The American Film Institute adds new media to its programs

The American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women (AFI DWW) is getting into digital media by launching an innovative episodic program where female film directors will produce content for the web and/or streaming services.

This program is a way for the AFI to expand beyond its 40-year-old directing program of making short films since DWW offers aspiring female directors the opportunity to develop their skills as storytellers across multiple platforms.

Because 95% of all working film directors are male, there are limited training opportunities for female directors. Thanks in part to a sponsorship from the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation, the DWW program will accept a total of eight aspiring digital filmmakers. All women will receive training, including learning how to run a web series and build an online audience via input from mentors of both television and new media, including Artists-in-Residence Jamie Babbit, AFI Conservatory alumnus Patty Jenkins, and Kimberly Peirce.

Since the AFI DWW program’s inception in 1974, more than 275 women have been trained in screen directing. Its alumnae include Maya Angelou, Anne Bancroft, Neema Barnette, Tricia Brock, Ellen Burstyn, Rebecca Cammisa, Dyan Cannon, Hanelle Culpepper, Jan Eliasberg, Naomi Foner, Jennifer Getzinger, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Nancy Malone, Becky Smith, Cicely Tyson and Joanne Woodward.

Part of AFI’s mission is to educate the next generation of storytellers. To learn more about AFI, visit or follow on, and For details on the AFI Directing Workshop for Women, visit