AFI CONSERVATORY DIRECTING WORKSHOP FOR WOMEN PRESENTS 10 PROMISING DIRECTORS AND THEIR WORK AFI DWW Showcase Presented by Lifetime to Be Held April 12 Sarah Gertrude Shapiro to Deliver Keynote – American Film Institute


AFI CONSERVATORY DIRECTING WORKSHOP FOR WOMEN PRESENTS 10 PROMISING DIRECTORS AND THEIR WORK AFI DWW Showcase Presented by Lifetime to Be Held April 12 Sarah Gertrude Shapiro to Deliver Keynote


AFI DWW Showcase Presented by Lifetime to Be Held April 12

Sarah Gertrude Shapiro to Deliver Keynote

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 22, 2016, LOS ANGELES, CA – The American Film Institute (AFI) will host its annual AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women (DWW) Showcase on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at the Directors Guild of America (DGA)  in Los Angeles. The event provides an opportunity for the program’s 2015 participants to premiere their work to an invitation-only audience of representatives and working artists from throughout the creative community. The opening keynote will be delivered by the evening’s guest of honor, Sarah Gertrude Shapiro (AFI DWW, Class of 2012), the co-creator and executive producer of Lifetime’s critically acclaimed UNREAL, which she developed from her DWW short film SEQUIN RAZE.

This year’s 10 episodic and short film directors in attendance will be: Amy Barrett, Christine Boylan, Dime Davis, Claire Fowler, Mia Lidofsky, Erica Liu, Bella Monticelli, Rebecca Murga, Philiane Phang and Chelsea Woods. Bios can be found here.

The Showcase will be presented by Lifetime, which recently announced a groundbreaking commitment to DWW through its Broad Focus initiative, guaranteeing employment to the graduate filmmakers, starting with the Class of 2015.

Past DWW participants have gone on to great success including Pippa Bianco (AFI DWW, Class of 2014), who received the Cinéfondation Prize at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival for her DWW short SHARE; Lesli Linka Glatter (AFI DWW, Class of 1982), whose Emmy® Award-winning work as a producer and director on HOMELAND earned her PGA and DGA Award nominations in 2016; Sian Heder (AFI DWW, Class of 2005), whose Sundance 2016 competition premiere TALLULAH, based on her DWW short MOTHER, sold to Netflix; and Shapiro, whose UNREAL topped numerous 10 best lists and was an Official Selection of AFI AWARDS 2015.

The April 12 event will also introduce the newly selected AFI DWW Class of 2016: Joey Alley, Gillian Barnes, Rosie Haber, Tannaz Hazemi, Courtney Hoffman, Maggie Mahrt, Manjari Makijiany and Frankie Shaw.

About Lifetime
Lifetime is a premier entertainment destination for women dedicated to offering the highest quality original programming spanning scripted series, non-fiction series and movies. The critically acclaimed UnREAL, Devious MaidsProject RunwayDance MomsBring It!, The Rap Game and Little Women franchises anchor the network’s programming, in addition to its over 25 original movies annually that continue to define the TV movie genre.  In 2015, Lifetime launched Broad Focus, a major global initiative dedicated to supporting and hiring female directors, writers and producers to make its content which totals over 450 original hours.  Lifetime Television®, LMN®, Lifetime Real Women® and Lifetime Digital are part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC, a subsidiary of A+E Networks. A+E Networks is a joint venture of the Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst Corporation.

About the AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women
Founded in 1974, the AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women is a hands-on training program committed to increasing the number of women working professionally in screen directing. The innovative and tuition-free workshop is open to women with three years or more of professional experience in the arts, providing them an immersive opportunity to learn by doing — with each participant required to complete a short film or series by the end of the program. Since the DWW’s inception, it has trained more than 300 women in screen directing — with Maya Angelou, Anne Bancroft, Neema Barnette, Tricia Brock, Ellen Burstyn, Rebecca Cammisa, Dyan Cannon, Hanelle Culpepper, Jan Eliasberg, Naomi Foner, Jennifer Getzinger, Lyn Goldfarb, Randa Haines, Victoria Hochberg, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Lynne Littman, Matia Karrell, Nancy Malone, Becky Smith, Cicely Tyson and Joanne Woodward included among its distinguished alumnae.

The AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women receives generous support from
Jean Picker Firstenberg, Google, Linda Hope, Indiegogo, Lifetime, Mark and Lynne Liss, NBCUniversal, the Adrienne Shelly Foundation, the Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation, Rosalind Wyman, the Jean Picker Firstenberg Endowment and The Nancy Malone Endowment provided by The Bob and Dolores Hope Charitable Foundation, and many other individuals committed to providing opportunities for women in the media arts.

For more on the AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women, please visit:

About the American Film Institute

AFI is America’s promise to preserve the heritage of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. AFI programs include the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and the AFI Archive, which preserve film heritage for future generations; the AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in film; AFI AWARDS, honoring the most outstanding movies and TV series of the year; AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies television events and movie reference lists, which have introduced and reintroduced classic American movies to millions of film lovers; year-round and special event exhibition through AFI FEST presented by Audi, AFI DOCS and the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center; and educating the next generation of storytellers at the world-renowned AFI Conservatory. For more information about AFI, visit or connect with AFI at,, and



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