Grogg tops AFI Conservatory

Program that produced Zwick and Heckerling gets new dean

Sam L. Grogg has been named dean of the American Film Institute’s prestigious Center for Advanced Film and Television Studies, better known as the AFI Conservatory.

He also will serve as director of the AFI’s education and training department.

In a joint statement issued Wednesday, AFI director Jean Picker Firstenberg and co-director James Hindman called Grogg’s arrival “a major step for AFI” that would “build on the rich tradition of the AFI Conservatory and lead it into the next century.”

The conservatory offers a two-year graduate filmmaking program that has produced 2,000 Fellows since 1969 including Ed Zwick, Amy Heckerling, David Lynch, Terrence Malick, Carl Franklin and this year’s Sundance winner, “Pi” director Darren Aronofsky.

Grogg, who for the past five years has been dean of North Carolina’s School of the Arts film program, said he looks forward to assisting with the Conservatory’s work “to light the way for the training of the leaders of the film and television profession.”

Debra Henderson, the former head of AFI’s education and training department, is returning to Toronto where she plans to resume her career in the Canadian film industry.

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