Producer Patty West has been named director for the AFI Directing Workshop For Women (AFI DWW).  

The announcement coincides with the November 1 start of open enrolment for 2014 – the 40th anniversary class of DWW – and the announcement of the Open House event for prospective applicants.

The AFI DWW is an intensive one-year training programme to advance eight selected women filmmakers who have a minimum of three years of professional experience working in the arts.

Since the program’s inception, more than 275 women have been trained, including Maya Angelou, Anne Bancroft, Ellen Burstyn, Cicely Tyson and Joanne Woodward.

“Patty West will enrich the proud legacy of this programme in a world that needs artists more than ever,” said AFI president and CEO Bob Gazzale. 

“In line with the standard of AFI programming, DWW is steeped in a rich history of alumnae. Our credits tell the story,” West said. “I want to create more opportunities for our alumnae to transition from the program and into the business – whether it is film, television or new media.”