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The American Film Institute announced today a dramatic increase in scholarship funding at the AFI Conservatory (AFIC) – its immersive two-year graduate program in the art and discipline of filmmaking. Further differentiating the prestigious MFA program in an ever-growing field of film school options, the boost in funding for current and incoming Fellows represents nearly three times that of previous years – 100% of which goes directly to Fellows.

Leading this effort is AFI Board of Directors Chair Robert Daly, whose gift of $1 million was made in 2012 as a challenge grant for the AFI Board of Trustees. The board exceeded this goal by raising $2.3 million, which includes major gifts by Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman of the AFI Board of Trustees and Lawrence Herbert. Adding to this effort, an additional $3.5 million was donated from esteemed entertainment community leaders like David Geffen, Alan Horn, Terry Semel and the Time Warner Foundation. The funds raised for scholarships to the Conservatory total more than $6.2 million. For AFI’s intimate graduate program of about 200 Fellows, the impact of this funding is expansive.

Reflected in this new funding are two opportunities that deepen the hands-on filmmaking experience while encouraging diversity in storytelling. Several more will be announced later this year.

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