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AFI DIRECTING WORKSHOP FOR WOMEN ANNOUNCES “EXECUTIVE CIRCLE”

13 Executives From 6 Major Studios Participate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, LOS ANGELES, CA, October 7, 2014 – The American Film Institute (AFI) Directing Workshop for Women (DWW) announced today the formation of an "Executive Circle" consisting of the studios top female leadership to act as mentors to DWW's annual participants.

The Executive Circle is formed by the following female executives:

Lauren Abrahams, VP, Sony
Amanda Brown, VP, Paramount
Daria Cercek, VP, Fox
Tonia Davis, Director of Development, Disney
Maradith Frenkel, VP, Universal
Niija Kuykendall, VP, Warner Bros.
Annie Laks, VP, Paramount Animation

Alana Mayo, CE, Paramount
Anikah McLaren, VP, Universal
Chantal Nong, VP, Warner Bros.
Sara Scott, Director of Development, Universal
Alison Small, VP, Paramount/Paramount Insurge
Erin Westerman, VP, Good Universe

This elite group of executives provides mentorship to female directors participating in DWW and the AFI Conservatory. They offer guidance about the studio system, how projects are green lit, advice on taking notes, and the role of the studio executive. This unique program to AFI is a commitment from the film and television community to lessen the gap of female directors in the moving image arts.

Since the AFI DWW program's inception, more than 275 women have been trained in screen directing. Among its distinguished alumnae are Maya Angelou, Anne Bancroft, Neema Barnette, Tricia Brock, Ellen Burstyn, Rebecca Cammisa, Dyan Cannon, Hanelle Culpepper, Jan Eliasberg, Naomi Foner, Jennifer Getzinger, Lyn Goldfarb, Randa Haines, Victoria Hochberg, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Lesli Linka Glatter, Lynne Littman, Matia Karrell, Nancy Malone, Becky Smith, Cicely Tyson and Joanne Woodward.

For more on the AFI Directing Workshop for Women, please visit: AFI.com/DWW.

About the American Film Institute
AFI is America's promise to preserve the history of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. AFI programs include the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and AFI Archive, which preserve film heritage for future generations; the AFI Life Achievement Award – the highest honor for a career in film; AFI Awards, honoring the most outstanding motion pictures and television programs of the year; AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies television events and movie reference lists, which have introduced and reintroduced classic American movies to millions of film lovers; year-round and special event exhibition through AFI FEST presented by Audi, AFI DOCS and the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center; and educating the next generation of storytellers at the world-renowned AFI Conservatory. For more information about AFI, visit AFI.com or connect with AFI at twitter.com/AmericanFilm, facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute and youtube.com/AFI.