AFI has announced a donation of $500,000 from the estate of director, producer, actor and philanthropist Nancy Malone to advocate for the advancement and employment of women from the AFI Conservatory and the AFI Directing Workshop for Women (DWW). As an alumna of DWW, Malone’s generosity will fund the newly created Nancy Malone Initiatives for Women Filmmakers.
The Initiative enables the creation of a new position at the AFI Conservatory — the Director of Nancy Malone Women’s Initiatives — an executive-level role that will grow greater opportunities within the creative community for female filmmakers from AFI. The Initiative also creates the Nancy Malone Symposium, which will be held annually at AFI FEST presented by Audi beginning in 2018, gathering a coalition of the creative community’s leaders to further advance women in the filmmaking profession.
Director/writer Tessa Blake (AFI DWW, Class of 2015) has been named the inaugural Director of Nancy Malone Women’s Initiatives. For the past two years, Blake led the DWW, where she created alliances with innovative industry programs designed to strengthen the pipeline of Conservatory graduates and DWW participants to employment. Among the initiatives are the Universal Pictures Directors Intensive, AFI and Fox Filmmakers Lab, Google as well as Lifetime’s Broad Focus. Now taking on a larger role at the AFI Conservatory, Blake will create programs that help Conservatory and DWW alumnae find employment.