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American Film Institute (AFI) - Directing

Film School details

Degrees Offered
  1. 2 Year Conservatory
  1. Directing
Yearly Tuition
$40k to $50k
Tuition Detail
$59,348 first year $61,425 second year
Application Deadlines
December 2, 2020
Great directors must be great storytellers. The Directing program focuses on narrative, visual language and performance, offering Fellows a thorough understanding of the process of production from script to screen. Fellows learn to collaborate with screenwriters and producers, work with professional actors and incorporate the visions of cinematographers, production designers and editors into all their produced projects.

First year Fellows direct three substantial narrative projects that include an invaluable opportunity to work with actors from the Screen Actors Guild in a supportive, collaborative environment. The curriculum also requires participation in a directing workshop examining diverse directing styles, techniques and strategies, with specific attention to narrative point of view.

Second year directing Fellows team with those in other disciplines to create a short narrative thesis production, guided by professional faculty and utilized in class. Directors also develop a feature film or television project to be included in their thesis portfolios.
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
Application Requirements
Directing applicants are required to submit the following:

  1. Submit an example of a moving image project that you have personally directed and that best demonstrates individual talent and ability. You may submit the best 10 continuous minutes from a feature or a short whose TRT is longer than 10 minutes, or you may submit a completed short that is less than 10 minutes TRT. Submissions that are longer than 10 minutes will not be considered for admission. Only work that the applicant has directed (not co-directed) will be considered. The project should be in English or be subtitled in English.
  2. Direct and write an original short moving image project for the AFI Conservatory on the topic of “A Secret”. The project should be no longer than 5 minutes in length and can be shot on your cell phone. We are interested in seeing your story-telling skills. Creativity is key here – not production value. The project should be in English or be subtitled in English.
  3. Describe why you made the moving image project in #1 and the lesson(s) you learned from making it (one page maximum).
  4. Describe why you made the moving image project in #2 and the lesson(s) you learned from making it (one page maximum).
  5. Submit the script for “The Secret” project in #2.

All essays must be saved as a PDF, typed, double spaced, listing your name, discipline, and fall 2020 at the top of the page.

Submissions will be accepted via a link to YouTube or Vimeo in the online application; DO NOT PASSWORD PROTECT THE VIDEO LINKS YOU PROVIDE IN YOUR APPLICATION. All written statements must be submitted in PDF format within the application. Please include your name, discipline and date on each page of the written statements.

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.

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Acceptance Rate
Lowest Accepted GPA
Earliest Int. Notification
January 18
Earliest Interview
January 31
Earliest Decision
March 3

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