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AFI and Fox Launch Two Cinematography Programs for Women

The American Film Institute and Fox Studios want to make sure cinematographer Rachel Morrison's Oscar nomination becomes the norm, rather than a rarity.

Rachel Morrison

The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today two different programs geared toward increasing the number of women cinematographers working in Hollywood. Sponsored by 21st Century Fox, the programs will be tuition-free and are geared toward women directors of photography at two very different stages of their careers.

The first program, the AFI Cinematography Introductory Intensive for Women (CIIW), will take place on August 3-6, at the AFI campus and is for women interested in careers as cinematographers. The four-day class consists of workshops, discussions and screenings designed to encourage participants to continue down the path, via studies and practical experience, to becoming a cinematographer. The intensive crash course is being taught by a mix of AFI faculty and “master-level guests.”

Submissions open today, June 4, and the deadline to apply is June 15.

The second, more advanced program casts a far narrower net: It’s aimed at recent female graduates of the AFI Conservatory who are actively trying to break into Hollywood’s cinematography ranks. This partnership between Fox and AFI, which has been named the Fox DP Lab, is looking for 10 to 15 AFI graduates who could benefit from master classes designed to demystify the hiring process. AFI cinematography graduates will have the opportunity to meet with executives responsible for recommending and approving cinematographers, receive career guidance from Fox cinematographers and see a Fox studio film or Fox series being shot.

Applications for the Fox DP Lab — exclusively for AFI Cinematography alumnae — will open in August 2018.

“Palo Alto”

“Following our incredibly successful partnership with AFI to develop the Fox Filmmakers Lab, this new initiative to grow and develop female DPs is a natural extension of our ongoing efforts to diversify and strengthen the talent pool in this vital creative discipline,” said Stacey Snider, CEO and Chairman of Twentieth Century Fox Film in a statement. “Rachel Morrison’s recent Academy Award nomination should be the norm — not the exception — for female DPs, and our hope is that programs like the Fox DP Lab will create even more opportunities for the next generation of talented, up-and-coming female DPs throughout the entertainment industry.”

The AFI currently offers two-year MFA degree in six filmmaking disciplines: cinematography, directing, editing, producing, production design and screenwriting. Female cinematographers to come from conservatory include Rachel Morrison (“Mudbound,” “Black Panther”), Melina Matsoukas (Beyoncé’s “Formation,” “Insecure,” as director), Ava Berkofsky (“Insecure”), Carolina Costa (“Flower”), Autumn Durald (“Palo Alto”) and Lisa Wiegand (“Law & Order True Crime”).

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