July 28, 2011

AFI Conservatory Ranked #1 Film School in the World by The Hollywood Reporter

LOS ANGELES, July 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The AFI Conservatory, a founding program of the American Film Institute, was voted the #1 film school in the world by The Hollywood Reporter. AFI's unique curriculum is world-renowned, centered on a hands-on, production-based training environment where Fellows (AFI's reference to students) collaborate to make films. Utilizing a European Conservatory model of small class sizes and learning by doing, Fellows enter the program with a focus on a specific filmmaking discipline.

The Hollywood Reporter's inaugural list and ranking of worldwide film schools called AFI Conservatory "among the most selective film schools in America," with its Fellows benefiting from "speakers and teachers drawn from the highest levels of the industry, supported by the full weight of AFI itself...AFI's glittering parade of alumni, from David Lynch to Darren Aronofsky, remains unrivaled when it comes to auteur filmmakers...If you know where you're going, AFI can get you there." The Hollywood Reporter's list was developed with the help from entertainment industry insiders, including executives and filmmakers, as well as film school graduates. Schools were rated based on a range of criteria such as alumni, cost, facilities, industry access and strength of faculty.

"AFI's faculty, staff and Trustees dedicate themselves tirelessly to our Fellows' success, and it is extremely affirming to be recognized in this way," said Robert Mandel, Dean, AFI Conservatory. "We are honored to have the top place on the list, and honored to be in such highly regarded company."

AFI alumni are celebrating a banner year in critical recognition, including wins at the Academy Awards (Wally Pfister, INCEPTION, cinematography class of 1988), Emmy Awards (Dante Di Loreto, TEMPLE GRANDIN, producing class of 1991), Tony Awards (Anne Garefino, "The Book of Mormon," producing class of 1988) and the Grand Prizes at the Cannes Film Festival (Terrence Malick, TREE OF LIFE, directing class of 1969) and Sundance Film Festival (Drake Doremus, LIKE CRAZY, directing class of 2005). Most recently, multiple AFI alumni received 2011 Emmy Award nominations, including Patty Jenkins (THE KILLING, directing class of 2000), Anne Garefino (SOUTH PARK, producing class of 1988), Brad Falchuk (GLEE, screenwriting class of 1996), Dante Di Loreto (GLEE, producing class of 1991), Bradley Buecker (GLEE, directing class of 2003), Jeremy Podeswa (BOARDWALK EMPIRE, directing class of 1984), Manny Cotto (DEXTER, directing class of 1984) and Paul Starkman (TOP CHEF, cinematography class of 1998).

Established in 1969, the two-year Master of Fine Arts program provides training in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. Mirroring a professional production environment, Fellows collaborate to make more films than any other graduate level program. Admission to AFI Conservatory is highly selective, with a maximum of only 140 graduates per year.

AFI alumni are among today's entertainment luminaries and include esteemed filmmakers such as Directors David Lynch (BLUE VELVET), Darren Aronofsky (BLACK SWAN), Terrence Malick (TREE OF LIFE), Ed Zwick (GLORY) and Patty Jenkins (MONSTER); Cinematographers Wally Pfister (THE DARK KNIGHT), Janusz Kaminski (SCHINDLER'S LIST) and Matthew Libatique (BLACK SWAN); Producers Anne Garefino (SOUTH PARK) and Steve Golin (BABEL); Editors Steven Rosenblum (BRAVEHEART) and Jay L. Cassidy (INTO THE WILD); Screenwriters Jeff Nathanson (INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL), Susannah Grant (ERIN BROCKOVICH) and Brad Falchuk (GLEE); and Production Designers Todd Cherniawsky (ALICE IN WONDERLAND) and Keith Cunningham (THE SOCIAL NETWORK).

In addition, recent alumni continue to draw recognition. AFI Class of 2010 Directing Fellow Julian Higgins was awarded the top narrative prize (Gold Medal) at the 38th Annual Student Academy Awards in June for his AFI Conservatory thesis film, THIEF, and the film also won top honors at the 32nd College Television Awards in April.

Additional information about AFI is available at AFI.com.

SOURCE AFI Conservatory