AFI Creates Executive Panel for Directing Workshop for Women

13 female studio executives will mentor participants in the program

AFI Directing Workshop for Women

The American Film Institute has created a panel of top women executives at the major film studios to act as mentors to participants in the organization’s Directing Workshop for Women, the AFI announced on Tuesday.

The AFI’s Executive Circle will be made up of Lauren Abrahams from Sony; Amanda Brown, Alana Mayo and Alison Small from Paramount; Daria Cercek from Fox; Tonia Davis from Disney, Maradith Frenkel, Anikah McLaren and Sara Scott from Universal; Niija Kuykendall and Chantal Nong from Warner Bros.; Annie Laks from Paramount Animation; and Erin Westerman from Good Universe.

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The Directing Workshop for Women has trained more than 275 women in film and television directing, including Maya Angelou, Anne Bancroft, Ellen Burstyn, Rebecca Cammisa, Naomi Foner, Randa Haines, Lesli Linka Glatter, Lynne Littman, Cicely Tyson and Joanne Woodward.

The new panel of mentors will offer guidance, according to the AFI press release announcing the panel, about “the studio system, how projects are greenlit, advice on taking notes and the role of the studio executive.”