Marya Mazor (right) discusses a scene with the actors on the set of THE WINGED MAN.
AFI Directing Workshop for Women is a unique training program designed to increase the number of women working as professional directors.
ELIGIBILITY & SELECTION
The DWW has a rich tradition of excellence that has been recognized by such prestigious organizations as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Cannes and Sundance. The application process is highly competitive. On average, just 4% of applicants are selected to participate in this prestigious program.
Successful candidates will have demonstrated collaborative skills and leadership ability in their professional careers. An affinity for identifying script material with a strong story (whether written by the applicant or another writer) is critical for consideration. Applicants must also possess a willingness and ability to fundraise and network in support of their productions.
Up to eight women are selected to attend this intensive hands-on training workshop, after which they direct their projects using a production package provided by AFI. Because DWW is designed to prepare women directors for professional success, all projects must be produced within the parameters of AFI policy.
AFI provides mentorship, a unique SAG deferred contract, production equipment, production insurance, potential for production-related discounts with local vendors and distribution opportunities for the completed project. AFI also provides access to the network of working DWW Alumnae.
Applicants must have a minimum of five years professional experience working in the arts. This experience may not include credits earned within an academic program. Applicants having professional credits as narrative directors — defined as a directing credit on a nationally broadcast or nationally distributed narrative (not documentary) feature film or television program — are not eligible to apply.
Participants will be chosen through a three-tier process. All applications are read and scored by teams of alumnae; approximately 35% are put forward to the second tier. The second tier includes a formal interview with DWW staff and selected alumnae. Roughly 25% of those interviewed will be considered in the final tier where the eight participants are selected.
All applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents (with Green Card) and must reside and work in the United States or its territories during the workshop period. All participants are required to maintain current health insurance through the course of the DWW.
An approximate eight-month commitment to the workshop is necessary. This includes not only the three-week training workshop, but also pre-production, production and post-production time for the narrative projects. The three-week workshop requires full-time attendance at the AFI Campus in Los Angeles, where the average workshop day is between eight and 10 hours. There are required delivery dates in pre-production and post-production, but the participant is not otherwise required to be on campus.
Please read carefully as the application and requirements change from year to year.
A standard format narrative screenplay* of no more than 15 pages (shorter submissions are strongly encouraged) in proper screenplay format — applications submitted with improperly formatted scripts will not be considered.
Narrative statements (which include the elements requested on the application)
Résumé (no more than 2 pages)
Reel of work (as outlined on the application)
Non-refundable application fee: $100
OPTIONAL: Up to three letters of recommendation dated within six months of the application date
DO NOT INCLUDE: Slides, photographs, tapes, press kits or portfolios with your application.
*Great directors must also be great storytellers. The ability to identify or create material for development is vital to a director's success. The screenplay does not have to be written by the applicant. However, if an outside writer's material is used, all necessary rights must be obtained from the author and submitted with the application, including the rights to adapt previously existing material. Please email this signed agreement to DWWinfo@AFI.com and it will be added to your application.
AFI cannot provide critical comment or advice on submitted materials. AFI does not return or release application materials.