Nov 14, 2006, 08:35

"Eight Women to be Selected into Tuition-Free Program Through Competitive Selection Process Final Deadline for Submissions January 5, 2007"

Los Angeles, CA -- AFI's Directing Workshop for Women (DWW) is currently accepting applications for its 2007 cycle. The only program of its kind in the US, AFI's DWW is a major force in training women in narrative filmmaking. The program is completely tuition-free to participants. Since 1974, over 200 women have been given the opportunity to participate in this innovative and unique training workshop for emerging directors. Each year, hundreds of applications from all over the world are reviewed to select the eight women who will be given the opportunity to participate in this prestigious program. The program's popularity continues to grow—with the number of applicants last year doubling from the previous year.

Applications can be downloaded from and must be postmarked by December 1, 2006 (early deadline, reduced application fee) or January 5, 2007(final deadline).

AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women’s list of alumnae includes such diverse directors as Maya Angelou (DOWN IN THE DELTA); Lesli Linka Glatter (GREY'S ANATOMY, NUMB3RS, THE O.C., THE WEST WING); Randa Haines (THE OUTSIDERS, CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD); Victoria Hochberg (STATE OF GRACE, THE CHRIS ISAAK SHOW, SEX AND THE CITY), Tricia Brock (HUFF, THE L WORD) and Kellie Martin (MYSTERY WOMAN). Other graduates include Anne Bancroft, Ellen Burstyn, Dyan Cannon, Patty Duke, Nancy Malone, Lynn Roth and Joanne Woodward.

Recent statistics released by the Directors Guild of America on the employment of women and minority directors continue to be bleak. In the 2004-2005 season, women and minorities directed only 17% of the total episodes of the top 40 prime time series on television. "For the fifth year in a row, the report reveals that producers and networks have made little to no change in the hiring of women and minority directors," comments DGA President Michael Apted. AFI’s DWW is dedicated to increasing the number of women behind the camera.

“AFI's Directing Workshop for Women pushed me far beyond the place I would have pushed myself. The attention to every step of the process, from the first day of the writing workshop through production, was so beautifully thorough, I ended up making a film that surprised even me," says recent alumna Sian Heder. "The program was one of the hardest, most intense and fulfilling journeys I have ever taken. It has opened doors for me that I could not even have imagined a year ago." Heder's short film MOTHER won third prize at the Cannes Film Festival in the Cinefoundation competition, a Grand Jury Prize at both the Florida and Seattle International Film Festivals, and has been selected as part of the competitive shorts program at AFI FEST 2006. Heder is now represented by International Creative Management and is in development on a feature version of her short.

About the American Film Institute

AFI is a national institute providing leadership in screen education and the recognition and celebration of excellence in the art of film, television and digital media. AFI trains the next generation of filmmakers at its world-renowned Conservatory, maintains America's film heritage through the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and explores new digital technologies in entertainment and education through the AFI Digital Content Lab and K-12 Screen Education Center. As the largest nonprofit exhibitor in the U.S., AFI ON SCREEN encompasses the annual AFI FEST presented by Audi: AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival—as well as year-round programming at ArcLight Hollywood and the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, Maryland, including SILVERDOCS: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival. The AFI AWARDS, the annual almanac for the 21st century, honors the most outstanding motion pictures and television programs of the year, while AFI's 100 Years . . . series has ignited extraordinary public interest in classic American movies. And during the past 34 years, AFI’s Life Achievement Award has become the highest honor for a career in film.


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