Alumni Events & Announcements

A great time was had by all at the annual Alumni BBQ, hosted by Rick Rosenthal (AFI Class of 1973), at Whitewater Films on September 17. Click here to view photos from the day!

NOVEMBER 10–17 | AFI FEST presented by Audi
Each AFI alumnus is eligible to receive a complimentary Cinepass to AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi happening this November!

The Cinepass is an exclusive benefit for AFI alumni. It is a movie passport for alumni to move freely through the festival without tickets. The AFI FEST Cinepass grants admission for one to all regular screenings, special screenings, conversations and presentations, subject to seating availability (excluding Galas). With a Cinepass, you will not have to register for individual tickets.

Registration for the complimentary Cinepass will be held online October 11–27. Alumni will receive an email announcing that registration is open on Tuesday, October 11. You can prepare for Cinepass registration by ensuring that you have a current online account on

Read more important information about the Cinepass here.

Join your AFI family at the annual Alumni Reunion — our biggest alumni event of the year — during AFI FEST!

We will present the William J. Fadiman Award for Screenwriting, Richard P. Rogers Spirit of Excellence Awards and Franklin J. Schaffner Fellow Award to this year's recipients in an awards ceremony with the reunion reception immediately following.

Date: Friday, November 11, 2016
Time: 6:00–9:00 p.m.
Location: The Hollywood Roosevelt | Cinema Lounge
7000 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028



Daniel Abts (AFI Class of 2012), Bandar Albuliwi (AFI Class of 2010), Bill Balas (AFI Class of 2005), Ian Drazen (AFI Class of 2013), Dylan Kohler (AFI Class of 2005), Lee Metzger (AFI Class of 2000), Simon Nagel (AFI Class of 2012), Joseph Pellegrino (AFI Class of 2013), Marisé Samitier (AFI DWW, Class of 1998), Andy Siara (AFI Class of 2015) and Alex Simon (AFI Class of 2005) are quarter-finalists in the 2016 Big Break Screenwriting Contest.

A group of female film executives launched The Alice Initiative to highlight 30 promising untapped talents, as voted on by more than 40 top industry players. The list comes after a report from the Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film concluded that female filmmakers directed just nine percent of the top 250 movies in 2015. The featured filmmakers include: Andrea Arnold (AFI Class of 1991), Pippa Bianco (AFI DWW, Class of 2014), Sian Heder (AFI DWW, Class of 2005), Melina Matsoukas (AFI Class of 2005) and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro (AFI DWW, Class of 2012). Other AFI alumni in The Alice Initiative master list include: Uta Briesewitz (AFI Class of 1994), Tricia Brock (AFI DWW, Class of 2001), Shana Feste (AFI Class of 2003), Jennifer Getzinger (AFI DWW, Class of 2005), Lesli Linka Glatter (AFI DWW, Class of 1982), Rachel Goldberg (AFI DWW, Class of 2010), Anne Hamilton (AFI DWW, Class of 2013), Amy Heckerling (AFI Class of 1974), Patty Jenkins (AFI Class of 2000), Mimi Leder (AFI Class of 1973) and Thoranna Sigurdardottir (AFI DWW, Class of 2014).

Fox Searchlight has closed a deal with LD Entertainment for U.S. rights to JACKIE, the Pablo Larrain-directed drama that stars Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy. The film covers the days following JFK’s assassination in Dallas in 1963, as the grieving widow with two young and suddenly fatherless children tried to cement her slain husband’s historical legacy. Darren Aronofsky (AFI Class of 1992) is the film’s producer.

Ava Berkofsky (AFI Class of 2013) shot the music video for “Pack of Nobodies” by Emily Wells.

Brenda Blair (AFI Class of 2009) is serving as Head of Production at Brain Farm, a production company based in Jackson, WY. Blair also recently took a position at the California Film Commission as a budget analyst for the tax credit program.

DEPENDENT'S DAY will begin its theatrical run in North Hollywood on October 7. Freestyle Releasing will be releasing the film on VOD on October 18. Joe Burke (AFI Class of 2009) stars and is the co-producer.

Luis Camara (AFI Class of 1994) was interviewed by Otter Realm on his role at California State University Monterey Bay.

Gareth Paul Cox (AFI Class of 2013) was featured by Panasonic for his work on THE DRIVER.

Julie Dash (AFI Class of 1974) will be one of the speakers at the Black Star Symposium, the 60th BFI London Film Festival’s headline industry event, on October 6.

THE KILLING FIELDS OF DR. HAING S. NGOR launched DocWorld, a new weekly showcase for the best international documentaries from around the globe, programmed by WGBH in association with PBS. Arthur Dong (AFI Class of 1984) is the director/writer/producer/cinematographer/editor, Grant Nellessen (AFI Class of 2000) worked on digital effects and title design and photo animation, Vanara Taing (AFI Class of 2012) is the first assistant editor and Daniel Myers (AFI Class of 2013) is the second assistant editor.

Christopher Greenslate (AFI Class of 2016), Andy Jones (AFI Class of 2010), Tiffany Laufer (AFI Class of 2003), Jean Lee (AFI DWW, Class of 2014) and Judith Lutz (AFI Class of 1979) are quarter-finalists in the 2016 ScreenCraft Pilot Launch Contest.

Kendell Courtney Klein (AFI Class of 2014) and Erin Stanley (AFI Class of 2015) are finalists in the 2016 Page International Screenwriting Awards.

Amy Heckerling (AFI Class of 1974) headlined the 2016 Visiting Film Artist Series in Grand Rapids, MI, on September 9–10. The two-day event was organized by the West Michigan Film Video Alliance and hosted by Celebration Cinema.

"On The Bright Side" is an official selection in the 2016 New York Television Festival Independent Pilot Competition. Andy Jones (AFI Class of 2010) is a writer.

ZANA, written and directed by Antoneta Kastrati (AFI DWW, Class of 2012) has received a production grant from Qendra Kinematografike e Kosoves (QKK), Kosovo's national film fund. Casey Cooper Johnson (AFI Class of 2011) is the feature film’s producer.

Paul Kowalski (AFI Class of 2015) directed RESTLESS, a mood film for Maria Korovilas Katz's fashion line, KOROVILAS. Nick Bupp (AFI Class of 2015) is the cinematographer.

Erin Li (AFI DWW, Class of 2013) directed Omaze's first documentary short, lensed by Lucas Lee Graham (AFI Class of 2008).

Netflix purchased SVOD rights to THE BAD BATCH, the Ana Lily Amirpour-directed film that stars Jason Momoa, Jim Carrey, Keanu Reeves, Suki Waterhouse and Diego Luna. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Jillian Longnecker (AFI Class of 2002) is the co-producer.

Liv Prior Colliander (AFI Class of 2015) directed and edited a book trailer for Rør Mig — the first book in the “Blackwood No. 7” trilogy written by Linda Victoria, published by People'sPress.

Film Journal International reviewed KICKS, director/writer Justin Tipping’s (AFI Class of 2011) powerful debut with a coming-of-age tale of masculinity and violence. Joshua Beirne-Golden (AFI Class of 2011) is a producer/writer, Tomas Vengris (AFI Class of 2012) is the editor, Erin Magill (AFI Class of 2012) is the production designer, Shayar Bhansali (AFI Class of 2014) is the assistant editor and David Gidali (AFI Class of 2011) worked on the film’s visual effects.

Mattias Troelstrup (AFI Class of 2010) took home the Bronze Camera 300 award for his work on BANG GANG (A MODERN LOVE STORY) at the Manaki Brothers International Cinematographers' Film Festival. Eva Husson (AFI Class of 2003) is the director of the film.

Arun Vir (AFI DWW, Class of 1997) was a finalist for the Academy Nicholl Fellowship.

UTA has signed Mark Waters (AFI Class of 1992), who most recently directed BAD SANTA 2, which Broad Green Pictures will release November 23. On the TV side, Waters is attached to direct and produce the E! pilot #FASHION VICTIM.

Adwoa Aboah — model, actress and cover star of i-D's Female Gaze Issue — is on a mission to get girls across the world to open up about mental health, body image and sexuality through her project Gurls TalkMarianne Williams (AFI Class of 2015) is the project's cinematographer.