFI Class of 2000)
Peter Kiwitt (AFI Class of 1981)
Evan Lieberman (AFI Class of 1984)
David Mallin (AFI Class of 2008)
Doe Mayer (AFI Class of 1973)
Maria Sanders (AFI Class of 2002)
Paul Schneider (AFI Class of 1981)
Wenhwa Tsao (AFI DWW, Class of 2011)
David Waldman (AFI Class of 2001)
Dana Weidman (AFI Class of 2001)

Register for the conference at

Celebrate the beginning of fall with the annual AFI Alumni BBQ!

Rick Rosenthal (AFI Class of 1973) invites you to reconnect over burgers, bratwurst and beer (vegetarians won't be left out) at the annual barbecue in the courtyard of Whitewater Films.

Save the date! Invitations to reach your inbox soon.


The 2015 AFI thesis film ALL THESE VOICES has been selected as a finalist in the Alternative category for the 2016 Student Academy Awards. The creative team features these AFI Class of 2015 filmmakers: director/writer David Henry Gerson; writers Martin Horvat and Brennan Elizabeth Peters; producer Beatrice von Schwerin; cinematographer Eli Arenson; editor Spencer Koobatian; and production designer Daniela Medeiros. This year's Student Academy winners will be revealed at a ceremony on September 22, 2016.

Shilpi Shikha Agrawal (AFI Class of 2016) was featured in India-West for her thesis film (OUT)CASTE, which focuses on the long-running caste discrimination against untouchables in India.

Bandar Albuliwi (AFI Class of 2010) has signed with Equitable Stewardship for Artists. The Tracking Board recently recommended his drama pilot script. Pitched as HOMELAND meets GREEK, "Radicalized" follows a young Muslim man recruited by the FBI to infiltrate a suspected terrorist cell at Columbia University — only to become radicalized himself in the process. Albuliwi is the third writer to earn the TB Recommends distinction in 2016.

Emmy®-nominated creator/writer/producer Neal Baer (AFI Class of 1983) (ER, LAW & ORDER: SVU, UNDER THE DOME) and his Baer Bones Productions have signed a pod deal with 20th Century Fox Television. Under the pact, Baer will exclusively develop television programming for both network and cable.

Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights to SLASH, a coming-of-age drama set in the world of erotic fan fiction. Steven J. Berger (AFI Class of 2010) is the films' co-producer and Ellie Ann Fenton (AFI Class of 2011) is the cinematographer.

IndieWire's CriticWire Survey selected Mitchell Block's (AFI Class of 1974) short film NO LIES as one of the "Best Short Films Ever Made." Block's short film was selected for the National Film Registry in 2008 by the Librarian of Congress for preservation for all time. Block's was a producer for BIG MAMA, which received an Academy Award® for Best Documentary. He was nominated for an Academy Award® for POSTER GIRL, and his most recent short film, THE TESTIMONY, was shortlisted for an Academy Award® nomination in 2016. Block is currently completing the documentary feature SAVING EDEN. Block is based in Santa Monica.

Steven Bussard (AFI Class of 1975) co-wrote an article for The Huffington Post with suggestions for how to pitch startups to venture capitalists.

Dano Cerny (AFI Class of 2007) directed the music video for "Heartlines" by Broods, starring Rose McIver and Oliver Ackland.

Petr Cikhart (AFI Class of 2012) has been accepted as a member of the Czech Association of Cinematographers. Cikhart is an Emmy® winner for his work on THE AMAZING RACE.

Adam Cosco (AFI Class of 2010), Ian Drazen (AFI Class of 2013), Lisa Gold (AFI DWW, Class of 2009), Kendell Courtney Klein (AFI Class of 2014), Joseph Pellegrino (AFI Class of 2013), Ross Raffin (AFI Class of 2012), Marisé Samitier (AFI DWW, Class of 1998), Alex Simon (AFI Class of 2005) and Erin Stanley (AFI Class of 2015) are quarterfinalists in the 2016 Page International Screenwriting Awards.

Netflix's upcoming original film DEIDRA & LANEY ROB A TRAIN is currently in production. Directed by Sydney Freeland and produced by Susan Cartsonis and Nick Moceri, the film stars Rachel Crow, Ashleigh Murray and Tim Blake Nelson. Shelby Farrell (AFI Class of 2013) is the writer.

Sian Heder (AFI DWW, Class of 2005) was interviewed by IndieWire on her journey from actress to screenwriter and director. Heder's Sundance feature TALLULAH is currently on Netflix and in theaters.

Dan Hertzog (AFI Class of 2004) and Alexa Ihrt (AFI Class of 1995) will be honored at the ICG's 20th Annual Emerging Cinematographer Awards.

The first trailer for Warner Bros.' superhero epic WONDER WOMAN was unveiled during the studio's supersized Comic-Con Hall H presentation on July 23. Patty Jenkins (AFI Class of 2000) is the film's director — and the first woman to helm a female-led studio superhero film.

Devon Kirkpatrick (AFI DWW, Class of 2014) directed the music video for "Faint of Heart" by Tegan and Sara. Moira Morel (AFI Class of 2014) is the cinematographer.

Bill Kunstler (AFI Class of 1987) has been hired to adapt the Ursula Vernon children's book "Castle Hangnail" into a feature film at Disney. It centers on a 12-year-old witch who becomes an unlikely new master to a motley crew of creatures.

Jean Lee (AFI DWW, Class of 2014) was selected for the inaugural Women in Film/Black List Episodic Lab. The Lab is sponsored by HBO and the participants will be hosted by The Black List website for free and have their final pilots read by a variety of agencies and networks.

Gustavo Lipsztein (AFI Class of 1999) is the writer of the TV series 1 CONTRA TODOS (ONE AGAINST ALL), the first Fox Brazil series to premiere on Fox Latin America. Lipsztein has another TV series premiering in September on Record, Brazil's second largest broadcast network.

LaShawn McGhee (AFI Class of 2010) recently started REVRY, a LGBTQ streaming service, and hosted an international premiere for one of its Australian content creators.

Heather Page (AFI Class of 1995) was profiled on Amarillo Global-News for her role as Texas Film Commissioner.

Sarah Gertrude Shapiro (AFI DWW, Class of 2012) was interviewed by IndieWire on how her show UNREAL is helping female filmmakers break into television.

Todd Sheridan (AFI Class of 2015) won the VIZIO + Dolby VisionTM Cinematography Award for his work on the thesis film FRONTMAN. VIZIO will screen the film at AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi.

D Films has picked up Canadian rights to KICKS, Justin Tipping's (AFI Class of 2011) coming-of-age drama. D Films will open KICKS theatrically in September after securing rights from Visit Films. Focus World holds U.S. rights.


Tyler Earring (AFI Class of 2007)
Tyler Earring (born June 27, 1982) was an editor known for his work on THE LEAGUE, THE MUPPETS and WILFRED.