What do I need to attend AFI conservatory?

What do I need to attend AFI conservatory? Any tips on applying?
FilmSchool.org has recently interviewed AFI's admissions department for advice on how to get into AFI's film school. It's a long interview that offers a ton of advice on what is the most important part of your application to work on. Here's an excerpt:

What do you consider to be the most important part of the AFI application?


We have a holistic approach to our applications review process, meaning that we look at each part of the application but not each part is weighted equally. But I would say the two most important parts are the portfolio and the narrative statement.

People tend to focus more on the portfolio but skimp on everything else, including the narrative statement. It's probably even more important than the portfolio because in the narrative statement, we're asking you to tell us your story. Who are you as a human being? What makes you laugh? Why are you passionate about filmmaking [...] and the discipline that you're applying to, specifically?

We certainly look at experimental films [...] and documentaries, because all of that is storytelling. But you have to remember AFI is a narrative, visual storytelling school. I can't tell you how many people come into the interview portion and they're not able to share the movies and television shows they like and the kinds of stories they want to tell!

Applicants need to like come in a room and be ready to share that and be excited about storytelling. Sometimes, that's lost in the application and we wonder if they'll be happy at AFI. It's sort of like not understanding what AFI is about.

I think that you should also keep in mind that there has to be a bit of a through line with what your narrative statement is telling us about who you are and what is in your portfolio. There has to be a sense of identity. You could think when you're applying to AFI that you want to be a horror filmmaker or a comedy person. Then while you're at AFI, you discover this whole other side to you – that happens all the time.

The number one thing that we don't want is for you to think that you have to put yourself in a box. People look at our alumni and they think of David Lynch. I keep mentioning him because he's probably a huge reason why people apply to AFI. He's inspired a lot of filmmakers, but some people are like, 'I have to be David Lynch in order to get into AFI.' It’s like, we had David Lynch. We don't we don't need another one!

AFI is not limited to that kind of filmmaking. If you are a dark comedy person, lean in hard into who you are […] and the kind of stories you want to tell. More than anything, have fun with it. The more you are true to yourself in that application, the more you'll stand out.

See the full interview here:

How to Get Into AFI Conservatory: Exclusive Advice From the Admissions Office (Part 1)

How to Get Into AFI Conservatory: Exclusive Advice From the Admissions Office (Part 1)

Ask anyone about where to go to film school, and you’re bound to hear the American Film Institute Conservatory. First established in 1967, AFI is world renowned for producing pioneers and trailblazers in the film industry. In 2020, the Hollywood Reporter ranked AFI as the top film school in...

FilmSchool.org also has calculated data on acceptance rates, film experience, minimum GPA, undergraduate degrees, and age of accepted applicants for AFI programs from the 3,300 applications in our database. Current acceptance statistics are below:

AFI Conservatory - Screenwriting Acceptance Rate (All Programs/All Years)
52  out of   127   Admitted
19  out of   127   Waitlisted
Not Admitted
56  out of   127  Not Admitted

    AFI Conservatory - Production Design Acceptance Rate (All Programs/All Years)
    9  out of   12   Admitted
    1  out of   12   Waitlisted
    Not Admitted
    2  out of   12  Not Admitted

      AFI Conservatory - Producing Acceptance Rate (All Programs/All Years)
      37  out of   63   Admitted
      7  out of   63   Waitlisted
      Not Admitted
      19  out of   63  Not Admitted

        AFI Conservatory - Editing Acceptance Rate (All Programs/All Years)
        20  out of   27   Admitted
        2  out of   27   Waitlisted
        Not Admitted
        5  out of   27  Not Admitted

          AFI Conservatory - Directing Acceptance Rate (All Programs/All Years)
          30  out of   152   Admitted
          19  out of   152   Waitlisted
          Not Admitted
          103  out of   152  Not Admitted

            AFI Conservatory - Cinematography Acceptance Rate (All Programs/All Years)
            21  out of   52   Admitted
            8  out of   52   Waitlisted
            Not Admitted
            23  out of   52  Not Admitted
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