Alumni Events & Announcements



The Alumni Script Reading Series gives AFI alumni the opportunity to submit a screenplay to be read with professional actors and receive constructive feedback from others in the artistic community. Please join us for the next selection of the series:

Written by Sylvia Sether (AFI Directing Workshop for Women, Class of 2009)

A troubled young woman returns to Norway to say goodbye to her dying father, and in the process, finds deliverance through love and letting go.

Date: Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Time: 7:00-10:00 p.m.
Location: Ahmanson Room, Louis B. Mayer Library | AFI Campus
RSVP: Click here

Sylvia's love of music and photography led her to directing and editing music videos, which gave her the opportunity to explore different visual techniques. Ultimately, this helped her develop a distinct narrative style and visual aesthetic, which has become an obvious through-line in her work today.

In 2009, Sylvia was one of eight women to be selected for the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop For Women. Her latest short film KING OF NORWAY (KON) premiered at Palm Springs ShortFest in June 2013 and took home the award for "Best Narrative Short Film" at Napa Valley Film Festival.

KON went on to have a successful festival run, and KON's DP, VanNessa Manlunas, was one of eight honored by the International Cinematographers Guild with an Emerging Cinematography Award for her work on the film. KON is a proof of concept for her feature script NORWAY.

Recently, Sylvia was one of four fellows selected for the 2014 Sony Television Diverse Directors Program. She is currently producing a documentary called WE GOTTA GET OUT OF HERE about five youth struggling to thrive within the imploding California Foster Care system.


In honor of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17, the European Parliament hosted a screening of the film PRAYERS FOR BOBBY, telling the true story of how a mother became an advocate for LGBT rights after her gay son's suicide. Stanley M. Brooks (AFI Class of 1979) and Daniel Sladek (AFI Class of 1985) are the film's executive producers, Victor Du Bois (AFI Class of 1976) is the editor and Halima K. Gilliam (AFI Class of 2002) is the assistant editor.

Leah Cameron (AFI Class of 2011) is currently working as story editor, writer and associate producer on the web series WHERE COOL CAME FROM. In its second season, the show is currently being re-cut for television and shopped around to different networks in the U.S. and abroad.

Benji Cox (AFI Class of 2014), Haley Ho (AFI Class of 2013) and Cindy Li (AFI Class of 2013) are wrapping production on Martin Scorsese's new film, SILENCE, starring Liam Neeson and Andrew Garfield. Cox and Ho are set designers, and Li is the assistant production coordinator.

Cinematographer and visual artist James Chressanthis (AFI Class of 1984) showcased a mixed media installation at Alternative Rentals is Los Angeles. Using traditional photographic techniques, digital tools, painting and drawing, Chressanthis combines images from around the world.

Farhad Dehlvi (AFI Class of 2014) was featured in The Indian Express for his directorial debut SEHER HONE TAK, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in the Short Film Corner.

The film 7 MINUTES will be released by STARZ. The film most recently played at the Sarasota Film Festival. Jacob Aaron Estes (AFI Class of 2000), Jacob Mosler (AFI Class of 2000) and Rick Rosenthal (AFI Class of 1973) are producers, Noah Rosenthal (AFI Class of 2008) is the cinematographer, Kayla Emter (AFI Class of 2008) is the editor, William Adashek (AFI Class of 2009) is the digital intermediate producer and Kevin Cannon (AFI Class of 2009) is the colorist.

MARZIPAN FLOWERS will have its theatrical release in Israel on June 8. Itay Gross (AFI Class of 2011) is the film's cinematographer.

Susan Johnson (AFI Class of 2000) will be directing CARRIE PILBY, starring Hailee Steinfeld (PITCH PERFECT 2), Tom Wilkinson, Eddie Izzard, Jason Ritter, Vanessa Bayer and Ben Winchell in September. The film is generating buzz at Cannes in the U.S. market. Johnson is also producing a film this summer for director/writer Finn Taylor called UNLEASHED.

LOEV was picked up for distribution at the Cannes Market. Shot in English and Hindi, and produced by Germany-India joint venture Bombay Berlin Film Production, the feature debut of Sudhanshu Saria, weighs in as a slice of life friendship dramedy set in Mumbai. Sherri Kauk (AFI Class of 2007) is the film's cinematographer.

Tiffany Laufer (AFI Class of 2003) was featured in Cleveland's Fresh Water online magazine for her passion for creating and directing films.

Lindsay MacKay's (AFI Class of 2010) film WET BUM was selected to play in the Cannes Marché du Film in the Perspective Canada section. MacKay is the film's director and writer, and Guy Godfree (AFI Class of 2011) is the cinematographer. The film had its Canadian release on May 15 in Toronto and May 29 in Vancouver.

Amin Matalqa (AFI Class of 2007) was credited in The Chippewa Herald for giving rising star Michelle Lang her big break on his film STRANGELY IN LOVE. Matalqa is the film's director, writer and producer, Matthew Antonelli (AFI Class of 2007) is also a writer and Seung Hye Jung (AFI Class of 2007) is the associate producer. The feature was selected as the winner of the IndieFEST Film Awards.

Onn Nir (AFI Class of 2013) was interviewed by The Examiner. His most recently released film, BAMIDBAR, received the Audience Award at the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival, and was nominated for two awards at the Shanghai International Film Festival and another award at the Champs-Élysées Film Festival.

Jennifer Phang's (AFI Class of 1999) ADVANTAGEOUS has been picked up by Netflix and will begin streaming in all regions on June 23. The film won the U.S. Dramatic Competition Special Jury Prize in Collaborative Vision at Sundance 2015.

Director Logan Sandler (AFI Class of 2014), producer Thymaya Payne (AFI Class of 2006) and cinematographer Daniella Nowitz's (AFI Class of 2014) film LIVE CARGO has been accepted into the U.S. in Progress Paris workshop. The film stars Dree Hemingway and Keith Stanfield.

Filming for the horror feature THE GIRL IN THE PHOTOGRAPHS, executive produced by Wes Craven, is expected to wrap this month. Nick Simon (AFI Class of 2008) is the film's director and writer, and Thomas Mahoney (AFI Class of 2008) is the producer.

Bryan Michael Stoller's (AFI Class of 1981) new family film THE AMAZING WIZARD OF PAWS is currently streaming on Netflix.


Gill Dennis (AFI Class of 1969)
1941–2015. Gill Dennis was with AFI when the seeds for a Conservatory were first planted — among the 18 young filmmakers who were selected to form the inaugural class of the AFI Center for Advanced Film Studies, and was a Master-Filmmaker-In-Residence at AFI until his passing.

David Hallinger (AFI Class of 1989)
1951–2015. David Hallinger was a cinematographer, best known for his work on TOP GUN, BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II and SPINE TINGLER! THE WILLIAM CASTLE STORY.