Established in 1974 by the American Film Institute and currently spearheaded by Program Director Patty West, the Directing Workshop For Women offers each year a training workshop to emerging female filmmakers, followed by the opportunity to direct a short film and launch a fruitful career.
Since its inception with a line-up including Maya Angelou and Superman actress Margot Kidder, it has helped more than 250 participants, some of whom went on to direct feature films or episodes of major television series such as Mad Men, ER, Gilmore Girls, Homeland and 30 Rock.
Sarah Gertrude Shapiro‘s short film Sequin Raze, shot with the support of the 2012 Directing Workshop is being adapted for television as the series Un-Real by Lifetime.
Eight selected participants met in May 2013 for an intensive 3 week workshop in Los Angeles, after which they had to rise funds for their own project. Shot in the summer and edited during the following months, the shorts were shown in April at the American Film Institute, introduced by director Kimberley Peirce.
Watch the keynote speech, discover the films and their directors below: Aubree Bernier-Clarke, Cusi Cram, Sarah Doyle, Anne Hamilton, Tiffanie Hsu, Erin Li, Kristine Namkung and Janine Salinas Schoenberg.
Update: the article now features the film trailers.
Kimberly PeirceDirector (Boys Don't Cry, Stop-Loss, Carrie 2013) Keynote Speaker at the AFI Directing Workshop Showcase 2014
The Night is Ours – Aubree Bernier-Clarke
When Morgan visits her dead friend Olivia’s wake, Olivia mysteriously comes back to life and the two embark on a reckless road trip toward an uncertain future.
Aubree Bernier-ClarkeDirector (Shorts, Commercials) AFI Directing Workshop For Women 2013 with The Night is Ours
Wild & Precious – Cusi Cram
Sparks fly when a wayward grandmother returns for a funeral, where her young granddaughter reaches out and asks the questions no one has dared to ask.
Cusi CramDirector, Playwright, Screenwriter (The Big C, Daytime Emmy Nominations for "Arthur") AFI Directing Workshop For Women 2013 with "Wild & Precious"
You, Me & Her – Sarah Doyle
Read our interview with Sarah Doyle who won the Audience Award at the Etheria Film Night for You, Me & Her
When 30 versions of one person pass through the wormhole at the Department of Parallel Resettlement, Anna discovers she is the worst possible version of herself.
Discover the other science-fiction, thriller & horror films showcased at the Etheria Film Night 2014
Sarah DoyleDirector, Screenwriter AFI Directing Workshop For Women 2013 with "You, Me & Her"
The Inheritance – Anne Hamilton
After a violent encounter on her drive home, a teenage girl receives an unexpected visit from her estranged father and faces a choice that will change her life.
Sutures – Tiffanie Hsu
When a dying man can no longer indulge in his favorite TV pastime, his estranged daughter transports him into the world of his beloved soap opera characters.
Kepler X-47 – Erin Li
A woman volunteers to live in a human zoo on an alien planet, but soon realizes that life is not what she expected.
Erin LiDirector, Screenwriter (Shorts: To The Bone, L.A Coffin School) AFI Directing Workshop For Women 2013 with Kepler X-47
Head Trauma – Kristine Namkung
A repressed Asian-American girl sustains a head injury and loses all ability to control her impulses, only to find that she likes herself better that way.
Jenny & Lalo – Janine Salinas Schoenberg
Two star-crossed lovers, who belong to rival gangs in East L.A. try to escape for a better life only to find betrayal where they least expect it.
Janine Salinas SchoenbergDirector, Playwright AFI Directing Workshop For Women 2013 with "Jenny & Lalo"
Read more about the new episodic program of the AFI DWW on The AFI Directing Workshop For Women Moves Forward
Read our interview with 2013 participant Sarah Doyle about her film You, Me & Her on Etheria Film Night: Awards & Interviews
Discover the crowdfunding campaign of The Haircut by 2014 participant Alexis O. Korycinski on Crowdfunding Success – The Haircut & Across The Tracks
Find the AFI Directing Workshop for Women on our comprehensive List of Workshops for Women Filmmakers
Follow the AFI Directing Workshop for Women on the Diversity Directory