American Film Institute’s Landmark, Tuition-Free Training Program Selects Eight New Directors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Los Angeles, CA, January 15, 2019 — The AFI Directing Workshop for Women (DWW) — AFI's filmmaker training program launched in 1974 — continues its longstanding commitment to increasing the number of women working as directors in film and television. The prestigious program has announced eight new participants for the Class of 2020, who will receive several months of tuition-free film education, culminating in the production of a short film. The films will premiere at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Los Angeles in 2020.

The new DWW filmmakers are: Robin Cloud, Revati Dhomse, Ashley Eakin, Tiffany Frances, Marie Jamora, Bridget Moloney, Lara Panah-Izadi and Nicole Taylor-Roberts. Read their bios here.

"AFI has led the conversation about the need for more female directors since the Directing Workshop for Women opened its doors over 40 years ago," said Lauren Ludwig, Director, AFI DWW. "The rising filmmakers in this program embody the Institute’s active, enduring steps to create change, and we are excited to see the stories from this year’s class come alive on the screen."

The DWW has a proud legacy of promoting diverse voices to the world, and recent participants in the program have made impressive impact. Completing the program this year, Amber Sealey will debut her DWW short film HOW DOES IT START at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. DWW alumna Pippa Bianco’s debut feature SHARE, based on her Cannes-winning DWW short of the same name, will also premiere at Sundance, and Bianco was recently featured on Variety’s Directors to Watch list. Four participants from the Class of 2018 have gone on to direct episodes of television since showcasing their DWW films: Milena Govich (CHICAGO MED, CHICAGO FIRE), Tiffany Johnson (BOOMERANG, DEAR WHITE PEOPLE), Nancy Meija (VIDA) and Gandja Montiero (VIDA). DWW alumna Dime Davis was also recently tapped to direct the pilot of Lena Waithe and Halle Berry’s BET series BOOMERANG. 

About the AFI Directing Workshop For Women
Since its inception in 1974, the AFI Directing Workshop for Women (DWW) has been dedicated to advancing the number of women working professionally as narrative screen directors. The workshop annually provides eight gifted directors with immersive training in screen directing, professional development resources and inroads to the industry — all at no cost to participants. With over 300 alumnae offered a continuum of support following completion of the program, the result is a robust network of female storytellers empowered to bring their voices to film and television in ever greater numbers — including QUEEN SUGAR director/producer Neema Barnette, HOMELAND executive producer/director Lesli Linka Glatter and UNREAL co-creator Sarah Gertrude Shapiro. 

The AFI Directing Workshop for Women receives generous support from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The Walt Disney Studios, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Lifetime, the National Endowment for the Arts, Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, Visionary Women and the Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation. Additional support comes from Jean Picker Firstenberg, Linda Hope, Lynne and Mark Liss, the Nancy Malone Living Trust, Seed&Spark, the Jean Picker Firstenberg Endowment, The Nancy Malone Endowment provided by The Bob and Dolores Hope Charitable Foundation, and the many individual supporters committed to providing opportunities for women in the media arts. For more information visit:

About the American Film Institute

The American Film Institute was established by presidential proclamation in the White House Rose Garden, and launched its national mandate on June 5, 1967 — to preserve the heritage of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. AFI's founding Trustees included Chairman Gregory Peck, Vice Chairman Sidney Poitier, Francis Ford Coppola, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Jack Valenti and George Stevens, Jr., as Director.



American Film Institute: Ryan Lattanzio, 323.856.7619, [email protected]