AFS Documentary Workshop at USC School of Cinematic Arts


In June 2022, the American Film Showcase (AFS) will welcome 12 emerging documentary filmmakers to the annual AFS Documentary Workshop, an intensive, all-expenses-paid, 10-day development and pitch workshop at the renowned University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) in Los Angeles. Participants will be nominated by participating U.S. Embassies.  Senior SCA faculty will design the workshop specifically for filmmakers working on their first or second feature length documentary. The workshop will offer participants filmmaking expertise and access to state-of-the art facilities at SCA. At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be required to share what they have learned with the local filmmaking communities in their home countries.

Participants will workshop their in-development projects through  intensive sessions focused on story structure and character development with documentary experts, culminating in a pitch session for a panel of key industry professionals in the American documentary community. 

Program Dates

Arrive Los Angeles: June 13
Program Days: June 14 – June 24
Depart Los Angeles:  June 25

Selection Process

U.S. Embassies and Consulates participating in AFS are eligible to nominate up to two documentary filmmakers for the workshop, using the nomination form included in this document.  After reviewing applications, AFS and ECA will create a short list of 20 applicants. AFS will conduct Zoom interviews with the shortlisted applications, leading to the selection of the final 12 participants. Embassies will be notified either if their nominations are selected or not.   

Selection will be based on the quality of the proposed documentary project, personal statement, filmmaking/media examples, and the virtual interview. AFS and ECA will select a group of aspiring men and women filmmakers who reflect regional balance of the AFS countries. Candidates from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented communities will be given preference. 


Submission Deadline: Monday, March 14
Shortlist Announced: Friday, April 1
Skype Interviews: Week of April 4
Final Participant Decision: Friday, April 15

Filmmaker Application Requirements

  • Proficient English language skills 
  • American Film Showcase NOMINATION FORM
  • 500-word personal statement
  • A maximum one-page description of current documentary in research, development, or production phase
  • Online links to previously produced documentary work, narrative work, or awork-in-progress footage
  • CV

Please submit all nomination materials by Friday, March 11, 2022. Submissions should be directed to Program Coordinator at the Public Affairs Section, in U.S. Embassy Ulaanbaatar at