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Located in the heart of Hollywood, the American Film Institute Conservatory is a two-year Master of Fine Arts program that seeks to crystallize the unique visions of the next generation of storytellers. With a strong emphasis on narrative filmmaking and personal expression, it is consistently ranked as one of the world’s top film schools in terms of critical and commercial alumni success.


Established in 1969, the Conservatory provides training in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. Admission to the AFI Conservatory is highly selective, with 140 graduates per year, and students pre-specialize prior to matriculation.

A hands-on, production-based environment and dedicated stable of working film and TV professionals ensure that Fellows hone their craft in line with current professional norms and expectations.   In the past year alone, we were taught by 2019 Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner (Chinonye Chukwu), creator of Netflix's The OA (Zal Batmanglij), and the producer of Manchester by the SeaGood Will Hunting, and American Pie (Chris Moore) -- among others.


For a partial list of notable alumni and their films, see below:



Darren Aronofsky - Black Swan, The Wrestler, Requiem for a Dream, Mother

Andrea Arnold – Big Little Lies, Wuthering Heights, Fish Tank, American Honey 

Gill Dennis – Walk the Line, Riders of the Purple Sage 

Amy Heckerling – Clueless, Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Jonathan Levine – 50/50, The Wackness

David Lynch – Blue Velvet, Eraserhead, Mulholland Drive, Twin Peaks

Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life, The Thin Red Line, Badlands

John McTiernan – Die Hard, The Thomas Crown Affair

Paul Schrader – Raging Bull, Taxi Driver 

Ed Zwick – Blood Diamond, Glory


Mikkel Bodesen - Burn Notice, The Killing (Both as Executive Producer)

Julie Dash - The Rosa Parks Story, Daughters of the Dust 

Paul Hellerman - Jackie Brown, The Mexican (Both as Co-Producer)

Allison Jones - Veep, Bridesmaids

Stefan Simchowitz - Requiem for a Dream, Wild (Both as Executive Producer)

Heidi Levitt - The Artist, Natural Born Killers 

Steve Golin - The Revenant, Spotlight

Pieter Jan Brugge - The Insider, Heat (Both as Executive Producer)​​​



David Arata – Children of Men, Spy Game

Brad Falchuk – American Horror Story, Glee, Nip/Tuck

Scott Frank – Minority Report, Out of Sight

John Shiban – Breaking Bad, The X-Files



Caleb Deschanel – The Natural, The Right Stuff, The Black Stallion

Robert Elswit – There Will Be Blood, Good Night And Good Luck

Janusz Kamiński – Saving Private Ryan, Schindler's List

Rachel Morrison – Fruitvale Station, Cake Dope, Black Panther

Wally Pfister – Inception, The Dark Knight

Robert Richardson – Inglorious Basterds, The Aviator

Matthew Libatique - Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan, Mother!, A Star is Born




Victor DuBois – The Last Samurai, Grey's Anatomy

Affonso Gonçalves – Beasts of the Southern Wild, True Detective

Howard Smith – The Abyss, Glengarry Glenross​

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