American Film

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January 2013

  • 2012 A BANNER YEAR FOR MEMBERSHIP

    Everybody’s doing it – joining AFI, that is. 2012 drew to a close with a seasonal surge and the numbers truly tell the story that movies matter to more and more Americans. In 2012, the AFI Membership grew by over 60% from the previous year – a phenomenal show of support.

    To all our members – long time friends or recent arrivals – and those who made a New Year’s resolution to join right now, thank you for your generous support. Through your engagement with our programs and contributions throughout the year, AFI is able to celebrate and educate the filmmakers who tell the stories of our time. Happy New Year, everyone!

  • AFI AWARDS 2012 ANNOUNCED

    We are pleased to announce the AFI Awards 2012 honorees. Thank you to all who participated in our Member Poll. Your top 10 selections in each category were sent to the Award Juries – comprised of scholars, critics, film and television artists and AFI Trustees – as America's choice for the most outstanding films and television shows of 2012. Here are the official jury selections, and we think you'll agree that 2012 was another giant step forward for the art of the moving picture.

    AFI MOVIES OF THE YEAR
    ARGO

    BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD

    THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

    DJANGO UNCHAINED

    LES MISÉRABLES

    LIFE OF PI

    LINCOLN

    MOONRISE KINGDOM

    SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

    ZERO DARK THIRTY

    AFI TV PROGRAMS OF THE YEAR
    AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM

    BREAKING BAD

    GAME CHANGE

    GAME OF THRONES

    GIRLS

    HOMELAND

    LOUIE

    MAD MEN

    MODERN FAMILY

    THE WALKING DEAD

    Read the full press release here.

    “AFI AWARDS celebrates America’s storytellers as collaborators,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO. “We are honored to bring together artists as a community, without competition, to acknowledge the gifts they have given the world in 2012.”

    Congratulations to all of the recipients!

  • AFI CONSERVATORY ALUMNI RING IN 2013 WITH AWARDS, NOMINATIONS –AND SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL SELECTIONS

    Awards season has begun with the announcement of AFI Awards 2012 honorees and nominations for the 10th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards – and AFI Conservatory alumni are abundantly represented on both lists. Of the 10 top movies honored with AFI Awards, seven have alumni or current Fellow participants, as do five of the top 10 television programs. In all, 25 alumni and current Fellows, including producers, directors, screenwriters, editors, cinematographers, grips, set and production assistants from five different decades have been honored. One TV show, AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM boasts five AFI Conservatory alumni from four different years! You can see the complete list here. The Critics’ Choice Awards nominated 16 alumni or current AFI Fellows in 10 different film projects you can see here. Winners will be announced on January 10.

    As if all those awards and nominations weren’t enough, the Sundance Film Festival has announced its 2013 selections and 27 AFI Conservatory alumni are represented in 20 films across eight categories: US Dramatic Competition, US Documentary Competition, Next, Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, Premieres, US Narrative Short Films and New Frontier Short Films. See the complete list here. Good luck to all in Park City!

  • TCM PRESENTS AFI’S MASTER CLASS AIRS JANUARY 14

    Academy Award®-winning director Robert Zemeckis and Oscar®-nominated cinematographer Don Burgess discuss their creative partnership on Turner Classic Movies at 5:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. (PT) on January 14 in the third in a series of specials produced by AFI Productions called TCM PRESENTS AFI’S MASTER CLASS: THE ART OF COLLABORATION. Among the films the duo is known for are CASTAWAY (1986), FORREST GUMP (1994), CONTACT (1997) and FLIGHT (2012). “This Master Class reflects two key components of the educational philosophy of the AFI Conservatory,” said Chris Merrill, Director of AFI Productions and the show’s producer. “An emphasis on collaboration and access to outstanding professionals in the field has always been at the heart of the program here and, through TCM, we’re able to share that experience with the film-going public and student filmmakers nationwide.”

  • FIVE READERS WIN DOCUMENTARY TRILOGY DVD’S

    Congratulations to the five lucky American Film™ readers who won the DVD giveaway announced here last month: George Chen, Atlanta, GA; Harvey Kabaker, Silver Spring, MD; Anastasia Kotsiras, Olney, MD; Angelo Giron, Huntington Beach, CA; and Gary Krejsa, Marina, CA. All received the landmark PARADISE LOST documentary trilogy by filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky.

  • AFI CLOSEUP: CAROLYN BROOKS

    Armed with our usual 10 questions, we paid a visit to AFI Conservatory’s Vice Dean of Fellow Affairs in her cozy second-floor office in the Warner Bros. Building, sat in a comfortable chair and immediately felt thoroughly at home. Brooks speaks expressively, laughs easily and listens intently; it’s easy to see why a stressed-out first-year graduate-level film student would seek her out

    1. Where are you from? New York City born and bred – Greenwich Village.

    2. Where did you go to school? I started out at Bennington College in Vermont, took a couple years off, and then went to UC Santa Cruz, finished college there, then went to graduate school here at AFI. After working in the film industry for almost 10 years, I decided to get a degree in Education and went to Loyola Marymount for two years. I hold a Masters degree in School Counseling from Loyola Marymount University (LMU).

    3. What did you do before you came to AFI? I was a high school counselor and before that I was a producer in the industry. After a year in the Producing discipline at AFI, I began producing small films for Disney’s educational division. I had my own production company. This led me to LMU where I studied to become a high school counselor. I was raising two small boys at the time and I thought I better figure out what kids are all about – and no better way to do it than to work in counseling in the public school system.

    4. How long have you been at AFI? I’m in my fourth year.

    5. What do you do at AFI? My title is Vice Dean of Fellow Affairs. My responsibilities are myriad. The mission statement that we’ve developed for the Fellow Affairs office is that ‘we exist to enhance and support Fellow learning and quality of life at the Conservatory.’ That covers a lot of areas. It covers Fellows who are in need of immediate help, as well as ongoing conversations with Fellows about collaboration and creativity. You know, I wear two hats. I’m an administrator for the Conservatory – one of three Vice Deans – and I’m also a counselor. I consider myself to be a resource for Fellows who are in some kind of trouble or distress. Of course, our office does a lot of other things. We have a blog that we’re putting out. We think of ourselves as a main communications center for the Conservatory, so we collect outside information that might be relevant or useful to the Fellows and we blog about it. I personally teach a collaboration, team-building workshop for all incoming Fellows. I meet with every Fellow when they first arrive to help them get oriented. They’re frequently coming from other cities, states, countries – all over – and may need advice about their personal circumstances and how to set themselves up around here. I also established a group health insurance plan available to all Fellows, which we never had before I got here. I look for the need and then try to fill it. It’s a great job!

    6. How does that affect our members? Oh... that’s an interesting question. I think, indirectly, by keeping our Fellows on track here while they are under tremendous stress and in a very highly competitive atmosphere. It’s our job to nurture the talent. The members benefit because they get great filmmakers coming out of AFI making great films.

    7. What was your best day at AFI? My best day is a day when a Fellow says, Thank you for being here. I’ve had a few of them.

    8. What are you working on today? Catching up! [We spoke the day after Thanksgiving weekend.] I work a lot by e-mail, answering Fellows questions, supporting their projects. Right now I’m setting up the Fellow Advisory Committee meeting for Wednesday, which involves sending out the notes and soliciting suggestions for the conversation. We have two representatives from each discipline – one First Year, one Second Year – so 12 Fellow reps and all the discipline heads meet. The other thing I’m doing is producing a small shoot in which the Dean will interview Second Year producers and editors for our Online Virtual Tour. You can go online right now to AFI.com/Conservatory and on the left, under Campus, it says Virtual Tour. There are already some interviews posted. We set up a group of Fellows in the Ahmanson Room on campus, Stephen Lighthill [Senior Filmmaker-in-Residence] lines up a couple of cinematographer Fellows to shoot the interviews and the Dean extemporaneously asks Fellows questions about what it’s like to be at the AFI Conservatory.

    9. What don’t your colleagues know about you? I’m such an open book! Maybe that I have a partner who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. For 14 years we have had a long-distance relationship. He is the Artistic Director of the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe. I love visiting him there and he loves visiting me in Los Angeles.

    10. What’s your favorite film? Well, I just saw LINCOLN and I was blown away. I thought it was stunning. But that’s such an easy answer. You know what movie sometimes comes to mind? It was one of my favorite movies long ago, and I used to tell everybody to see it and nobody liked it as much as me. It’s THE STUNTMAN with Peter O’Toole. Do you remember that movie from the ‘80s? I’m not sure it holds up; it’s just a funny movie about making movies.