Directing

AFI gives Directing Fellows the crucial time, space and resources to craft their own distinct voice, while guaranteeing them the opportunity to direct over the course of two years. In a program that emphasizes visual language and collaboration, Fellows team with other disciplines to shoot three narrative films and produce a thesis film in their final year to create a polished directing portfolio.

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Fellows’ Direct 5-10 Films in 2 Years

As a Directing Fellow, you are guaranteed to direct throughout your two years at AFI – a promise you won’t find at any other graduate-level film program. In the first year alone, directors team with Fellows from other disciplines to shoot three narrative films.

“I’m so grateful for my years at AFI. I deeply believe they helped me find my voice and defining principles of story and craft that inform me to this day.”

Patty Jenkins,
AFI Directing Class of 2000
MONSTER | WONDER WOMAN

Learn from the Masters

AFI also brings your favorite master storytellers to campus to deliver personal, inspiring guest lectures and enlightening seminars. They’ll share their personal experiences and answer your questions about the filmmaking process.

Alumni Directors Include:

Darren Aronofsky
  • BLACK SWAN
  • REQUIEM FOR A DREAM
David Lynch
  • MULHOLLAND DRIVE
  • BLUE VELVET
Patty Jenkins
  • WONDER WOMAN
  • MONSTER
Andrea Arnold
  • BIG LITTLE LIES
  • FISH TANK
Terrence Malick
  • THE TREE OF LIFE
  • BADLANDS
Edward Zwick
  • BLOOD DIAMOND
  • GLORY
Sam Esmail
  • HOMECOMING
  • MR. ROBOT
Paul Schrader
  • FIRST REFORMED
John McTiernan
  • THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR
  • DIE HARD
Todd Field
  • LITTLE CHILDREN
  • IN THE BEDROOM
Jonathan Levine
  • LONG SHOT
  • 50/50
Amy Heckerling
  • CLUELESS
  • FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH
Jeremy Podeswa
  • GAME OF THRONES
  • BOARDWALK EMPIRE
Edward Zwick
  • GLORY
  • JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK
Ari Aster
  • MIDSOMMAR
  • HEREDITARY
Susan Johnson
  • TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE
Miguel Arteta
  • FOREVER
  • BEATRIZ AT DINNER
Zal Batmanglij
  • THE OA
  • THE EAST
John Dahi
  • JUSTIFIED
  • ROUNDERS
Brian Dannelly
  • WEEDS
  • SAVED!
Kirby Dick
  • THE HUNTING GROUND
  • THE INVISIBLE WAR
Mark Waters
  • MEAN GIRLS
“The best part about AFI was the people. On my feature, I hired Annie Spitz, an amazing production designer and good friend. When I started my television show, I hired four AFI Fellows on the writing staff.”

– Sam Esmail
AFI Directing Class of 2004
MR. ROBOT | HOMECOMING

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