EXCLUSIVE: The American Film Institute has appointed prolific film producer Richard Gladstein as Dean of the AFI Conservatory. He will take over for Jan Schuette, who will depart June 30. Gladstein’s hands on knowledge of film production should nicely fit AFI’s hands on approach to graduate film education, where Fellows collaborate on a minimum of four films in the two-year MFA program.
Over a long producing career, Gladstein has been twice nominated for Best Picture Oscars, for The Cider House Rules, and Finding Neverland; he produced the Quentin Tarantino-directed film The Hateful Eight, and was exec producer on Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown; and his other producing credits include The Bourne Identity, Hurlyburly, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, The Nanny Diaries and She’s All That. Films he produced received 25 Oscar noms and won five in various categories.
Said AFI president/CEO Bob Gazzale: “AFI’s promise to the next generation of storytellers is that they will find their own unique voice through rigorous collaboration. We are proud and honored to have a proven leader in the creative community to guide the AFI Conservatory to even greater heights.”
Said Gladstein: “I look forward to this new journey with pride and humility. The AFI is a storied and extraordinary organization, and I am extremely proud to become a part of its inspiring work. Similar to producing films, educating filmmakers is foremost about identifying stories, and then uniting cinematic crafts, tools and personnel to tell those stories. This appointment is a wonderful evolution for me, and I am thrilled to go back to school and learn from the Fellows, faculty and AFI Board of Trustees.”
Gladstein founded and is president of FilmColony and before that was Miramax exec veep and head of production under Harvey and Bob Weinstein. Besides the departing Schuette, Gladstein follows such past AFI Conservatory leaders as Robert Mandel, Frank Pierson, Robert Wise and Antonio Vellani. Gladstein had most recently been teaching classes at Chapman University.