AFI and Canva Partner to Empower Rising Filmmakers with Scholarship Initiative at AFI Conservatory – American Film Institute


AFI and Canva Partner to Empower Rising Filmmakers with Scholarship Initiative at AFI Conservatory

Today, AFI announced the launch of a multifaceted partnership with Canva to empower rising filmmakers and improve access to the tools and skills necessary to realize their creative visions. Starting this year, as part of the new endeavor, Canva will establish The Canva Fellowship at the AFI Conservatory which provides scholarships for six AFI Fellows based on merit and financial need. Additionally, Canva will provide Canva Pro subscriptions to 250 AFI Fellows and 1,000 AFI Conservatory Alumni, along with in-depth design training and workshops. This new partnership unites AFI and Canva in their shared mission to educate and inspire the next generation of filmmakers to create visually impactful work.

“The AFI and Canva collaboration embodies the forward-thinking partnerships that are critical in supporting rising filmmakers,” said Susan Ruskin, Dean of the AFI Conservatory and Executive Vice President of the American Film Institute. “By breaking down barriers to education and technology and giving underrepresented filmmakers the opportunity to tell their stories, we are creating a pathway to a more diverse and inclusive industry.”

The recipients of The Canva Fellowship for 2023-2024 are AFI First Year Fellows Alex Bush (Directing), Hayoun Kim (Production Design), Dominika Podczaska (Cinematography), He “Shirley” Sui (Producing), Sydney Sullivan (Editing) and Darcy Wytko (Screenwriting). The Fellows will start the Master of Fine Arts filmmaking program at the AFI Conservatory on the AFI Campus in Los Angeles this August.

“We’re delighted to partner with AFI to support the goals of the next generation of filmmakers in such a meaningful way,” said Natalie Schwartz, Head of Global Brand Marketing at Canva. “Canva’s mission is to democratize design and creativity so that anyone can bring what’s in their mindseye to life. We’re thrilled to play a part in the journey of so many talented students, so they can build out their ideas and tell their stories in visually rich ways.”

The AFI Conservatory offers a two-year MFA degree in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. Applications to attend the AFI Conservatory film school open in the Fall. Sign up here to receive all the latest news about AFI’s MFA film production program and other opportunities.

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