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American Film Institute Conservatory
Los Angeles, United States- California


University description (as per official university website)

History of AFI

The American Film Institute was founded in 1967 as a national arts organization to train filmmakers and preserve America's vanishing film heritage. The National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities recommended creating AFI as a nonprofit "to enrich and nurture the art of film in America" with initial funding from the NEA, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Ford Foundation.

"We will create an American Film Institute that will bring together leading artists of the film industry, outstanding educators, and young men and women who wish to pursue this 20th century art form as their life's work," said President Lyndon Johnson upon signing the legislation that brought AFI into being.

AFI's original 22-member Board of Trustees included Chair Gregory Peck and Vice Chair Sidney Poitier as well as Francis Ford Coppola, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Jack Valenti and other representatives from the arts and academia.

Under the leadership of AFI's founding director George Stevens, Jr., the institute established a training program for filmmakers known as the Center for Advanced Film Studies, where the first class included Terrence Malick, David Lynch and Paul Schrader. A repertory film exhibition program at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the AFI Catalog of Feature Films—the definitive source for American film history—were also created in the first five years.

The AFI Life Achievement Award, recognized as the highest honor for a career in film, held its first tribute in 1973. Honorees over the past 35 years have included John Ford, James Cagney, Orson Welles, Bette Davis, Billy Wilder, Sidney Poitier, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, George Lucas and Al Pacino.

Jean Picker Firstenberg became AFI's second director in 1980 and led the organization for 27 years. Under her leadership, the institute's eight-acre Hollywood campus was purchased; the film training program grew into the AFI Conservatory, an accredited graduate school; the institute fostered and continues to inspire the exchange of ideas between the entertainment and technology communities, adding "digital media" to its mandate; film festivals flourished around the nation and the television series AFI's 100 YEARS...100 MOVIES brought renewed attention to America's classic movies. AFI also opened the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, MD, serving the Washington community with in-depth film programming and educational outreach.

AFI celebrated its 40th Anniversary at the end of 2007. At that time, the institute's third president, Bob Gazzale, was selected to continue the mission-educating the next generation of filmmakers, honoring the artists and celebrating the art of the moving image.

Financial Aid


The AFI Conservatory's Financial Aid Office is committed to assisting both prospective and current Fellows with the knowledge and understanding necessary to finance this unique education. Our goal is to assist Fellows with the financial aid process while enrolled and to assist our alumni with any financial aid needs after completion of the program. This site will help you understand financial aid eligibility at the Conservatory, as well as additional financing options to meet your individual needs.

For additional information, please contact the Financial Aid Office at 323.856.7699.

Scholarships section: Scholarships website section
Scholarships email:

   Scholarships and grants for international students @ American Film Institute Conservatory

<< PreviousNext >>
   American Indian Scholarship Anne Trevarthen Memorial Scholarship Coca-Cola All-State Community Colleges Academic Team Scholarship Enid Hall Griswold Memorial Scholarship
   Irene and Daisy MacGregor Memorial Scholarship Alice W. Rooke Scholarship Caroline E. Holt Nursing Scholarship Dr. Francis Anthony Beneventi Medical Scholarship
   Mildred Nutting Nursing Scholarship Occupational/Physical Therapy Scholarship Lillian and Arthur Dunn Scholarship Margaret Howard Hamilton Scholarship
   Madeline Pickett (Halbert) Cogswell Nursing Scholarship Arthur Lockwood Beneventi Law Scholarship Nellie Love Butcher Music Scholarship Frances Crawford Marvin American Indian Scholarship

<< PreviousNext >>



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