AFI CONSERVATORY ALUMNI
AWARDS SEASON UPDATE
Most Recent Alumni Honors Include Major Wins
from BAFTA, Sundance, WGA and More
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, LOS ANGELES, CA, February 16, 2016 — With the awards season now in its final weeks, the American Film Institute is proud to share the latest accomplishments of AFI Conservatory alumni.
The 2015-2016 awards season has seen Conservatory alumni continue to work at significant levels of achievement, with nominations nearly doubling last season’s — and with 81% of Conservatory graduates working in their field.
BAFTA Film Awards
At the 69th EE British Academy Film Awards in London, producer Steve Golin (AFI Class of 1981) took home Best Film for THE REVENANT. The film is also contending for the Best Picture Oscar® and won the Best Motion Picture – Drama award at the Golden Globes last month.
Sundance Film Festival
Earlier this month, the 2016 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award went to THE BIRTH OF A NATION, executive-produced by Edward Zwick (AFI Class of 1975) and edited by Steven Rosenblum (AFI Class of 1976); Fox Searchlight acquired the film, setting the record for the biggest deal in Sundance history. Also at the festival, Mako Kamitsuna (AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women, Class of 2011) won the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Editing for WE ARE X; FIRST GIRL I LOVED, produced by Seth Caplan (AFI Class of 2005), executive-produced by Rick Rosenthal (AFI Class of 1973) and shot by cinematographer Ricardo Diaz (AFI Class of 2009), won the NEXT Audience Award. In total, 36 projects featuring AFI Conservatory alumni screened at Sundance this year.
Also over the weekend at the 68th annual Writers Guild of America (WGA) Awards, Best New Series was shared by three AFI Conservatory alumni: MR. ROBOT writers Sam Esmail (AFI Class of 2004), Randy Leon (AFI Class of 2003) and Adam Penn (2003). The WGA Award follows three recent AFI Conservatory wins at the Producers Guild of America (PGA) Awards: THE HUNTING GROUND director/writer Kirby Dick (AFI Class of 1983) for the Stanley Kramer Award; TRANSPARENT producer Rick Rosenthal for Episodic Comedy; and THE VOICE executive producer Lee Metzger (AFI Class of 2000) for Competition Television.
American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Award
At the 30th annual ASC Awards, SON OF SAUL cinematographer Mátyás Erdély (AFI Class of 2005) tied for the Spotlight Award, which recognizes cinematography in a feature film exhibited at a festival, internationally or in limited release. Also nominated for an ASC Award was BRIDGE OF SPIES cinematographer Janusz KamiÅ„ski (AFI Class of 1987).
Academy Awards® (Previously Announced)
These accomplishments arrive just ahead of the upcoming 2016 Academy Awards®, for which four AFI Conservatory alumni have five nominations: producer Steve Golin, Best Picture for both THE REVENANT and SPOTLIGHT; director/writer Henry Hughes (AFI Class of 2014), Best Live Action Short for this AFI thesis film DAY ONE; director/producer Duke Johnson (AFI Class of 2006), Best Animated Feature for ANOMALISA; and Robert Richardson (AFI Class of 1979), Best Cinematography for THE HATEFUL EIGHT.
In this current awards season to date, AFI Conservatory graduates have also received: 40 honors at AFI AWARDS 2015; two 2016 Sundance Screenwriters Lab fellowships; two Golden Globe Awards; three Critics’ Choice Awards; two Gotham Awards; a Directors Guild of America (DGA) Award nomination; four Film Independent Spirit Awards nominations; and more.
About the AFI Conservatory
The AFI Conservatory offers a two-year Master of Fine Arts degree in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. Aspiring artists learn from the masters in a collaborative, hands-on production environment with an emphasis on storytelling. Within the Conservatory is also a unique training program, the AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women (DWW). AFI Conservatory’s alumni have been consistently recognized with all of the major industry awards – Academy Awards®, Emmy Awards®, guild awards – as well as the Tony Awards®. Esteemed director, producer and screenwriter James L. Brooks serves as Artistic Director of the AFI Conservatory where he provides creative leadership for the elite film program. Proud supporters of the AFI Conservatory are American Airlines, the official airline of AFI and VIZIO, the official home theater sponsor of AFI.
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 AFI.com or connect with AFI at twitter.com/AmericanFilm, facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute, instagram.com/AmericanFilmInstitute and youtube.com/AFI.