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American Film Institute Selects Producer Patty West to Lead AFI Directing Workshop for Women

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood November 1, 2013 at 12:08PM

The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced that producer Patty West (AFI Class of 2006) will be Director for the AFI Directing Workshop For Women. The announcement coincides with the November 1 start of open enrollment for 2014, and the announcement of the Open House event for prospective applicants.
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Patty West
Patty West

The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced that producer Patty West ("Some Girl(s)," AFI Class of 2006) will be Director for the AFI Directing Workshop For Women. The announcement coincides with the November 1 start of open enrollment for 2014, and the announcement of the Open House event for prospective applicants.

The AFI DWW is an intensive one-year training program where artists study with master filmmakers, make a short film and develop a path for a career in screen directing. It is designed to advance women filmmakers who have a minimum of three years of professional experience working in the arts. Only eight are selected for this tuition-free program. Since the program's inception, more than 275 women have been trained and among their credits are "Mad Men" and "Homeland." 

Distinguished alumnae include Maya Angelou, Anne Bancroft, Neema Barnette, Tricia Brock, Ellen Burstyn, Rebecca Cammisa, Dyan Cannon, Hanelle Culpepper, Jan Eliasberg, Naomi Foner, Jennifer Getzinger, Lyn Goldfarb, Randa Haines, Victoria Hochberg, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Lesli Linka Glatter, Matia Karrell, Nancy Malone, Becky Smith, Cicely Tyson and Joanne Woodward.

About the AFI Directing Workshop for Women

The AFI Directing Workshop for Women exists to educate and mentor female directors in an effort to increase the number of women working professionally in screen directing. In 1974, AFI DWW began as one of AFI's first program initiatives. Developed in response to the relatively few women in screen directing, the program was created to ensure diverse perspectives in narrative filmmaking. Women have achieved distinction in many of the professions within film and video, opportunities in directing are improving. AFI DWW continues to shape the future of the moving image arts in the U.S. one artist at a time.

This article is related to: News, AFI, News


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.