Maya Angelou, AFI
Maya Angelou, AFI

The Directing Workshop for Women (DWW) at the American Film Institute is a hands-on training program committed to increasing the number of women working professionally as film and TV directors.

The DWW offers participants intensive training in narrative filmmaking in an innovative workshop. Each participant is required to complete a short film or series by the end of the program. 

DWW is open to women with three years or more of professional experience in the arts. The program is tuition-free though participants are responsible for raising the budgets for their projects.

At the time of the DWW's launch in 1974, women made up less than 1% of working directors. Over 275 women have taken part in the DWW since the program was launched and 25% have gone on to direct professionally, many of whom have won awards in directing from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the Director's Guild of America.

Since the AFI DWW program's inception, more than 275 women have been trained in screen directing. Among its distinguished alumnae are (some you'd recognize): Maya Angelou, Neema Barnette, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Cicely Tyson, Anne Bancroft, Tricia Brock, Ellen Burstyn, Rebecca Cammisa, Dyan Cannon, Hanelle Culpepper, Jan Eliasberg, Naomi Foner, Jennifer Getzinger, Lyn Goldfarb, Randa Haines, Victoria Hochberg, , Lesli Linka Glatter, Lynne Littman, Matia Karrell, Nancy Malone, Becky Smith,  and Joanne Woodward.


  • The Application Become Available Online: August 21, 2014 (as in TODAY)

  • Open House: October 14, 2014

  • Application Deadline: January 7, 2015

  • Interviews: February, 2015

  • Participants Notified: March, 2015

  • Workshop: April 30 – May 22, 2015

Visit the Program section for details. Sign up for DWW updates here.