Want to go to Film School? The American Film Institute

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Some of the greatest filmmakers all got their start at film school; including Martin Scorsese, Lisa Cholodenko, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Darren Aronofsky.

Therefore, for some, Film School is one of the best opportunities to get their foot in the door of the entertainment industry. A film school is an educational program that is dedicated to teaching students various aspects of filmmaking, including film production, film theory, screenwriting, and media production. Courses also include Film history courses and hands on technical training.

The Hollywood Reporter recently ranked The American Film Institute  as the best film school in America. THR reported that “Among the most selective film schools in America, AFI’s Center for Advanced Film and Television Studies in Los Angeles offers a two-year conservatory program where students specialize in fields including directing, producing and writing, often coming to the institute after working in the industry or having attended other schools. Its “fellows” are typically more mature (average age is 27) and benefit from speakers and teachers drawn from the highest levels of the industry, supported by the full weight of AFI itself.”

Furthermore, The American Film Institute draws a strong comparison to its cross town competitors, UCLA and USC. But, it is clear from the the sheer greatness of the graduating talent how exceptional The American Film Insitute Film School program develops their students.

The American Film Institute is an independent non profit organization that was first established in 1967 after President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act.


The American Film Institute provides a directing workshop for women. Since 1974, the American Film Institute provides a tuition free training workshop and opportunity to direct a short film, which in turn has launched the careers of many working directors. Currently, the amount of working female directors is only 7% in film and 11% in television. The AFI boasts on their website that they produce 25% of working professional directing credits since their establishment.

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AFI Conservatory

The American Film institute provides a Conservatory for Filmmakers. With an emphasis on narrative visual storytelling and personal expression, each class breaks into teams that mirror a real production environment. Those teams collaborate on and produce more films than any other graduate level film program. Established in 1969, the two-year Master of Fine Arts program provides training in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. Mirroring a professional production environment, Fellows collaborate to make more films than any other graduate level program. Admission to AFI Conservatory is highly selective, with a maximum of only 140 graduates per year.

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Film School Synopsis

TUITION $38,416 for first year; $37,112 for second year (plus $8,033 for thesis)

DEGREES MFA, certificate of completion

NOTABLE ALUMNI Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life), David Lynch (Blue Velvet), Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)

“I love AFI and would be nowhere without it.” — David Lynch

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