Emmy-winning director Robert Mandel is stepping down as Dean of the AFI Conservatory after nine years with the graduate level film school. Mandel, who directed Independence Day (1983), F/X (1986), Touch and Go (1986), Big Shots (1987), School Ties (1992), The Substitute (1996), and A Season on the Brink (2002), will remain on faculty at AFI while returning to filmmaking. His television credits include directing the X-Files pilot and episodes of Nash Bridges, Prison Break, and LOST. Mandel is an AFI Conservatory alumnus himself, Class of 1979 who established an AFI Fellow-Alumni mentoring program and career office for students and added acting, independent film finance, television, and showrunning courses to the curriculum.
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