Jan Schuette has been named the dean of the AFI Conservatory. He comes from the German Film & Television Academy in Berlin, a production-based conservatory where he has served as director since 2010. He will begin at AFI in the fall.
In a statement, American Film Institute president-CEO Bob Gazzale said that the organization had conducted a worldwide search to find “an academic leader who has also made movies – who has lived it.” He added that these assets are important because AFI is unique in promising MFA candidates that they will make at least four films in two years.
Schuette served tenures at Harvard and Dartmouth College, in addition to teachings at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, where he established the master class program Atelier Ludwigsburg Paris.
As a director and producer, his work spans three decades. Schuette’s films have premiered in Cannes, Venice, Locarno, San Sebastian and Toronto, and have won numerous national and international awards. Schuette has served on festival juries, including the Cinéfondation Jury at the Cannes Film Festival and the International Drama Jury at the Sundance Film Festival. Schuette is a member of the Akademie der Künste Berlin Brandenburg and of the European Film Academy.
Schuette said, “To serve as the dean of the AFI Conservatory, one of the top film schools in the world, is a huge honor and an enormous challenge at the same time. I am delighted about the opportunity to continue my work on a new level and look forward to this next chapter of my life in film.”
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As previously announced, current AFI Conservatory dean Robert Mandel is stepping down after nine years in the role. He will continue to be involved with the AFI Conservatory as a member of the directing discipline staff, while also returning to directing in the entertainment community.