Over 50% of Participants are Women of Color
DWW Short to Premiere at Sundance
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 15, 2020, Los Angeles, CA – The AFI Directing Workshop for Women (DWW) — AFI’s filmmaker training program launched in 1974 — continues its longstanding commitment to increasing the number of women and gender nonbinary directors working in film and television. The prestigious program has announced eight new participants for the 2020-2021 cycle. Participants receive several months of tuition-free film education, culminating in the production of a short film. The films will premiere at the annual DWW Showcase in Los Angeles in 2021.
The new class of DWW participants are: Michelle Krusiec, April Maxey, Mary Angélica Molina, April Moreau, Kelly Pike, Jessica Shields, Lucretia Stinnette and Em Weinstein. Five of the participants are women of color. Read their bios here.
“AFI has a long history of advocating for directors from underrepresented communities and we continue that tradition with this new class of filmmakers,” said Susan Ruskin, Dean of the AFI Conservatory and EVP of the American Film Institute. “We are thrilled to welcome these eight artists into the AFI family and can’t wait to see their unique stories on the screen.”
Completing the program this year, Bridget Moloney (Class of 2020) will premiere her short film BLOCKS, which was produced through the DWW program, at Sundance. Moloney will also be featured in the LA Times’ docu-series JOURNEY TO SUNDANCE. The film crew will follow Bridget through the intense and life-altering experience of having a film at Sundance, capturing behind-the-scenes moments during a pivotal time in her directing career.
Since its inception in 1974, the DWW has graduated over 300 alumnae, including accomplished filmmakers such as Lesli Linka Glatter (HOMELAND), Sarah Gertrude Shapiro (UNREAL), Tricia Brock (ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK), Neema Barnette (LUKE CAGE), Jennifer Getzinger (MAD MEN) and Hanelle Culpepper (STAR TREK: DISCOVERY).
Past faculty and mentors who have championed the DWW mission include Ava DuVernay (WHEN THEY SEE US), Patty Jenkins (WONDER WOMAN), Kimberly Peirce (BOYS DON’T CRY), Jamie Babbit (RUSSIAN DOLL), Issa Rae (INSECURE) and Lena Waithe (MASTER OF NONE).
About the AFI Directing Workshop for Women
The AFI Directing Workshop for Women (DWW) is a hands-on training program that mentors female and gender nonbinary directors intent on revolutionizing their industry. Launched in 1974, the DWW has graduated over 350 alumnae and provides participants with tuition-free classes and support in creating a short film. The DWW, which is open to artists with at least five years of industry experience, includes classes on visual storytelling, the director’s process, ethical leadership, and the current state of the industry.
The AFI Directing Workshop for Women receives generous support from Paramount Pictures, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation, The Walt Disney Studios, Lifetime, the National Endowment for the Arts, Universal Pictures and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Additional support comes from Jean Picker Firstenberg, Linda Hope, the Nancy Malone Living Trust, Seed&Spark, the Jean Picker Firstenberg Endowment, The Nancy Malone Endowment provided by The Bob and Dolores Hope Charitable Foundation, and the many individual supporters committed to providing opportunities for women in the media arts.
About the American Film Institute (AFI)
Established in 1967, the American Film Institute is the nation’s non-profit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring artists and audiences through initiatives that champion the past, present and future of the moving image. AFI’s pioneering programs include filmmaker training at the AFI Conservatory; year-round exhibition at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center and at AFI Festivals across the nation; workshops aimed at increasing diversity in the storytelling community; honoring today’s masters through the AFI Life Achievement Award and AFI AWARDS; and scholarly efforts such as the AFI Catalog of Feature Films that uphold film history for future generations. Read about all of these programs and more at AFI.com and follow us on social media at Facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute, youtube.com/AFI, twitter.com/American Film and Instagram.com/AmericanFilmInstitute.
American Film Institute: Stacy Adamski, 323.856.7759, [email protected]