December News

Alumni Scholarship Challenge Kicks Off

For 50 years, the Conservatory’s reputation has flourished – largely due to the excellence of AFI’s alumni. To cultivate the next generation of emerging filmmakers,  there is a significant need to be met in terms of scholarship support.

 

AFI has issued a challenge to raise $25,000 by December 31, and in turn, a generous alumni donor will match donations, dollar for dollar. This means together we can raise $50,000 in scholarship dollars by December 31!

 

Small or big, every gift makes a difference and will have double the impact. If you would like to donate online, please visit AFI.com/AlumniChallenge! All gifts are 100% tax-deductible.

AFI AWARDS Announces Top Films and TV Series of the Year

This week, AFI is excited to unveil our selections for the 10 best movies and 10 best television series of the year. Visit our website for the full list of honorees, which will be recognized at the AFI AWARDS luncheon on January 3.

 

Also, congratulations to the following AFI alumni who worked on these groundbreaking films and series!

 

Yong Ok Lee (AFI Class of 2013)
Production Designer, THE FAREWELL

 

Robert Richardson (AFI Class of 1979)
Cinematographer, ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD

  ... SHOW MORE

This week, AFI is excited to unveil our selections for the 10 best movies and 10 best television series of the year. Visit our website for the full list of honorees, which will be recognized at the AFI AWARDS luncheon on January 3.

 

Also, congratulations to the following AFI alumni who worked on these groundbreaking films and series!

 

Yong Ok Lee (AFI Class of 2013)
Production Designer, THE FAREWELL

 

Robert Richardson (AFI Class of 1979)
Cinematographer, ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD

 

Scott Silver (AFI Class of 1992)
Co-writer, JOKER

 

Miguel Arteta (AFI Class of 1990)
Director, SUCCESSION

 

Michael Dinner (AFI Class of 1979)
Director, UNBELIEVABLE

 

Bradley Falchuk (AFI Class of 1994)
Creator, Executive Producer, Screenwriter, POSE

 

Susannah Grant (AFI Class of 1991)
Co-creator, Director, Writer
UNBELIEVABLE

 

Anna Hauger (AFI Class of 2009)
Editor, WATCHMEN

 

Christal Henry (AFI Class of 2005)
Screenwriter, WATCHMEN

 

Franzis Muller (AFI Class of 2013)
Editor, POSE

 

Danielle Wang (AFI Class of 2007)
Editor, POSE

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AFI Filmmakers Honored at the Directors Guild of America's Student Film Awards

Congratulations to AFI’s student filmmakers who had four wins at the DGA’s 25th annual Student Film Awards honoring African-American, Latino, Asian-American and female directors! Check out the award-winning filmmakers below:

 

Best African American Student Filmmakers:

Award Winner: Darius D. Dawson of AFI – A RODEO FILM

 

Best Asian American Student Filmmakers:

Award Winner: Jing Ai Ng of AFI – FLECK

 

Best Latino Student Filmmakers:

Award Winner: João Felipe Dall’Stella of AFI – DIA DE LAS CARPAS

Jury Award: Samir Oliveros of AFI – CACTUS BLOSSOM

AFI Alumni Included in National Board of Review's Top Films of the Year

The National Board of Review recently announced their selections for the best films of the year, and we are excited to announced that several AFI alumni made the cut! Please join us in congratulating the following winners:

 

Best Directorial Debut for QUEEN & SLIM:
Melina Matsoukas (AFI Class of 2005)

 

Top Independent Film for A HIDDEN LIFE:
Terrence Malick (AFI Class of 1969)

 

Top Independent Film for MIDSOMMAR:
Ari Aster (AFI Class of 2010)

 

Film Independent Spirit Award Nominations Announced!

We are happy to announce that the following AFI alumni & former staff have been nominated for the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards. We couldn’t be prouder!

 

Best Feature:
Terrence Malick (AFI Class of 1969)
Director, A HIDDEN LIFE

 

Best Feature:
Marina Stabile (AFI Class of 2009)
Line Producer, CLEMENCY

 

Best Feature:
Yong Ok Lee (Class of 2013)
Production Designer, THE FAREWELL

 

Best First Feature:
Jillian Longnecker (AFI Class of 2002)
Executive Producer, BOOKSMART

  ... SHOW MORE

We are happy to announce that the following AFI alumni & former staff have been nominated for the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards. We couldn’t be prouder!

 

Best Feature:
Terrence Malick (AFI Class of 1969)
Director, A HIDDEN LIFE

 

Best Feature:
Marina Stabile (AFI Class of 2009)
Line Producer, CLEMENCY

 

Best Feature:
Yong Ok Lee (Class of 2013)
Production Designer, THE FAREWELL

 

Best First Feature:
Jillian Longnecker (AFI Class of 2002)
Executive Producer, BOOKSMART

 

Best Feature, Best Screenplay:
Chinonye Chukwu (Former AFI Faculty)
Director/Screenwriter, CLEMENCY

 

Best Cinematography:
Todd Banhazl (Class of 2009)
Cinematographer, HUSTLERS

 

Best Cinematography:
Pawel Pogorzelski (Class of 2010)
Cinematographer, MIDSOMMAR

 

Click here for a full list of nominees.

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Robert Richardson Receives Duo Award, Alongside Quentin Tarantino, at Camerimage

Acclaimed Cinematographer Robert Richardson (AFI Class of 1979) and director Quentin Tarantino, recently received the Camerimage Cinematographer-Director Duo Award on November 16. Speaking about their frequent collaboration,  Tarantino said, “Working with Bob is literally one of the greatest joys of my life. He’s led my films to a visual sophistication that, back when I was working at the video store, I couldn’t even dream of achieving myself, but I could appreciate in others.”

 

Richardson is a three-time Oscar® winner for JFK, THE AVIATOR and HUGO. His latest feature with Tarantino, ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD, was the festival’s closing night film.

AFI Bids Farewell to STAR TREK Maverick, D.C. Fontana

“’I’m signing up for D.C. Fontana’s Development Class,’ said my friend, a producing Fellow at the AFI, when talk of second year courses came up in 2004.

‘Okay?’ I replied, puzzled. ‘Why?’

‘Because she’s the best.’

Intrigued by such impressive word-of-mouth, I signed up for Dorothy’s section, too. It was one of the most significant choices I would make in my life.”

–Barbara Stepansky (AFI Class of 2005)

Earlier this week, the AFI Conservatory lost a dedicated faculty member and Hollywood lost a trailblazing writer with the passing of D.C. Fontana. She will be remembered for paving a way for women in early television – particularly in the male-dominated world of science fiction – and will be ... SHOW MORE

“’I’m signing up for D.C. Fontana’s Development Class,’ said my friend, a producing Fellow at the AFI, when talk of second year courses came up in 2004.

‘Okay?’ I replied, puzzled. ‘Why?’

‘Because she’s the best.’

Intrigued by such impressive word-of-mouth, I signed up for Dorothy’s section, too. It was one of the most significant choices I would make in my life.”

–Barbara Stepansky (AFI Class of 2005)

Earlier this week, the AFI Conservatory lost a dedicated faculty member and Hollywood lost a trailblazing writer with the passing of D.C. Fontana. She will be remembered for paving a way for women in early television – particularly in the male-dominated world of science fiction – and will be missed dearly at AFI.

Visit our website to read Barbara’s full letter and other remembrances from AFI faculty.

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AFI Honors the Life of BACK TO THE FUTURE Production Designer Lawrence Paull

AFI recently lost longtime friend and former faculty member Lawrence Paull – a Production Designer of great talent – who passed away at the age of 81. In addition to being a gifted craftsman, he also served as a senior filmmaker in residence at the AFI Conservatory and helped to shape the MFA in Production Design.

 

Nominated for an Oscar® for his dystopic vision of a futuristic Los Angeles in BLADE RUNNER, Paull also served as a Production Designer on BACK TO THE FUTURE, ROMANCING THE STONE and CITY SLICKERS, among others. We’d like to thank him for his leadership at AFI and his iconic work that continues to inspire to this day.

AFI FEST Features Inaugural Conservatory Showcase

For the first time in AFI FEST history, we featured AFI Conservatory Thesis films as part of the festival program. AFI Fellows walked the red carpet, screened their innovative films and participated in compelling Q&As after their screenings.

 

The AFI FEST program included 21 AFI Conservatory Thesis short films. Click here to see more photos of the AFI Conservatory Showcase at AFI FEST 2019!

 

Thank You For Your Dedication, Patty!

AFI Director of Thesis Production Patty West (AFI Class of 2006) recently announced that she has accepted a new job at the Sundance Co//ab. Patty has been and will always be a member of the AFI family as an alum and one of the team. In addition to her current position, she has also served as the Program Director of the Directing Workshop for Women during her time at AFI. In Patty’s own words, “It has been an honor and a privilege to work at the American Film Institute amongst such great minds and great people – from Fellows to faculty and staff. I will miss everyone deeply, but will continue to cheer on the AFI from the sidelines.”

 

We want to thank her for her contributions over the years and wish her luck as she embarks on this new journey. Congratulations, Patty!

Help Us, Help You: Take the AFI Alumni Survey

Please complete this 2 minute Alumni survey to help us make improvements to AFI’s career services, mentoring and professional development program.

 

Thank you for your input!

AFI Merch That All of Your Family and Friends Will Love

Tis’ the season to show your holiday spirit! Still looking for gifts? AFI has you covered this holiday season. Check out AFI merch, including sweatshirts and t-shirts, which make great holiday gifts and stocking stuffers for the film fan in your life.

In other AFI Alumni news…

 

AGC Studios is set to produce GEECHEE, written and directed by Dubois Ashong (AFI Class of 2017) and starring Andrea Riseborough. The supernatural thriller is set to begin filming next year.

 

Following a premiere at the Hof International Film Festival, THE BERLIN BRIDE, written and directed by Michael Bartlett (AFI Class of 1989), recently won the Stanley Kubrick Award for the best U.S. feature at the Blowup Film Fest in Chicago.

 

Terrence Malick (AFI Class of 1969) is set to be fêted with his own medallion outside the Circle Cinema Oklahoma Hall of Fame in Tulsa. “We wanted to honor his contributions to film,” said David Kimball with Circle Cinema, “and honor his connection to Bartlesville,” which served as Malick’s home for a time.

 

On the heels of the opening weekend of her debut feature QUEEN & SLIM, which also opened the 2019 AFI FEST, Melina Matsoukas (AFI Class of 2005) has signed a first-look deal with FX Productions.

 

Halia Meguid (AFI Class of 2018) has made the Young & Hungry List organized by Launch Pad, which highlights and honors up-and-coming writers in Hollywood.

 

HATSHEPSUT, written by Quendrith Johnson (TVW Class of 1999), will screen as part of the Culver City Film Festival on Monday, December 9. The film previously screened at the Santa Monica Laemmle and in London.

 

Bobby Shore (AFI Class of 2006) was recently featured on Cinematographer Lifestyle, a podcast from Frame Discrete. With hosts Martin Wojtunik and Justin Lovell, he discusses the ins and outs of the industry, his influences and his work on the Netflix series, ANNE WITH AN E.

 

CORRECTION: The October Alumni Connection incorrectly stated that Oran Zegman’s MARRIAGE MATERIAL! was the first AFI Conservatory musical. There have been musicals produced at the Conservatory previously. We apologize for the error.

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