Nancy Malone Estate Donates $500,000 to Advance Women Filmmakers at the American Film Institute – American Film Institute


Nancy Malone Estate Donates $500,000 to Advance Women Filmmakers at the American Film Institute

AFI has announced a donation of $500,000 from the estate of director, producer, actor and philanthropist Nancy Malone to advocate for the advancement and employment of women from the AFI Conservatory and the AFI Directing Workshop for Women (DWW).  As an alumna of DWW, Malone’s generosity will fund the newly created Nancy Malone Initiatives for Women Filmmakers.

Tessa Blake
Tessa Blake

The Initiative enables the creation of a new position at the AFI Conservatory — the Director of Nancy Malone Women’s Initiatives — an executive-level role that will grow greater opportunities within the creative community for female filmmakers from AFI.  The Initiative also creates the Nancy Malone Symposium, which will be held annually at AFI FEST presented by Audi beginning in 2018, gathering a coalition of the creative community’s leaders to further advance women in the filmmaking profession.

Director/writer Tessa Blake (AFI DWW, Class of 2015) has been named the inaugural Director of Nancy Malone Women’s Initiatives.  For the past two years, Blake led the DWW, where she created alliances with innovative industry programs designed to strengthen the pipeline of Conservatory graduates and DWW participants to employment.  Among the initiatives are the Universal Pictures Directors Intensive, AFI and Fox Filmmakers Lab, Google as well as Lifetime’s Broad Focus.  Now taking on a larger role at the AFI Conservatory, Blake will create programs that help Conservatory and DWW alumnae find employment.

Comments (4)


I remember Nancy Malone’s work as a director in The Guardian TV Series.
Happy to know about this news.
Thank You.

Iris Dart

I adored Nancy Malone, she had great enthusiasm and wonderful ideas up until the very end. I’m not surprised by her generosity in backing this worthwhile program.

Sharon Lawrence

What great news for the alliance of these powerful forces – the AFI DWW program, my fellow @UNC TarHeel Tessa Blake and especially a creator like Nancy Malone who models for us the power of moving beyond mentorship to sponsorship -women are worth investing in!

Carol Francis

Feb 13, 2020

The Great Nancy Malone R.I.P.

NANCY gave me my first job upon having just arrived in LA in 1988, I was a guest star in an episode of Cagney & Lacey I was in my early 20’s and this was my first LA TV audition

Nancy, could not believe my audition she just kept saying “You nailed it, you nailed it, you sound like a real self entitled yuppie, you’re perfect”. She hired me on the spot and turned to the casting director Diane Dimeo how did you find her, Diane said, she found me she just kept calling telling me to please give her a chance to read. I was so happy.

After my audition I asked if one of the PA’S could please drive me back to Hollywood as I was too scared to go back under the bridge to catch my 4 buses back,

Nancy could not believe that I took 4 buses to get to the Cagney & Lacey downtown audition location which took over 3 hours to get there as I told her that I did not know how to drive having just arrived in LA that month.

More important I told her I needed to return my business suit I was wearing as I explained to her that I rented the linen suit from Melvin’s dry cleaners and he wanted it back by 6PM or he would charge me a 2nd fee

Both Nancy and Barney Rosensweig the Producer could not stop laughing as I explained that Melvin rents clothing to actresses for auditions because some of his customers do Not return to pick up their dry cleaning when they drop it off

The show YUP aired May 2, 1988 and actually aired this evening Feb 13, 2020 as an old rerun was on, with an excellent script by Sharon Elizabeth Doyle and pristine direction by the beautiful Nancy Malone

Over the years In the 90’s I kept in touch with Nancy, she always appreciated the cards I would mail to her.

Nancy was a beautiful soul and a very gifted director

I was greatful to Nancy for believing in my work and giving me my first job in LA

Nancy truly cared about everyone she came in contact with

With Love

AKA Sandra Pizarro
YUP -Cagney & Lacey

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