FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – July 31, 2018 – The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced today that the AFI Conservatory has named Academy Award®-nominated producer Lianne Halfon as Producing Discipline Head. Producing is one of six disciplines in which the AFI Conservatory offers a two-year Master of Fine Arts degree, along with Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Production Design and Screenwriting.

In 1998, Halfon co-founded the award-winning production company Mr. Mudd with Russell Smith and John Malkovich. Halfon has produced such films as JUNO (2007), which earned her a Best Picture Academy Award® nomination; GHOST WORLD (2001); ART SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL (2006); JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME (2011); YOUNG ADULT (2011); and THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER (2012). Halfon executive-produced the documentaries CRUMB (1994) and WHICH WAY HOME (2009), which earned her a News and Documentary Emmy® Award. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the Producers Guild of America.

"Lianne brings a wealth of experience, taste and knowledge to the AFI Conservatory, and will no doubt take this pioneering program to the next level — and into the future," said Richard N. Gladstein, AFI Conservatory Dean.

The role of Producing Discipline Head was previously held by Neil Canton, who retired in June after 14 years at the AFI Conservatory.

The AFI Conservatory Producing Discipline has graduated such world-renowned filmmakers as Pieter Jan Brugge (Oscar®-nominated producer, THE INSIDER), Jay Cassidy (Oscar®-nominated editor, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK), Julie Dash (director/writer/producer, DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST), Dante Di Loreto (Emmy®-winning producer, AMERICAN CRIME STORY), Anne Garefino (Emmy®-winning executive producer, SOUTH PARK), Steve Golin (Oscar®-winning producer, SPOTLIGHT), Liz Hannah (screenwriter/co-producer, Best Picture Oscar® nominee THE POST) and Beatriz Sequeira (co-producer, GET OUT).

About the AFI Conservatory
The AFI Conservatory has been named the #1 film school in the world. In 1969, the AFI Conservatory opened its doors to an inaugural class that included Terrence Malick, Caleb Deschanel and Paul Schrader. Today, the AFI Conservatory offers a two-year MFA degree in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. Aspiring artists learn from the masters in a collaborative, hands-on production environment with an emphasis on storytelling. Alumni of this elite program include Andrea Arnold, Darren Aronofsky, Julie Dash, Steve Golin, Patty Jenkins, Janusz Kamiński, David Lynch, Melina Matsoukas and Robert Richardson, among others.

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