Located in the filmmaking capital of the world, the AFI Conservatory is nestled in the hills overlooking Hollywood. The picturesque eight-acre campus is in the center of the professional filmmaking community with easy access to studios, networks and post-production facilities.

The AFI Conservatory offers a Master of Fine Arts* degree in six disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. Graduates finish with either a Master of Fine Arts Degree or Certificate of Completion.* Over the course of two years, Fellows team with classmates to write, produce, design, direct, shoot and edit four to 10 films.

Small class sizes with an average 3:1 Fellow to faculty ratio ensure that every AFI Fellow receives one-on-one instruction from a faculty comprised of professional filmmakers with decades of experience guiding projects from script to screen. A steady stream of guest lecturers means an opportunity to learn the ropes from masters like Steve McQueen, Sofia Coppola, Barry Jenkins, Brian Grazer and Ari Aster.

—Patty Jenkins, AFI Class of 2000

“AFI was the one and only pocket of time where I was able to steal all of my focus away from making a living and the realities of survival and focus solely on the kind of filmmaking I loved.”

AFI applies practical, hands-on collaboration as the primary approach for Fellows to master the art and technique of filmmaking. Fellows collectively create up to 175 films a year and graduate with the ability to confidently step onto a working set and hold their own with any master in their chosen field.

They also join an impressive alumni roster of some of the most talented filmmakers working in the business today, including Patty Jenkins, Darren Aronofsky, Caleb Deschanel, Brad Falchuk, Rachel Morrison, Scott Frank, Janusz Kaminski, Mimi Leder, David Lynch, Terrence Malick, Robert Richardson, Edward Zwick and many more.

AFI Conservatory Core Values: We expect leadership, initiative, integrity and the communication necessary for successful collaboration in a professional environment. By means of these core values, the Conservatory inspires each Fellow to discover an authentic voice.

AFI Conservatory Objectives:

  • To examine the origins and techniques of storytelling.
  • To graduate Fellows fully equipped to meet the highest professional standards of their discipline.
  • To graduate Fellows with a deep appreciation and understanding of the art of motion pictures.


* An applicant without an undergraduate degree will be considered for acceptance at AFI as an Associate Fellow. Associate Fellows who successfully complete the requirements will receive a Certificate of Completion, finishing the same curriculum as the degree programs.