In collaboration with Screen Australia and the Onbass Family Trust, the American Film Institute seeks to support emerging Australian storytellers by establishing the Screen Australia Onbass Fellowships at the AFI Conservatory. The Fellowships will expand opportunities for Australian filmmakers to pursue their craft and artistry free from the burden of tuition. Additionally, the Fellowships will provide a home away from home in Hollywood for the Australian Fellows to develop a network of high-performing peers and a community of collaborators from across the globe, while serving as ambassadors for the excellence and artistry of Australia.


The Screen Australia Onbass Fellowships will be awarded to one gifted Australian filmmaker that will enter the AFI Conservatory in the fall of 2019 and one in the fall of 2020 – to join the graduating classes of 2021 and 2022, respectively. The fellowship will underwrite the full tuition and fees, as well as include a modest stipend each semester (approximately $3,000 per semester) to help offset the expenses of living in Los Angeles during the program.

Applicants may apply to any one of the six disciplines in which the AFI Conservatory offers a Master of Fine Arts degree or Certificate of Completion.


  1. Applicants must be Australian citizens or permanent resident to be considered for the Fellowship.
  2. Applicants are preferably aged over 21, but must be at least 18 years of age to apply for the Fellowship.
  3. At the time of enrollment, the Fellowship recipient must not be currently employed by an Australian broadcaster or commissioning platform and not currently enrolled in a full-time capacity at another film, television or interactive digital media course at a film school or tertiary educational institution. This eligibility must be maintained throughout academic studies at the AFI Conservatory.
  4. Applicants must submit their completed application by Sunday, October 13, 2019, 11:59 p.m. U.S. PST to be considered for the Fellowship.
  5. Applicants must adhere to the AFI Conservatory admissions requirements and processes.

Application and Important Dates

Applications are only accepted via our online application process. The application is accessible beginning September 3, 2019, and all applications must be submitted before October 13, 2019. No applications will be accepted or reviewed for the Fellowship that are received after October 13, 2019.

Click here to apply.

The Application consists of the following discipline-specific materials and portfolio requirements, and other general information.

Discipline-Specific Supporting Materials/Portfolio Requirements

Discipline-specific supporting materials requirements are available by visiting the Admissions Fall 2020 Requirements Page.

General Application Components

Narrative Statement

The Narrative Statement is a brief essay that serves as the primary introduction of the applicant to both the Admissions Committee and allows the applicant to showcase their passion for filmmaking while interweaving meaningful examples of their relevant artistic experiences.

Each discipline will provide specific prompts for you to utilize when crafting your Narrative Statement. For more information, please visit Admissions Requirements.

Scholarship Application

An AFI scholarship application along with supporting material are required to be considered for the Fellowship.

Additional Required materials: Résumé,Letters of Recommendation, Transcripts

Interview Process

Following the AFI Conservatory Admissions Committee’s review of the applications, applicants may be invited to interview. If selected, the applicant is highly encouraged to interview on the AFI Conservatory campus, but the interview may be conducted via Skype.


The proposed timeline for announcing and selecting the initial recipient of the Screen Australia Onbass Fellowships is as follows:

September 1, 2019: Applications open.

October 13, 2019: Applications close.

October 20, 2019: Letters of Recommendation due.

October 14 through December 1: Applications are reviewed, and interviews are conducted by the selection committee.

December 13, 2019*: Final selection of recipient

January 2020: Formal announcement of the recipient

August 2020: Recipient begins the AFI Conservatory program.

*Applicants who are not selected to receive the Fellowship will be rolled into the regular admissions process and notification timeline unless indicated in your admissions application that you do not wish to be considered for regular admissions. Please visit the deadline and notification dates on the admissions requirements page for further details about the regular process.


Please direct application questions to