AFI DWW+ 2024 Showcase Launches Next Generation of Directors and Celebrates Program’s 50th Anniversary Honorary Committee – American Film Institute

Protected:

AFI DWW+ 2024 Showcase Launches Next Generation of Directors and Celebrates Program’s 50th Anniversary Honorary Committee

On April 10, AFI celebrated the AFI DWW+ Class of 2024 directors – Vanessa Beletic, Chloë de Carvalho, Desdemona Chiang, Naomi Iwamoto, Huriyyah Muhammad, Joanne Mony Park, Kerry O’Neill and Roxy Toporowych – to a sold-out house at its annual AFI DWW+ showcase at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) in Los Angeles. Launched in 1974, AFI DWW+ is one of the first gender impact programs in the cinematic arts and one of the longest-running and preeminent film and television workshops, and has since trained over 350 filmmakers.

(L to R) Linda Hope, AFI DWW Alumnae Lynne Littman and Lynn Roth, AFI President Emerita Jean Picker Firstenberg, AFI Conservatory Dean Susan Ruskin, and AFI President and CEO Bob Gazzale at AFI DWW+ Class of 2024 Showcase, April 10, 2024 - Photo Credit - AFI and Rodin Eckenroth
(L to R) Linda Hope, AFI DWW Alumnae Lynne Littman and Lynn Roth, AFI President Emerita Jean Picker Firstenberg, AFI Conservatory Dean Susan Ruskin and AFI President and CEO Bob Gazzale

The 2024 showcase began with remarks from Susan Ruskin, Dean of the AFI Conservatory and Executive Vice President of the American Film Institute, reflecting on the 50-year history of the storied program. Among the Directing Workshop for Women’s earliest participants were such imperative creative voices as Maya Angelou, Anne Bancroft, Ellen Burstyn, Lee Grant, Jessie Maple, Cicely Tyson and many more. The decades since have only continued to prove the program’s importance – with notable industry leaders and luminaries including current DGA President Lesli Linka Glatter, Peabody Award winner Neema Barnette, Emmy Award®-nominated director Dime Davis, Academy Award®-winning CODA director Siân Heder and many other graduates whose directorial work has entertained global audiences and defined our collective cultural landscape.

“These single artists are now a community 50 years later, and they have made a difference. But we have a lot further to go. We need to cement the ground and the strides that we have made,” said Ruskin. “And to that end, a remarkable group of women have come together [to form the AFI DWW 50th Anniversary Honorary Committee] to ensure that those voices will inspire empathy and drive culture forward for the next 50 years.”

Ruskin shared that the AFI DWW 50th Anniversary Honorary Committee includes the following filmmakers, artists and industry leaders:
• Peabody and Emmy® Award winner Neema Barnette (AFI DWW Class of 1982)
• Award-winning filmmaker and television director Tessa Blake (AFI DWW Class of 2014)
• Academy Award®, Emmy® and Tony® winner Ellen Burstyn (AFI DWW Class of 1974)
• Emmy® nominee Dime Davis (AFI DWW Class of 2015)
• Academy Award® nominee and Emmy® winner Ava DuVernay
• AFI President Emerita Jean Picker Firstenberg
• Emmy® nominee Lesli Linka Glatter (AFI DWW Class of 1982)
• Academy Award® and Emmy® winner Lee Grant (AFI DWW Class of 1974)
• Academy Award® winner Siân Heder (AFI DWW Class of 2005)
• Emmy® winner Linda Hope
• Acclaimed producer Gale Anne Hurd
• Academy Award® nominee and former Chair and CEO of Paramount Pictures Sherry Lansing
• Emmy® nominee Eva Longoria
• Academy Award® winner Chloé Zhao

Keynote Speaker Melina Matsoukas (AFI Class of 2005) at AFI DWW+ Class of 2024 Showcase, April 10, 2024 - Photo Credit - AFI and Rodin EckenrothContinuing the celebration, distinguished keynote speaker AFI Alum and award-winning director Melina Matsoukas (AFI Class of 2005, QUEEN & SLIM, MASTER OF NONE, INSECURE, THE CHANGELING) addressed the graduating cohort, sharing insights and advice.

“You have a responsibility to lend your voice to the stories of today, to bring a different perspective to the art of filmmaking, to bring balance to the community and our future cinematic history,” said Matsoukas. “You have a responsibility to be loud and opinionated, to widen the path carved for you by women filmmakers of the past and to lead for women filmmakers of the future.”

Following the remarks, the audience at the DGA Theater screened the films created by the AFI DWW+ Class of 2024 participants. Learn more at: https://conservatory.afi.com/dww-showcase/.

Watch highlights from the event:

Watch the AFI DWW 50th Anniversary Video:

Comments (1)

E. Danielle Butler, Ghostwriter

Thank you for continuing such meaningful work in support of artistry. I am appreciative to all who continue to uphold the legacy of Jessie Maple in her absence.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Related Posts

DONATE

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER