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News & Events on the AFI Conservatory

AFI Conservatory 2014 Application is closed.
The 2015 application will be available in September.

If you have any questions about the application or the requirements, please contact the admissions office at 323.856.7628 or .

According to a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there's been a big drop in the number of people employed in the film and sound industries. The report shows that, from August 2012 to August 2014, the employment in those areas decreased an alarming 19%.

But there's good news. Here at the AFI Conservatory, we continue to support the men and women who dedicate their lives to the art of the moving image. Our alumni are a relatively small, exclusive group of 4,600 with an impressive 81% of them who, upon graduation, report that they are working. We remain dedicated to training and supporting those who pursue the art of storytelling as their lives' work.

The AFI/IDG China Story Fellowship is a new scholarship program at the AFI Conservatory aimed at developing feature-length screenplays that foster greater understanding of Chinese history, culture and literature.

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Remembering Frank Pierson (1925 - 2012), AFI Board of Trustees since 2005 and AFI Conservatory Artistic Director.

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Tipping Prows

AFI Conservatory Class of 2011 directing alumni Ryan Prows and Justin Tipping have been awarded the Silver and Bronze medals in narrative filmmaking at the 39th annual Student Academy Awards for their thesis films, NARCOCORRIDO and NANI.

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Justin Tipping and Ryan Prows, AFI Class of 2011

Stephen Lighthill
Photo: Owen Roizman, ASC

Congratulations to Stephen Lighthill (AFI Conservatory's Cinematography Discipline Head & Senior Filmmaker-In Residence) - the new President of the American Society of Cinematographers!

Stephen Lighthill has been elected to serve as president of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC). The vote was made by the newly elected Board Of Governors who also elected ASC Officers, Vice Presidents Richard Crudo, Daryn Okada and Kees Van Oostrum; Treasurer Victor J. Kemper; Secretary...

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Wally Pfister (AFI Class of 1991) will receive the 2012 Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal at the 40th AFI Life Achievement Award tribute to Shirley MacLaine on June 7. The award is given annually to an alumnus of either the AFI Conservatory or the AFI Directing Workshop for Women, who best embodies the qualities of the late director: talent, taste, dedication and commitment to quality filmmaking. Established by Schaffner's widow, Jean, in 1991, the Alumni Medal celebrates the recipient's extraordinary creative talents and artistic achievements.

Pfister is widely acclaimed for his mastery of cinematography and his passion for storytelling excellence. "I like to test the boundaries and see how far I can go," he has said. The cinematographer grew up in Chicago and began working as a news cameraman after graduating from high school. The son of a TV news executive, he covered the United States Congress, the White House and breaking news for a Washington news service in the early 1980s. When Robert Altman needed a real news cameraman to appear in TANNER '88, he hired Pfister as an actor. The producers saw his footage and brought him on as second unit cameraman, his first exposure to dramatic material.

Pfister pursued his new interest at the AFI Conservatory where he collaborated with classmates on SENZENI NA? (1990), a dark look at apartheid, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. Janusz Kaminski (AFI Class of 1987), the 2010 recipient of the Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal, saw the film and recruited Pfister to work with Roger Corman and Phedon Papamichael.

Today, Pfister is perhaps best known for his collaboration with director Christopher Nolan, which spans every motion picture Nolan has directed since MEMENTO (2000), including INSOMNIA (2002); BATMAN BEGINS (2005); THE PRESTIGE (2006); THE DARK KNIGHT (2008); INCEPTION (2010), for which Pfister received the Academy Award; and this summer's THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (2012). His recent works also included MONEYBALL (2011) and the documentary MARLEY (2012), now in theaters. He has been nominated for four Oscars and was twice nominated for the ASC Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography.

Pfister is currently in pre-production on his directorial debut for Alcon Entertainment.

AFI Alumni Contribute to AFI Awards 2011 Selections

Congratulations to the 19 AFI Conservatory alumni for their creative contributions to the motion pictures and television programs to be honored at AFI Awards 2011 in January. Click here to read the list.

AFI Membership
AFI honoring the masters