20th Century Fox and the American Film Institute are partnering on an initiative to help increase the number of female directors working on major studio films. This new project will provide alumnae of the AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women the opportunity to direct short films based on the studio’s film franchises.

Participants will receive tools and access to the studio’s extensive intellectual property and be invited to contribute to building the narrative world of Fox’s film franchises, and in the process, create sample work in genres, particularly action and science fiction, an area in which female filmmakers are often underrepresented. At the start, 35-50 graduates will be selected for an introduction and 10 finalists will be chosen to present original pitches to senior execs at Fox. One or more filmmakers will have the opportunity to make their concept into a short film.

Fox will finance, produce and distribute the short films, via its many platforms.  Also, filmmakers will be able to add the projects to their portfolios and pitch Fox unrelated to the shorts in the future.