The landmark AFI Directing Workshop for Women opens its applications today for the Class of 2021. Each year, this renowned program provides eight gifted directors with immersive training and the necessary tools and support to complete a short film or digital series. The workshop experience includes classes in screen directing, professional development resources and inroads to the industry — all at no cost to participants. The DWW is open to women and gender non-binary artists with three years or more of professional experience in the arts. While the program is tuition-free, participants are in charge of spearheading fundraising efforts for their projects.
Recalling her time at the AFI DWW, alumna Pippa Bianco (AFI DWW Class of 2014) said, “it was an incredible experience that I cannot recommend enough to others…The program gave me the framework and the impetus to finally do something I’d been intending to do for a long time, and an incredible network of support and resources.” She recently adapted her DWW short into the feature film SHARE that is now streaming on HBO.
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).