Applications Open Today
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Los Angeles, CA, August 12, 2022 – The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today a call for applicants for its DWW+ program, a year-long directing workshop that educates traditionally underrepresented narrative filmmakers through the production cycle of a short film, providing hands-on instruction led by industry experts. Participants leave the program with the knowledge and tools necessary to best leverage their creative talents and achieve their career goals as directors. The application period opens today, August 12, and closes Sunday, September 25, 2022. The application and eligibility requirements can be found on afi.com/dww.
“DWW+ powerfully illustrates AFI’s commitment to providing opportunities for a diverse range of artists and those who have been historically underrepresented to pursue a professional career in directing film and television,” said Susan Ruskin, Dean of the AFI Conservatory and EVP of the American Film Institute. “We look forward to hosting an inclusive creative community and to championing a new cohort of directors dedicated to their progress as leaders in their craft.”
The AFI DWW+ was launched in 1974 as the Directing Workshop for Women, one of the first gender impact programs in the cinematic arts, as well as one of the longest-running and preeminent film and television workshops nationwide. Since the program’s inception, DWW+ has trained over 350 filmmakers that give voice to historically underrepresented perspectives.
Past participants have broken barriers and gone on to great success, including Oscar® winner Siân Heder (AFI DWW Class of 2005), who wrote and directed the Academy Award®-winning film CODA; DGA President Lesli Linka Glatter (AFI DWW Class of 1982), whose critically acclaimed work as a producer and director on HOMELAND earned her Emmy®, PGA and DGA Award nominations; Dime Davis (AFI DWW Class of 2015), who received a 2020 Emmy® nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series for A BLACK LADY SKETCH SHOW; and Hanelle Culpepper (AFI DWW Class of 2002), who directed the record-breaking pilot of STAR TREK: PICARD, making her the first woman director and the first Black director to launch a new STAR TREK series in the franchise’s history.
Other distinguished Alumnae include Maya Angelou, Anne Bancroft, Neema Barnette, Pippa Bianco, Tessa Blake, Tricia Brock, Ellen Burstyn, Rebecca Cammisa, Dyan Cannon, Jan Eliasberg, Naomi Foner, Jennifer Getzinger, Lyn Goldfarb, Randa Haines, Victoria Hochberg, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Matia Karrell, Maggie Kiley, Lynne Littman, Nancy Malone, Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, Becky Smith, Cicely Tyson and Joanne Woodward.
The AFI DWW+ program receives generous support from AT&T, Paramount Pictures, The Walt Disney Studios, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation, Universal Pictures and Lifetime. Additional support comes from the Lewis Greenwood Foundation, Jean Picker Firstenberg Endowment, The Nancy Malone Endowment provided by The Bob and Dolores Hope Charitable Foundation, and other individual supporters committed to providing opportunities for historically underrepresented voices in the media arts.
DWW+ is part of the AFI Conservatory’s Department of Innovative Programs, which also includes the Cinematography Intensive for Women and the Young Women in Film program. Through a range of learning opportunities, Innovative Programs serves a diverse community of aspiring visual storytellers to cultivate cutting-edge technological, digital, and media-making skills, bridge access to professional networks and place participants on an upward career trajectory. Read more about Innovative Programs on conservatory.afi.com/innovativeprograms/.
About the American Film Institute (AFI)
The American Film Institute (AFI) is a nonprofit organization with a mandate to champion the moving image as an art form. Established in 1967, AFI launched the first comprehensive history of American film and sparked the movement for film preservation in the United States. In 1969, AFI opened the doors of the AFI Conservatory, a graduate-level program to train narrative filmmakers. AFI’s enduring traditions include the AFI Life Achievement Award, which honors the masters for work that has stood the test of time; AFI AWARDS, which celebrates the creative ensembles of the most outstanding screen stories of the year; and scholarly efforts such as the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and the AFI Archive that preserve film history for future generations. AFI exhibition programs include AFI FEST, AFI DOCS and year-round exhibition at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Maryland. Other pioneering programs include workshops aimed at increasing diversity in the storytelling community, including AFI DWW+ and the AFI Cinematography Intensive for Women. AFI’s newest program is AFI Movie Club, a daily global engagement for those who love the movies. 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/AmericanFilm and Instagram.com/AmericanFilmInstitute.
About the AFI Conservatory
The AFI Conservatory opened its doors in 1969 to an inaugural class that included Terrence Malick, Caleb Deschanel and Paul Schrader. Today, the Conservatory offers a two-year MFA degree in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. In a collaborative production environment, AFI Fellows learn to master the art of storytelling, collectively creating up to 175 films a year. Fellows actively participate in the entire life cycle of a film, from development through production and exhibition.
Alumni of this elite program, ranging from modern masters to bold new voices defining the state of the art form include Andrea Arnold, Darren Aronofsky, Ari Aster, Sam Esmail, Brad Falchuk, Liz Hannah, Patty Jenkins, Janusz Kamiński, Matthew Libatique, David Lynch, Melina Matsoukas, Polly Morgan, Rachel Morrison and Wally Pfister, among others.