Tessa Blake

Source: AFI blogs

The AFI announced on Tuesday (November 28) a $500,000 donation from the estate of Nancy Malone, a director, producer, actor and alumna of the AFI Directing Workshop for Women.

The donation is intended for the advancement and employment of women from the AFI Conservatory and AFI Directing Workshop for Women (DWW), and will fund the Nancy Malone Initiatives for Women Filmmakers.

The Initiative will create a new executive-level position at the AFI Conservatory, the director of Nancy Malone Women’s Initiatives, which is expected to produce more opportunities for female filmmakers from AFI. The Initiative will also create the Nancy Malone Symposium, an annual gathering of industry leaders at the AFI FEST to further advance female filmmakers.

Direction and writer Tessa Blake will be the first director of Nancy Malone Women’s Initiatives. She has spent the past two years leading the DWW, creating alliances with programmes like the Universal Pictures Directors Intensive, AFI and Fox Filmmakers Lab, and Google.

“It was Nancy’s lifelong wish that women storytellers be heard,” producer-writer Linda Hope of the Nancy Malone estate and the Bob and Dolores Foundation said. “The Nancy Malone Initiatives for Women Filmmakers ensure that her wish is realised.”

“Nancy Malone remains an enduring inspiration at the American Film Institute,” Bob Gazzale, AFI president and CEO, said. “This peerless gift in support of women storytellers will help to ensure America’s art form echoes with equality for future generations.”