• THANKSGIVING WEEK LIFETIME SUPPORTING MEMBERSHIP SALE: If you are finding FilmSchool.org helpful, consider becoming or upgrading to a Lifetime Supporting Membership for ONLY $16! (20% off) by entering the coupon code THANKS. Coupon expires Sunday 11/29 at midnight PST.

American Film Institute (AFI) - Cinematography

Film School details

Degrees Offered
  1. 2 Year Conservatory
  1. Cinematography
Yearly Tuition
$40k to $50k
Tuition Detail
$59,348 first year $61,425 second year
Application Deadlines
December 2, 2020
Focusing on the art and craft of visual storytelling, Fellows receive instruction from professional cinematographers while learning how to move an audience with their visual interpretation of the narrative.

Classroom lectures, lighting workshops, and exercises using both digital and 35mm film cameras provide Fellows with practical experience and training. Fellows become adept at making fast, informed and inspired creative decisions.

Three short narrative projects are the core of the first year. With training in new media technology incorporated — from pre-visualization to advanced image manipulation and control — Fellows develop their storytelling skills by photographing narrative projects on digital video.

In the second year, Fellows team to shoot 15- to 30-minute thesis productions, which may be filmed in a variety of formats. In addition, the completion of the Cinematography portfolio includes a short 35mm essay.
School URL
GRE Required?
Portfolio Required?
Application Fee
$ 90
Letters of Reference Req.
Class Size
Enrollment is limited to 140 Fellows — 28 Cinematographers, 28 Directors, 14 Editors, 28 Producers, 14 Production Designers and 28 Screenwriters.
Internship Opportunities
Yes (possible)
Application Requirements
2020 Requirements (as of Sep 19, 2019)

Cinematography applicants are required to submit the following:

  1. One example of original work that best demonstrates talent, ability and experience as a Cinematographer. The Moving Image submission can be no longer than 20 minutes in length, and you must be the sole Cinematographer on the project. The submission should demonstrate your narrative ability.
  2. Complete a “Ten-Sixty” video assignment with the subject of the video being “Disappointment”: 10 shots of video with total duration of 60 seconds. No audio but music is allowed. No significant text, fancy transitions or color effects allowed. This should be a narrative video of 10 images, up to 60 seconds maximum TRT. We are interested in seeing your story-telling skills. Creativity is key and does not have to have large production value, so you may use your cell phone for the project.
  3. Still photographs portfolio provided on a merged PDF. One image per page. No montages, no screenshots. The presentation of your images is noticed. Please limit file size to 25mb or smaller.
Supplemental Submissions (optional):

  1. A second example of an original work that best demonstrates your talent, ability, and experience as a Cinematographer. The moving image submission can be no longer than 20 minutes in length, and you must be the sole Cinematographer.
  2. A summary “reel” of up to three minutes
  3. A short sample of documentary work you may have done
Submissions will be accepted via YouTube or Vimeo links within the online application; all submissions should include whether or not the project was completed at an educational institution and the format(s)/camera used for each. DO NOT PASSWORD PROTECT THE VIDEO LINKS YOU PROVIDE IN YOUR APPLICATION.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this page is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time it was last updated. PLEASE verify with the school ALL due dates and requirements as they may have changed since our last update. If any info on this page is incorrect please let us know and we will update it. We are not responsible for missed deadlines or rejected applications due to out of date information on this page. Please do your due diligence.

Latest Classifieds

Film School information

Added by
Last update

Application Statistics

Acceptance Rate
Lowest Accepted GPA
Earliest Int. Notification
February 1
Earliest Interview
February 1
Earliest Decision
March 13

More in California