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The application period for the DWW+ Class of 2024-25 is now closed. The program will accept up to eight (8) candidates who demonstrate a passion for visual storytelling and meet the requirements below. Applicants who applied will be notified of their status in mid-December.

  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • All applicants must be U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents (with valid Permanent Resident Card) and must reside and work in the United States or its territories during the program period.
  • All participants are required to maintain up-to-date health insurance through the course of the program.
  • Applicants should have a minimum of five years’ professional experience working in film, television, performing and/or visual arts.
  • Applicants must have directed a narrative project where they are credited as the sole director.
  • Please note that applicants with professional credits as narrative directors – defined as a directing credit on a nationally broadcast or nationally distributed narrative non-documentary feature film or television program – are not eligible to apply.
  • Commitment to all Workshop Weekends including;
    • January Workshop (VIRTUAL)
    • February Workshop (IN-PERSON WORKSHOP)
    • March/April Workshop (IN-PERSON WORKSHOP)
  • Full-time commitment to the IN-PERSON May Intensive program (3-4 weeks) held on the AFI Campus, which includes weekend and evening participation.
  • Commitment to the individual production shoot window and post-production timeline. Production windows assigned in March.
  • Participation in the 2025 DWW+ Showcase held at the DGA Theater in Los Angeles.

DWW+ is committed to providing a safe, equitable educational environment for all program participants. We seek out a diverse range of filmmakers. As a result, participants will be in close collaboration with filmmakers from very different backgrounds.

  • Participants are required to follow AFI Campus regulations in place at the time of the program.
  • Participants are required to follow all AFI Conservatory production and safety guidelines.
  • Participants are required to sign the AFI Conservatory Code of Conduct and contribute positively to our community.

Successful candidates will demonstrate a passion for filmmaking in general, strong dedication to the art and craft of directing in particular, and a demonstrated ability to lead and collaborate in the filmmaking environment.

DWW+ directors must have an affinity for identifying script material with a strong story (whether written by the applicant or another writer). Applicants must also possess a willingness and ability to fundraise and network in support of their productions and are responsible for raising the funds for their projects.

Previous experience working in the film and television industry or production is strongly preferred, but not required. We are also looking for leadership potential in those candidates committed to learning and advancing inclusive culture, fostering diverse communities, and establishing ethical and sustainable working practices and environments within their own artistic endeavors, careers, and our industry at large.

AFI follows a comprehensive three-round review process:

  1. All applications are evaluated by a team of readers.
  2. The second round consists of a formal interview conducted by AFI Staff, Faculty and/or selected industry experts. Approximately 20 candidates will advance to the third and final round.
  3. Finalists will present to a diverse Final Selection Committee of working directors, industry development executives and AFI Faculty, Alumni and Staff.
  4. Up to eight (8) participants and two (2) alternates will be selected.

Application fee is $100, utilized to support our rigorous admission process. This fee is reduced from $125 to acknowledge the current economic hardship of those working across the entertainment industry. No additional waivers can be granted at this time. Contact the DWW+ team at for any questions regarding the application fee.

Please submit the following materials with your application. Any written materials should be submitted as a PDF.

Be aware that any use of LLM Artificial Intelligence technology must be disclosed in the application. Failure to disclose the use of AI technology may disqualify applicants from consideration.

Professional Materials

  • Bio — a brief overview of your educational and/or professional background (300-word limit).
  • Narrative Statement — a brief description of your interest in directing (1000-word limit). A thoughtful demonstration of your personal thinking as it relates to your experience as a filmmaker. Tell us about yourself, your backstory, why you want to direct, why you want to be a part of DWW+ and what your planned career path is.
  • Résumé – a CV detailing your related professional work and education (no more than two pages).
  • Letter(s) of Recommendation: One letter is required. Letter must be dated within six months of the application.

Creative Materials

  • Script(15 Pages Maximum,10 Pages minimum) – This is the movie you are submitting to make within the DWW+ program. Submitted scripts must follow the industry standard for formatting: Courier font, 12-pt type, standard margins. Scripts will be evaluated on artistic merit, and the ability to be produced within the parameters of the workshop.
  • Directing Visual Sample(s)– Applicants must submit at least one sample — and are welcome to submit two — of a moving image project where you are uniquely credited as the sole director. (Directing teams must apply as a team). This is your opportunity to show us your point of view as a visual storyteller and to present a sample that demonstrates individual talent, ability and potential.
    • Required: First sample must be narrative. Candidates who do not submit one narrative sample will not be considered.Samples should be in English or subtitled in English.
    • Optional: The second sample may be any genre or format, including narrative, experimental, documentary, trailer, commercial, music video, immersive, animation, or other, OR you may submit a reel.
  • Director Intro Video (2 minutes maximum) –Create up to a two-minute video telling us who you are, why you are a good candidate for DWW+ and your motivation for joining the program.
  • Creative Statement(500-word limit) – Tell us about your vision for the script you will shoot in the program. Why do you want to make it? Why is it important that you direct it? What will be your biggest production challenges?
  • Fundraising Plan(350-word limit) – While DWW+ is a tuition-free program, you will be required to raise between $25,000-$50,000 to make your short film. Please articulate your fundraising plan. If accepted into the program, we provide educational resources to help support your fundraising goals.
  • Pitch Deck(10 slides maximum) – Must include logline, synopsis, why this film, director’s bio, writer’s bio (if applicable), characters, tone, etc.
  • Releases – The screenplay does not have to be written by the applicant. However, if an outside writer’s material is used, all necessary rights must be obtained from the author and submitted with the application, including the rights to adapt previously existing material. Releases will be requested upon acceptance.
    • Literary Release
    • Underlying Rights Agreement: (if applicable)
    • Outside Writer’s Agreement: (if applicable)

If you have any questions regarding your application, or if you are having technical issues with the application portal, please email

If you have any questions regarding your application, or if you are having technical issues with the application portal, please email