Jan Schuette Named Dean of AFI Conservatory

Stefan Falke
Jan Schuette

Having served as director of the German Film and Television Academy, he will succeed Robert Mandel at the American Film Institute's film school.

Jan Schuette has been named dean of the American Film Institute Conservatory. Schuette, who currently serves as director of the German Film and Television Academy based in Berlin, succeeds Robert Mandel, who is stepping down after nine years as dean.

Schuette, a filmmaker and teacher, is a member of the Akademie der Kunste Berlin Brandenburg and of the European Film Academy. He has also taught at Harvard University, Dartmouth College and Filmakademie Baden-Wurttemberg, where he established the master class program Atelier Ludwigsburg Paris. Born in Manhattan, he studied literature, philosophy and art history in Hamburg, Tubingen and Zurich.

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His films as a director and producer have premiered in Cannes, Venice, Locarno, San Sebastian and Toronto. And he has served on the Cinefondation Jury at the Cannes Film Festival and the International Drama Jury at the Sundance Film Festival. 

“The AFI Conservatory was born nearly 50 years ago — inspired by the European conservatory model,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI president and CEO. “Today it remains unique in that we promise MFA candidates that they will make at least four films in two years. And so we searched the world for an academic leader who has also made movies — who has lived it. We are proud to say we found that person in Jan Schuette and look forward to his tenure beginning in the fall.”

Mandel, who plans to return to directing himself, will continue to be involved with the AFI Conservatory as a member of its directing staff.