The Directing Workshop for Women (DWW) at the American Film Institute is a hands-on film training program committed to educating and mentoring participants in an effort to increase the number of women working professionally in screen directing.

The DWW offers participants intensive training in narrative filmmaking in an innovative program. Each participant is required to complete a short film by the end of the program. DWW is open to women with three years of professional experience in the arts. The program is tuition-free though participants are responsible for raising funds for their projects.

At the time of the DWW's launch in 1974, women made up less than 1% of working directors. Over 275 women have taken part in the DWW since the program was launched and 25% have gone on to direct professionally, many of whom have won awards in directing from the Director's Guild of America, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Among the DWW's alumnae are Maya Angelou, Anne Bancroft, Ellen Burstyn and Lesli Linka Glatter.

  • Three-Week Training Workshop: Full-time classes and instruction. Some evenings and weekends may be required.
  • Pre-Production: Approximately five weeks from the end of the training workshop session until the first production begins shooting.
  • Production: AFI provides lighting, grip and camera equipment that can be used for a five-day shoot (permission to use a non-AFI digital camera is possible through a formal request). Equipment pick-up and drop-off times are specified. Participants are responsible for damaged and missing equipment. AFI provides limited insurance and requires shooting/location permits, compliance with AFI's SAG Deferred Agreement and other production paperwork.
  • Post-Production: Participants are required to find editors for their projects. Projects must lock picture within the assigned 30 days, regardless of whether editing takes place on or off campus. On-campus editing facilities are available during specified hours.

Visit the Program section for details. Subscribe to the AFI DWW newsletter.