AFI Screenwriting Fall 2021

kareemelarab

New Member
Supporter
Hey guys! I just did my interview with Anna Thomas and Matty Rich and they were lovely. It was a delightful conversation. It's easier said than done but the minute that video call turns on your anxiety will be shed from how conversational they are and how easy it is to talk to them. It was like chilling with your pals who're curious about your passions.

I'll be honest and say I have no idea how it went personally. They talked about how they enjoyed my story and how I seemed creative, which was liberating honestly. I feel a lot of anxiety because now I just have to wait and it's honestly making me freak out because of a lot of these negative thoughts and overthinking comments from the interview. I'm extremely passionate about screenwriting and I'm hoping that's conveyed. Don't dwell on anything after your interview, as anxious as I am right now, remember it'll subside and it won't matter. The interview's done and you did a great job no matter what. <- Just a mantra for any of y'all to come back to if you feel anxious.

Below are most of the questions they asked. They were intertwined with the conversation and would appear randomly. Just know that you can guide the entire conversation through your answers. Don't think too hard on them and just be your initial-self and that's what will draw them in. I spoke mostly about my background in the Middle East, Queerness, and what's motivates me. I asked about the curriculum when they asked for "any questions for us" and just like what's gonna happen with the pandemic and etc. They're optimistic about the coming year and it was reassuring to hear.

Where are you right now? Do you like it there?

Any production experience? (They stated it doesn't matter, but they were just curious)

Are you interested in writing and doing other things such as producing?

Any idea/feature you want to write about at AFI? (I feel like I fumbled with this one, so just prepare yourself a bit more if they ask for it)

Interest in screenwriting?

When did you discover your voice?

When did you want to come to AFI?

Good luck Everyone! I hope to be back here with good news from all of us in March. Y'all are gonna kill it! I'm going to go scream into my pillow and then watch drag race.
 

marianass45

Well-Known Member
Supporter+
Hey guys! I just did my interview with Anna Thomas and Matty Rich and they were lovely. It was a delightful conversation. It's easier said than done but the minute that video call turns on your anxiety will be shed from how conversational they are and how easy it is to talk to them. It was like chilling with your pals who're curious about your passions.

I'll be honest and say I have no idea how it went personally. They talked about how they enjoyed my story and how I seemed creative, which was liberating honestly. I feel a lot of anxiety because now I just have to wait and it's honestly making me freak out because of a lot of these negative thoughts and overthinking comments from the interview. I'm extremely passionate about screenwriting and I'm hoping that's conveyed. Don't dwell on anything after your interview, as anxious as I am right now, remember it'll subside and it won't matter. The interview's done and you did a great job no matter what. <- Just a mantra for any of y'all to come back to if you feel anxious.

Below are most of the questions they asked. They were intertwined with the conversation and would appear randomly. Just know that you can guide the entire conversation through your answers. Don't think too hard on them and just be your initial-self and that's what will draw them in. I spoke mostly about my background in the Middle East, Queerness, and what's motivates me. I asked about the curriculum when they asked for "any questions for us" and just like what's gonna happen with the pandemic and etc. They're optimistic about the coming year and it was reassuring to hear.

Where are you right now? Do you like it there?

Any production experience? (They stated it doesn't matter, but they were just curious)

Are you interested in writing and doing other things such as producing?

Any idea/feature you want to write about at AFI? (I feel like I fumbled with this one, so just prepare yourself a bit more if they ask for it)

Interest in screenwriting?

When did you discover your voice?

When did you want to come to AFI?

Good luck Everyone! I hope to be back here with good news from all of us in March. Y'all are gonna kill it! I'm going to go scream into my pillow and then watch drag race.
Thank you so much for sharing this. Helps a lot to know more about the interview process! 😄

Sounds like everything went amazing for you! You seem really passionate about screenwriting, so I'm sure you conveyed that somehow!!! Don't worry about it!

And yes, 2 drag races a week is keeping me sane hahahahaha
 
So I'm interviewing with Anna Thomas and Ed Decter. The required headshot states does NOT need to be professional so I'm assuming a selfie headshot will do? To smile, or not to smile, that is the question.
Yeah, I’m overthinking the headshot more than I overthought any of my actual application materials, haha! I think selfie is okay? Since its supposed to be like what they interviewers will see on the day? Also wondering about smiling or not
 

marianass45

Well-Known Member
Supporter+
Yeah, I’m overthinking the headshot more than I overthought any of my actual application materials, haha! I think selfie is okay? Since its supposed to be like what they interviewers will see on the day? Also wondering about smiling or not
I used the same photo I have here on my profile since is the only good headshot I have!
It's actually just a photo my dentist took after I finished with my braces hahahahaha

I think there is probably no problem about smiling or not!
 

Abbey Normal

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I’m overthinking the headshot more than I overthought any of my actual application materials, haha! I think selfie is okay? Since its supposed to be like what they interviewers will see on the day? Also wondering about smiling or not
I used the same photo I have here on my profile since is the only good headshot I have!
It's actually just a photo my dentist took after I finished with my braces hahahahaha

I think there is probably no problem about smiling or not!
Selfie it is. And I'm going to smile. Screw it. This isn't the DMV. It's AFI. 😃
 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
Selfie it is. And I'm going to smile. Screw it. This isn't the DMV. It's AFI. 😃
25086.jpg

Just don't stick your tongue out in this one. 😜
 

kareemelarab

New Member
Supporter
Thank you so much for sharing this. Helps a lot to know more about the interview process! 😄

Sounds like everything went amazing for you! You seem really passionate about screenwriting, so I'm sure you conveyed that somehow!!! Don't worry about it!

And yes, 2 drag races a week is keeping me sane hahahahaha
Of course! I hope all of you guys succeed and we can all get in and write together.
 

Krmg

Active Member
Hi everyone! I just found this thread... I'm interviewing with Jacob Forman and Jonathan Fernandez on Jan 25! Much earlier than a lot of you so I'll follow up with what my experience was like for those interested. Best of luck to everyone!!
Hi @jenamaya, how did your interview go? Would you be willing to say what questions you were asked?
 

jenamaya

New Member
Supporter
Hi everyone! My interview went well I think! I was definitely a little nervous haha! But the interviewers were very kind overall. The questions they asked me were as follows:

What city am I currently in?
Some follow ups on my background (where I've lived).
Why do I want to be a screenwriter?
How much screenwriting have I done before my application?
Have I ever taken screenwriting courses?
What kind of stories do I want to tell?
If there were one movie I wish I made, what would it be and why?
Why AFI/film school?
Then it was my turn to ask them questions about AFI.

Sometimes the way they ask the question isnt as straight forward as I wrote above. This was my first graduate interview so perhaps this is a nobrainer for some but I realized about halfway through that they just wanted me to tell them as much as I could about myself. Give a direct answer to their question, but pack in as many things I can tell them about who I am and where I come from, even if it might seem a little off-topic. In other words, talk for as long as you can!

All in all it was actually quite fun (although nerve-wracking haha!), especially hearing their answers to my questions and getting a little more details on AFI.

Best of luck to everyone on your interviews coming up!! Hope to see you all soon!
 

runningupthathill

Well-Known Member
Hey! Yes, it's true (see link below). It appears fellows going into the 2021 semester will be the first ones to receive the scholarship. I haven't started the scholarship application, but I'm definitely going to ask for as much as I can possibly get. Six-figure sum, here I come haha!


Fingers crossed to all those who applied!!!
Did you only request an annual scholarship amount or a scholarship to cover the full span of the program?
 

Krmg

Active Member
Hi everyone! My interview went well I think! I was definitely a little nervous haha! But the interviewers were very kind overall. The questions they asked me were as follows:

What city am I currently in?
Some follow ups on my background (where I've lived).
Why do I want to be a screenwriter?
How much screenwriting have I done before my application?
Have I ever taken screenwriting courses?
What kind of stories do I want to tell?
If there were one movie I wish I made, what would it be and why?
Why AFI/film school?
Then it was my turn to ask them questions about AFI.

Sometimes the way they ask the question isnt as straight forward as I wrote above. This was my first graduate interview so perhaps this is a nobrainer for some but I realized about halfway through that they just wanted me to tell them as much as I could about myself. Give a direct answer to their question, but pack in as many things I can tell them about who I am and where I come from, even if it might seem a little off-topic. In other words, talk for as long as you can!

All in all it was actually quite fun (although nerve-wracking haha!), especially hearing their answers to my questions and getting a little more details on AFI.

Best of luck to everyone on your interviews coming up!! Hope to see you all soon!
Thanks for the info @jenamaya!!
 

Abbey Normal

Well-Known Member
Did you only request an annual scholarship amount or a scholarship to cover the full span of the program?
From my understanding and having spoken to a number of AFI Screenwriting fellows, they listed just an annual scholarship amount. The AFI website also mentions that scholarships are only for FIRST YEAR FELLOWS. Assuming you receive a scholarship and maintain academic excellence, it can be renewed going into your second year.

TL;DR - I'm only requesting for the annual scholarship. 😃
 

runningupthathill

Well-Known Member
From my understanding and having spoken to a number of AFI Screenwriting fellows, they listed just an annual scholarship amount. The AFI website also mentions that scholarships are only for FIRST YEAR FELLOWS. Assuming you receive a scholarship and maintain academic excellence, it can be renewed going into your second year.

TL;DR - I'm only requesting for the annual scholarship. 😃
Thank you!!!
 

Inkie9

Member
Speaking of the scholarship form, just wondering whether we're supposed to get an email to confirm that the form has been received?

I filled it out last week and it said 'thanks for submitting' on the page, but then there hasn't been anything official to say that they've got it, like they did for the actual application. Has anyone heard anything back about that?
 

@lbert

New Member
Supporter+
For those of us who at this point probably won’t get an interview this year, does anyone know if we will get any feed back on our application? It would be nice to get some notes from the readers or something...
 

Abbey Normal

Well-Known Member
For those of us who at this point probably won’t get an interview this year, does anyone know if we will get any feed back on our application? It would be nice to get some notes from the readers or something...
I don't think applicants receive feedback on their portfolio submission. Considering the number of applicants that apply each year it would be a huge undertaking for the admissions committee and readers to provide notes. From past threads, it appears prospective students only receive a letter of rejection which is unfortunate.
 

@lbert

New Member
Supporter+
That sucks. I’m sure it’s extra work but I wanna knooowwww!!! Anyway good luck to everyone who got interviews! Hopefully, I get in next year.
I don't think applicants receive feedback on their portfolio submission. Considering the number of applicants that apply each year it would be a huge undertaking for the admissions committee and readers to provide notes. From past threads, it appears prospective students only receive a letter of rejection which is unfortunate.
 
I haven't got a letter of rejection yet :p so for whatever its worth I'm still keeping hope :D

Alternately, whoever is on for interview next, when asked if you have anything to ask about AFI - you could just ask them if they are done sending out mails :D
 

llueve

Well-Known Member
Supporter
I just wanted to say... For anyone who has interviewed and was nervous before the interview and *continued to be nervous during the interview and way after the interview* I see you, I am one of you, you are not alone! (plz tell me I am not alone! xD )

I saw a lot of posts about people feeling like their stress melted away once the interviewers got on because they are so relaxed -- and it is true that the interviewers are kind and relaxed and really lovely. I had Ed Decter and Marquita Robinson, who were just SO nice, SO wonderful. But my anxiety deeeefinitely did not melt away and in fact is still going strong 20 hours later! :D

So any other interview stressballs out there, I feel you. May all of our brains be able to stop obsessing over everything we said and didn't say, and may we all get some much deserved sleep!
 
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