German director and producer Jan Schuette (Schütte) has been appointed Dean of the American Film Institute Conservatory, succeeding Robert Mandel who exited in December after nine years at the post. Schuette most recently served as Director of the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin, a position he assumed in 2010. He previously taught at Harvard and Dartmouth in addition to Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, where he created the master class program Atelier Ludwigsburg Paris.

Schuette made his feature debut with 1987’s Drachenfutter, which won the Venice Film Festival’s UNESCO Award and won him numerous critical awards. He won Best Director at the German Film Awards for 1990’s Winckelmanns Reisen. He’s served on festival juries including Cinéfondation Jury at the Cannes Film Festival and the International Drama Jury at the Sundance Film Festival and is a member of Akademie der Künste Berlin Brandenburg and the European Film Academy.

“The AFI Conservatory was born nearly 50 years ago – inspired by the European conservatory model,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO. “Today it remains unique in that we promise MFA candidates that they will make at least four films in two years. And so we searched the world for an academic leader who has also made movies – who has lived it. We are proud to say we found that person in Jan Schuette and look forward to his tenure beginning in the fall.”