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AFI Conservatory

AFI Conservatory
Established 1969
Type Private not-for-profit school'
Affiliation American Film Institute
Dean Jan Schütte
Location Los Angeles, California
Campus Urban, Script error: No such module "convert".
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The AFI Conservatory is a private not-for-profit film graduate film school in Los Angeles, CA. The Conservatory is a program of the American Film Institute founded in 1969.



In 2011, The Hollywood Reporter ranked it the #1 film school in the world.[1]

It is ranked in the top 5 graduate film programs along with USC, UCLA, NYU and California Institute of the Arts by the Princeton Review and US News and World Report[2]

Conservatory program

AFI Conservatory is a five-term Master of Fine Arts program in six disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design, and Screenwriting. Traditionally, the Conservatory accepts 28 students - called Fellows - per year for most disciplines and 14 for the Design and Editing disciplines. Each discipline's program runs two years in length.

First Year - Fellows from all disciplines work on at least three digital video or high definition short films (up to 20 minutes), appropriately referred to as 'cycle projects'. Each of these first-year projects are accomplished by Fellows with a minimum of oversight from the senior faculty. The purported goal being to stimulate a flexible and creative approach to filmmaking within imposed budgetary constraints and without the crutch of seasoned oversight. These 'cycle projects' make up the core curriculum of the first year experience and amount to a 'boot camp" of filmmaking that simultaneously challenges and invigorates the Fellows involved.

Second Year - Most Fellows work on at least one thesis short film, shot on digital video, high definition, 35mm film, or 16mm film, and develop portfolio materials (such as a reel and a feature film screenplay). Screenwriting Fellows have the option of writing two feature-length screenplays instead of participating in a thesis film. They are responsible for raising the bulk of their own financing for these projects (average budget is $30,000), and must adhere to standard industry regulations, such as SAG charter rules, during filming. The senior faculty of the conservatory oversee the development of the 'second year' projects and monitor their development in a manner similar to what might be expected of an Executive Producer.[3]


The program has graduated over 4,700 Fellows. Alumni include:
John Cassavetes
Brad Falchuk
Zal Batmanglij
David Lynch
Terrence Malick
Todd Field
Carl Franklin
Paul Schrader
Victor Nuñez
Andrea Arnold
Patty Jenkins
Robert Elswit
Janusz Kamiński
Wally Pfister
Caleb Deschanel
Robert Richardson
Carl Colpaert, Darren Aronofsky
Martin Brest
John Dahl
Bill Duke
Amy Heckerling
Mimi Leder
Matthew Libatique
Patrick Creadon
John McTiernan
Edward Zwick
Arthur Dong
Scott Frank
Susannah Grant
Jeff Nathanson
Elizabeth Sung
Alon Bar
Chris Donahue
Eric Red
Mark Waters
Rob Schmidt



External links

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