Ranked as the #1 film school in America, the AFI Conservatory is searching for next generation filmmakers with individual artistic voices to apply as Fellows to one of the six disciplines in our MFA program. Through impressive contributions to film and television, Fellows at the Conservatory bring to life our mission and vision by serving as artists and leaders in the art of storytelling and influencing culture.
This information will give you the opportunity to learn how to successfully apply to the MFA program, as well as provide instructions on material submissions for the Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design, and Screenwriting disciplines.
2021–2022 Admission Requirements
All applicants for admission to the MFA or Certificate of Completion at the AFI Conservatory must submit the following:
Please click here to access the application*. A separate application is required if applying to more than one discipline.
*Please note, the application will be available to fill out starting in early September.
Application Fee: $90
Please note that if you choose to apply to more than one discipline, you must pay an additional application fee for each discipline application you choose to submit. Applications cannot be reviewed until you submit all of the required materials, including this fee. You may choose to pay by credit card via PayPal from the online application. Credit cards accepted via PayPal: Visa, Mastercard and Discover. We do not accept American Express.
The narrative statement is a very important part of your application for admission. It allows you the opportunity to express who you are as an individual and a filmmaker, your desires to pursue your area of interest, and explain to us how the AFI Conservatory will contribute to your goal as a filmmaker.
This document should be 1-3 pages in length, double spaced, listing your name, discipline, “Fall 2021” at the top of each page, and saved as a PDF. Please include the following elements:
- Your background.
- Your motivation for applying to the discipline.
- Why AFI Conservatory?
If applying to more than one discipline, each Narrative Statement should reflect particular thoughts regarding that individual discipline. You must supply a different Narrative Statement for each discipline specific application so that you properly address any additional required prompt(s). Please note that Directing, Editing, and Screenwriting do not have departmental prompts, so you may craft your Narrative Statement as you wish.
Disciplines with additional question prompt:
Cinematographers, please also briefly discuss what cinematography and/or cinematographers have inspired you, what brings you to study at the AFI Conservatory, and events in your life that may have been transformative.
Producers, please also explain why you are interested in Producing as opposed to another filmmaking discipline.
Production Designers, please also speak to your design process and your thoughts on what collaboration is and its place in that process.
Your resume should detail your professional work, set experience, education level and degree(s) earned (please see additional information in the TRANSCRIPTS section about listing education in your resume).
DISCIPLINE SPECIFIC SUPPORTING MATERIALS/PORTFOLIO REQUIREMENTS
Applicants are required to submit:
- Vision Statement— Please submit a 1-2 page statement on a story you would like to create as a feature or TV show. Whether an original idea or an adaptation based on a novel, play, magazine article, current news event, or historical event, please include:
- Articulate the theme(s) that drew you to the story, character details, and style.
- Explain why you want to tell this story and why you think it will appeal to audiences.
- Short Answers— Please answer two out of three of the following questions. One-page maximum total; please devote a half page to each of your two questions only.
- Tell us something about an incident in your life when you acted in a way that surprised even you.
- Tell us something that people might assume about you that actually isn’t right- and what is the truer version?
- What two qualities do you possess that would serve you well as a producer?
Supplemental submissions are not required but can include:
- Submit a link to any visual work which you think best represents your endeavors up to this point. Please specify your role. The project should be no longer than 10 minutes in length and should be in English or subtitled in English.
All essays must be saved as a PDF, typed, double spaced, listing your name, discipline, and Fall 2021 at the top of the page.
Film submission will be accepted via a link to YouTube or Vimeo in the online application; DO NOT PASSWORD PROTECT THE VIDEO LINKS YOU PROVIDE IN YOUR APPLICATION. Please make sure all links are active until June 2021.
Before you apply…
- Read the FAQ as it provides an answer to many frequently asked questions.
- Learn about tuition, fees, and estimated living expenses by reviewing and understanding the cost of attendance to the Conservatory.
- Prepare these items and documents before you fill out your online application: transcripts, supporting materials, TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo minimum score (if applicable).
- Review the discipline-specific requirements to prepare for submitting the online application.
- If you anticipate needing tuition assistance, please visit our Scholarships page to learn more about our donor-based scholarship opportunities and qualifying criteria.
- Add Applications@AFI.com, Admissions@AFI.com, and the domain address AFI.com to your email settings as communications about your application will come from Applications@AFI.com, Admissions@AFI.com, or a staff email address. Check your spam folder as well to ensure you receive all important communications. AFI is not responsible for any missed communications if applicants are not checking their spam folders or adding our domain addresses to their approved list of emails.
- All documents should be saved as a PDF, typed, double spaced, listing your name, discipline, and “Fall 2021” at the top of each page–unless otherwise noted.
- All film link submissions should stay active until June 2021, or your application may not be further considered for admissions.