AFI Launches Cinematography Workshop for Women Filmmakers

Top 25 Films Schools: American Film Institute - H 2015
Courtesy of American Film Institute

The AFI Cinematography Introductory Intensive for Women, sponsored by 21st Century Fox, is designed to increase the number of women cinematographers.

The American Film Institute is launching a four-day cinematography workshop for women interested in a career in that field. The inaugural program, dubbed the AFI Cinematography Introductory Intensive for Women and sponsored by 21st Century Fox, will be held Aug. 3-6 at the institute's Hollywood campus.

The tuition-free program, introducing the fundamentals of visual storytelling with the goal of increasing the number of women cinematographers, will be led by members of the AFI cinematography faculty as well as guests, and will include production workshops, discussions and screenings of the work of pioneering female cinematographers and more. The American Society of Cinematographers will support the program through its ASC Vision Committee, which is dedicated to the advancement of underrepresented cinematographers and their crews, regardless of race, gender or age.

The deadline to apply is June 15. The application and requirements are here.

In addition, Twentieth Century Fox Film and AFI will partner to launch the Fox DP Lab for 10 to 15 recently graduated female cinematographers from the AFI Conservatory. The lab will include master classes aimed at demystify the hiring process, and participants will meet with executives responsible for recommending and approving cinematographers in film and television; they will see an in-production film and/or Fox series; and have the opportunity to hear from fellow cinematographers working at Fox for career guidance. Applications for that program — exclusively for AFI cinematography alumnae — will open in August.

“Following our incredibly successful partnership with AFI to develop the Fox Filmmakers Lab, this new initiative to grow and develop female DPs is a natural extension of our ongoing efforts to diversify and strengthen the talent pool in this vital creative discipline,” said Stacey Snider, CEO and chairman of Twentieth Century Fox Film. “[Mudbound cinematographer] Rachel Morrison’s recent Academy Award nomination should be the norm — not the exception — for female DPs, and our hope is that programs like the Fox DP Lab will create even more opportunities for the next generation of talented, up-and-coming female DPs throughout the entertainment industry.”

The CIIW was spearheaded by AFI Conservatory cinematography discipline head Stephen Lighthill and Tessa Blake, director of Nancy Malone inclusion initiatives at the institute. "Less than 4 percent of film and television programs have a female cinematographer. Even in an industry rife with gender discrimination, the lack of parity is striking," Lighthill said. "The AFI Conservatory cinematography program has been a leader in the field — and by piloting this initiative, which supports female cinematographers as they begin their exploration of the field, AFI and Fox will give diverse and deserving DPs greater opportunity to enter the industry."