APPLICATION TIPS AND TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE
Letters of Recommendation
- Applicants are required to have three letters of recommendation. The online application will ask for your recommender names and email addresses so be sure to have up to date email addresses on your recommenders.
- The recommender will be emailed a link to an online recommendation form from Applications@AFI.com AFTER you submit your application. Please have your recommender check their spam folders if they do not see the email in their inbox.
- The recommenders should simply convey how long he/she has known you and in what capacity, including relevant evaluative remarks.
- Applicants re-applying or applying to different disciplines should have new and different recommendations for each new application.
- We do not accept hardcopy letters of recommendation.
- It is your responsibility to follow up with your recommenders to see if they have completed the recommendation form.
- Recommenders' online recommendation form has a limitation of 2,000 characters.
- For December 1 applicants, the recommendations are not due by the application deadline (December 1) but should shortly follow in order to complete the application for review.
- If there are any other issues related to the recommendations, please email Applications@AFI.com and we will follow up with you.
- For issues with uploading documents, please be sure your documents are PDF (in format, not in filename) and no larger than 150KB. Additionally, please be sure you are running the latest version of Adobe Acrobat.
- Once your application is submitted you cannot go back to make any changes.
- If there are any other issues related to the application, please email Applications@AFI.com and we will follow up with you.
- We only accept hard copy transcripts — please plan accordingly for your institution to mail upon applying.
- Please send all transcripts from previous undergraduate or graduate studies.
- While grades are given some consideration, the Admissions Committee uses transcripts primarily to gain a better sense of the applicant's background and specific areas of study. Applicants who do not have any undergraduate experience are eligible to apply to the Certificate program, and are not required to submit transcripts.
- Transcripts can be mailed directly to AFI Admissions from the issuing institution. We will not accept transcripts from the applicant unless it remains in the original sealed envelope from the originating institution.
- For December 1 applicants, the transcripts are not due by the application deadline (December 1) but should shortly follow in order to complete the application for review.
- One of the most important parts of the application is the narrative statement and will be weighed equally against examples of work. The Narrative Statement should answer these basic questions:
- Why do you want to be a filmmaker? What is your personal philosophy on the discipline to which you are applying and why is that discipline the one for you?
- Why have you chosen AFI? What do you hope to gain from this particular program and what are your plans upon completion of your degree or certificate?
- What is your story? AFI's main emphasis is on visual narrative storytelling, and the best starting point is your own personal story. What experience, event, person or film represents the defining moment in which you knew you wanted to be a filmmaker?
Your statement does not have to follow the order given above and does not have to answer each question separately. While your statement should be clear and well-written, do not forget to convey individual personality. Speak honestly and openly. The Narrative Statement is an additional opportunity to demonstrate your artistic voice, as well as your desire and commitment to enter this renowned program.
- The résumé should list, in detail, the applicant's education to date, as well as all professional work accomplished.
- The minimum TOEFL score requirement is 100 Internet-based score (IBT), 250 computer-based (CBT) or 600 paper-based (PBT). Please allow appropriate time for test scheduling.
- The minimum IELTS score is 7.0. Please allow appropriate time for test scheduling.
- Applications will not be reviewed without receipt of a qualifying TOEFL or IELTS score.
- The AFI Conservatory testing code is 9760.
- For December 1 applicants, the TOEFL/IELTS scores are not due by the application deadline (December 1) but should shortly follow in order to complete the application for review.
- Given the large number of applications received each year, the Committee is unable to review more than 20 minutes of any one moving image submission. Examples of work should be no longer than 15 to 20 minutes in length (40 minutes total for two samples.) There is no minimum length requirement, although pieces shorter than 5 minutes may not provide the best example of narrative filmmaking. If the original is more than 20 minutes in length, please cue the piece up to the portion that best demonstrates a talent for storytelling. Please call the Admissions Office at 323.856.7628 if you need further clarification on this point.
If you have more specific questions about the application process or the Conservatory, please contact the Admissions Office at 323.856.7628 or you may inquire via e-mail at admissions@AFI.com.