the american film institute

Founded in 1967, the American Film Institute (AFI) was created by US President Lyndon B. Johnson to “bring together leading artists of the film industry, outstanding educators and young men and women who wish to pursue the 20th-century art form as their life’s work.” The AFI is America’s promise to preserve the heritage of motion picture, to honor the artists and their work, and to educate the next generation of storytellers.

Established in 1969 as the AFI’s commitment to educating storytellers, the AFI Conservatory has been consistently recognized as one of the world's top film schools. With an emphasis on narrative visual storytelling, each Conservatory production mirrors a professional production environment from working with professional actors to securing permits and contracts. Collaboration and personal expression are of the utmost importance. The Conservatory offers a two-year Master of Fine Arts degree in six disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting.

AFI Conservatory alumni have, throughout history, received more Academy Award wins and nominations than any other film school.



Darren Aranofsky - Mother, Black Swan, The Wrestler

Andrea Arnold – Wuthering Heights, Fish Tank (Both as Writer)

Gill Dennis – Walk the Line, Riders of the Purple Sage (Both as Writer)

Amy Heckerling – Clueless, Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Jonathan Levine – 50/50, The Wackness

David Lynch – Blue Velvet, Eraserhead, Mulholland Drive

Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life, The Thin Red Line, Badlands

John McTiernan – Die Hard, The Thomas Crown Affair

Paul Schrader – Raging Bull and Taxi Driver (Both as Writer)

Ed Zwick – Blood Diamond (Writer), Glory

Patty Jenkins- Wonder Woman




Mikkel Bodesen - Burn Notice, The Killing (Both as Executive Producer)

Julie Dash - The Rosa Parks Story, Daughters of the Dust 

David Gross - Room, Goon

Paul Hellerman - Jackie Brown, The Mexican (Both as Co-Producer)

Allison Jones - Veep, Bridesmaids

Stefan Simchowitz - Requiem for a Dream, Wild (Both as Executive Producer)

Heidi Levitt - The Artist, Natural Born Killers 

Steve Golin - Spotlight, The Revenant

Pieter Jan Brugge - The Insider, Heat (Both as Executive Producer)



David Arata – Children of Men, Spy Game

Brad Falchuk – American Horror Story, Glee, Nip/Tuck

Scott Frank – Minority Report, Out of Sight

John Shiban – Breaking Bad, The X-Files



Caleb Deschanel – The Natural, The Right Stuff, The Black Stallion

Robert Elswit – There Will Be Blood, Good Night And Good Luck

Janusz Kamiński – Saving Private Ryan, Schindler's List

Rachel Morrison – Mudbound, Fruitvale Station, Cake Dope

Wally Pfister – Inception, The Dark Knight

Robert Richardson – Inglorious Basterds, The Aviator




Victor DuBois – The Last Samurai, Grey's Anatomy

Affonso Gonçalves – Beasts of the Southern Wild, True Detective

Howard Smith – The Abyss, Glengarry Glenross




Andrew Max Cahn – Up in The Air, The Hangover

Theresa Guleserian – Togethernes, The Overnight, The One I Love

Sharon Seymour – The Town, The Ides of March