The AFI Directing Workshop for Women is committed to educating and mentoring female directors in an effort to increase the number of women working professionally in screen directing.


  • Application Deadline: January 6, 2014
  • Interviews: Mid-February, 2014
  • Participants Notified: Mid-March, 2014
  • Workshop: May 1–May 23, 2014


The three-week workshop focuses on the development and production of a short narrative film. Participants enter the program with a short screenplay, which they develop within the workshop. A revised draft of the script is required at the end of the three weeks.

Upon acceptance into the program, it is crucial that participants begin to immediately interview producers and start to fundraise for their film. It is recommended that each project have two producers and a line producer prior to the start of the three-week workshop. Participants are also required to raise $5,000 in support of their productions by the first day of the workshop. Fundraising information and support will be provided shortly after acceptance.

Classroom attendance during the workshop is mandatory and critical to participants' success. Attendance and participation in class demonstrates a commitment to the program, to the projects and to classmates. Pre-production begins in earnest at the end of the three-week workshop. Participants will have the opportunity to select production dates from a list of available times. Production is then permitted only during the specific dates assigned each project.


During production, all DWW participants will direct a short narrative film.

AFI does not provide crew for these projects. However, there are many opportunities for participants to meet AFI Fellows (graduate film students from the AFI Conservatory). Fellows have completed films within similar parameters and are a rich resource for participants to include on their crews. An AFI liaison will be provided for each production to help facilitate the completion of paperwork required by AFI. Participants may raise up to $25,000 in support of their productions ($30,000 for participants who are not local).

Complete production details will be explained to participants during the three-week workshop. All Productions must comply with DWW and AFI Production Requirements.

Productions will be scheduled within a very strict time frame. Production will take place in the Los Angeles area during the month of July. Although participants are given access to AFI editing facilities, participants may also choose to edit at an outside facility. Outside editing facilities must be approved in advance. Schedules are strictly monitored and all participants are required to screen cuts of their film for evaluation of progress. Some areas of post-production, such as mixing, will need to be done outside AFI at participant's expense.


Participants must have the financial means to dedicate full time concentration to the workshop and the production of their films. This will preclude participants' ability to work full time for approximately four months (May-August) when the DWW project has reached picture lock. DWW is not a grant program. There is no tuition fee to attend.

As explained, participants may raise up to $25,000 in support of their productions ($30,000 for participants who are not local); $5,000 must be raised by the first day of the May workshop.

Lunch is provided during the workshop, but AFI does not provide housing or transportation to participants.


  • 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 only during specified hours.


Significant contributions from individuals and corporations committed to providing opportunities for women in the media arts sustain the workshop's activities. AFI is grateful to the following supporters who have made the DWW possible:

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

Jean Picker Firstenberg

Jean Picker Firstenberg Endowment

The Nancy Malone Endowment provided by The Bob & Dolores Hope Charitable Foundation

Nancy Malone

The Adrienne Shelly Foundation

Sony Corporation of America

Roz Wyman

And other generous corporations and individuals committed to providing opportunities for women in the media arts.

You can support this tuition-free program and play your part in American film.

AFI Membership
Support our efforts to preserve hisotory of film