AFI Announces the Participants for the 2023 AFI Cinematography Intensive for Women – American Film Institute
A collage image of 12 participants named to the 2023 edition of AFI's Cinematography Workshop for Women


AFI Announces the Participants for the 2023 AFI Cinematography Intensive for Women

Today, AFI announced the participants for the 2023 edition of the AFI Cinematography Intensive for Women (CIW) presented by Panavision. The four-day intensive, spearheaded by AFI Conservatory Cinematography Discipline Head Stephen Lighthill, ASC, will begin Thursday, June 22 on the AFI Campus in Los Angeles and continue through Sunday, June 25.

The CIW participants come from across the U.S. and span a wide range of ages, experience levels, backgrounds and perspectives, and represent an accomplished and diverse pool of applicants. Through the program, AFI champions these future leaders who are committed to learning and advancing inclusive culture, fostering diverse communities and ethical practices and whose unique voices will add dimension to the art of visual storytelling and to our industry at large.

The selected filmmakers for 2023 are: Shirley Chan, Emma Forthofer, Mars Garcia, Colbie Inez, Hayley Grant, Ariana Hoshino, Samar Kauss, Sydney Lawson, Candice Majors, Maria Raad, Victoria Sendra and Maddy Talias. View bios for 2023 CIW participants.

“We are thrilled to champion this cohort of talented and diverse filmmakers,” said AFI Conservatory Cinematography Discipline Head Stephen Lighthill, ASC. “This opportunity – to help the participants continue to develop their craft at this stage in their career and provide them with the tools necessary to excel as a visual storyteller – is a wonderful honor for us all.”

The 2023 CIW Selection Committee members are: Consuelo Althouse (AFI Class of 2012, LAND OF THE FREE), Emmy® nominee Ava Berkofsky, ASC (AFI Class of 2013, INSECURE), Amy Ellenberger (Director, AFI Admissions), Stephen Lighthill, ASC (GIMME SHELTER, BERKELEY IN THE SIXTIES), Valentina Martinico (AFI Class of 2014, TIGHT, ALLEN V. FARROW) and Rosita Lama Muvdi (AFI Class of 2016, HARCLAW, TABULA RASA).

Designed for aspiring cinematographers, the goal of the program is to provide participants with a toolkit to secure on-set experience in the field and first-hand industry insights, demonstrating the path to professional career success. The hands-on master classes in the fundamentals of cinematography constitute the core of the program, along with discussions about the current environment in the entertainment industry and what it means to navigate this landscape as women, nonbinary and historically underrepresented cinematographers. CIW classes will be taught by industry leaders and AFI Conservatory Faculty and Alumni including Natasha Braier, ASC, ADF (SHE SAID); Autumn Durald Arkapaw (AFI Class of 2009, LOKI, BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER); Hana Kitasei (AFI Class of 2015, DAUGHTER); AFI Conservatory Cinematography Discipline Head Stephen Lighthill, ASC; Valentina Martinico (AFI Class of 2014, TIGHT, ALLEN V. FARROW); Polly Morgan, ASC, BSC (THE WOMAN KING); Sandra Valde-Hansen, ASC (AFI Class of 2006, PLAN B, THE L WORD: GENERATION Q); and Dan Sasaki, Senior Vice President of Optical Engineering and Lens Strategy, Panavision.

The Cinematography Intensive for Women is presented by Panavision.

“We’re so excited to return as the presenting sponsor for the Cinematography Intensive for Women,” said Panavision President and CEO Kim Snyder. “Panavision and AFI are committed to fostering an inclusive and welcoming industry through initiatives that champion equity and diversity. The CIW participants represent a wide range of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives, and they’re united in their passion and incredible talent for crafting moving images. We’re thrilled to support and celebrate these cinematographers as they continue to advance in their careers.”

Learn more about CIW and the AFI Conservatory MFA Film Production program at

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