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** PHOTOS AVAILABLE **

KEYNOTE SPEAKER JILL SOLOWAY OFFERS STRONG ADVICE
AT SHOWCASE FOR AFI CONSERVATORY DIRECTING WORKSHOP FOR WOMEN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – MAY 15, 2015, LOS ANGELES, CA – Director/writer/producer Jill Soloway (TRANSPARENT), keynote speaker at the AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women (AFI DWW) Showcase delivered candid words of wisdom to an audience of filmmakers and industry executives on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles. To a capacity crowd — among whom were directors Daisy von Scherler Mayer (ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK) and Kimberly Peirce (BOYS DON'T CRY) — Soloway highlighted the value of ongoing efforts by the AFI DWW program, which for more than four decades has been "single-handedly minting women directors."

"The only way things are really going to change is when we are all wilder and louder and riskier and sillier and unexpectedly overflowing with surprise," Soloway said, rallying the audience and the artists in attendance. "So invite that surprise into your art by bringing all of that feminine-allowing to the set, to your filmmaking. And soon, what everybody's gonna say is, we have to find a woman director to make this because women are just so much better at it."

Photos are available here.

As previously announced, the AFI DWW Class of 2014 presented their short films, which have already begun to premiere at top festivals around the world, including the Cannes Cinéfondation. The incoming 2015 participants were also in attendance at the Showcase.

The following grants/awards were presented to directors from both the classes of 2014 and 2015:

Nancy Malone Award: Roja Gashtili & Julia Lerman
Jean Picker Firstenberg Award: Tessa Blake
Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation Grant: Erica Liu
Indiegogo Grant: Rebecca Murga

About the AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women
Founded in 1974, the AFI DWW is a hands-on training program committed to increasing the number of women working professionally in screen directing. The innovative and tuition-free workshop is open to women with three years or more of professional experience in the arts, providing them an immersive opportunity to learn by doing – with each participant required to complete a short film or series by the end of the program. The AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women receives generous support from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, The Adrienne Shelly Foundation, Google, Indiegogo, Jean Picker Firstenberg, Nancy Malone, the Nancy Malone Endowment provided by the Bob & Dolores Hope Charitable Foundation, NBCUniversal, the Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation, Roz Wyman, and many other individuals committed to providing opportunities for women in the media arts.

For more information visit: AFI.com/DWW.