The American Film Institute believes in the power of diverse voices to drive culture forward. As America’s leading filmmaker training program, the AFI Conservatory is committed to establishing equity in education, career advancement and visual storytelling.
AFI DWW+ educates traditionally underrepresented filmmakers through the production cycle of a short film, providing hands-on instruction led by industry experts. Since the program’s inception in 1974, DWW+ has trained over 350 filmmakers who give voice to historically underrepresented perspectives. DWW+ is proud of its legacy as one of the first gender impact programs in the cinematic arts, as well as one of the longest-running and preeminent film and television workshops nationwide. DWW+ looks forward to celebrating its 50th year in 2024.
Along with a rigorous education in visual storytelling, DWW+ emphasizes best practices in directing, perspectives on leadership and an exploration of the challenges in building a career as historically underrepresented filmmakers. The curriculum concentrates on educational examples of film and television made by women and nonbinary directors.
The program is tuition-free, although filmmakers are responsible for raising production funds for their projects.
DWW+ participants are experienced and gifted directors who have worked professionally in other artistic fields or behind-the-scenes (‘below the line’ artists to producers to executives) and are seeking to build careers as narrative film and television directors. Each cycle, we seek a highly diverse class with unique viewpoints.
While DWW+ is a tuition-free program, participants are required to raise between $25,000-$50,000 to make a short film and commit to a mandatory 3- to 4-week workshop intensive in person at the AFI Campus in May, followed by prep and production of their short films. Filmmakers must complete post-production by December. There are additional short in-person and virtual programs throughout the year. Upon completion of program requirements and all film deliverables, filmmakers will be invited to participate in the DWW+ Showcase at the DGA Theater.
Once the directors complete our program, we encourage them to contribute their talents to the broader field and to inspire the next generation through participation in the DWW+ Community. The DWW+ Community is a powerful resource for networking, job opportunities, advice, mentoring, friendship and more.
We are committed to providing a safe, equitable and educational environment for our participants, and AFI Conservatory Fellow Affairs resources are available to DWW+ participants.