AFI Announces 2022 Young Women in Film Intensive – American Film Institute


AFI Announces 2022 Young Women in Film Intensive

AFI is thrilled to announce the launch of the third Young Women in Film (YWIF) intensive. The nine-week filmmaking workshop will be held on the AFI Campus in Los Angeles for 50 female-identifying high school students from ICEF (Inner City Education Foundation) View Park Preparatory High School, Immaculate Heart, Synergy Quantum Academy High School and Atascadero High School (San Luis Obispo County). Participants will work together in teams alongside AFI Conservatory Fellows and Alumni to create a series of short films that will be screened for audiences on the AFI Campus at the conclusion of the program. This year’s program will be overseen by the AFI Conservatory’s new Department of Innovative Programs, which brings the Institute’s non-degree, social impact programs under one roof.

“With the launch of the third Young Women in Film intensive, AFI connects young filmmakers directly with AFI resources, providing unparalleled access to equipment and the opportunity to learn from our talented Fellows and Alumni,” said Susan Ruskin, Dean of the AFI Conservatory and EVP of the American Film Institute. “We are excited to expand our reach with a hybrid program to include a regional school from California’s Central Coast community of Atascadero and thereby provide wider regional inclusivity, and to use technology to assist this effort – both priorities of the new Innovative Programs department. We look forward to supporting these young artists in their filmmaking journey and the impact they will have on the world in years to come.”

The intensive kicks off today with an inspiring welcome session with Stacy Pascal Gaspard, a Directing Fellow at the AFI Conservatory, about her journey from being the first in her family to go to college in the United States to being selected for Lena Waithe’s Rising Voices Program with Indeed, the Paxeros’ Women of Color Commercial Directing Program, and the Indeed and Hillman Grad’s filmmaker in residency program. Gaspard’s most recent film, SOÑADORA, which she wrote and directed through the Rising Voices Program, premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival.

In the following weeks, students will learn the art of filmmaking, with training in pitching, screenwriting, producing, production design, directing, cinematography and editing — all with state-of-the-art cinematic technology. In making their films, students will also have access to professional actors from the SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles Conservatory.

The Young Women in Film intensive is made possible in part by support from AT&T, the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and Canon Burbank. The program’s Founding Partner is the Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation.

YWIF is one of the American Film Institute’s pioneering, tuition-free efforts to empower diverse filmmakers within the AFI Conservatory’s Department of Innovative Programs, which also includes the landmark AFI DWW program and the AFI Cinematography Intensive for Women. Through a range of learning opportunities, Innovative Programs serves a diverse community of aspiring visual storytellers with opportunities to build leading-edge technological, digital and media-making skills, bridge access to professional networks and place participants on a career trajectory. Read more about Innovative Programs on

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