EXCLUSIVE: The American Film Institute (AFI) has named veteran indie producer Lianne Halfon to be Producing Discipline Head of the AFI Conservatory. Producing is one of six disciplines in which the AFI Conservatory offers a two-year Master of Fine Arts degree, along with Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Production Design and Screenwriting. That job had been held for 14 years by Neil Canton, who retired from the post in June.
“Lianne brings a wealth of experience, taste and knowledge to the AFI Conservatory, and will no doubt take this pioneering program to the next level — and into the future,” said AFI Conservatory Dean Richard Gladstein.
Halfon in 1988 co-founded Mr. Mudd with Russell Smith and John Malkovich and she has produced films that include Juno, Ghost World, Art School Confidential, Jeff, Who Lives At Home, Young Adult and The Perks of Being A Wallflower. She exec produced the documentaries Crumb and Which Way Home, earning a News and Documentary Emmy Award for those.
Graduates from the AFI Conservatory Producing Discipline include Pieter Jan Brugge (The Insider), Jay Cassidy (Silver Linings Playbook), Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust), American Crime Story‘s Dante Di Loreto, South Park‘s Anne Garefino, Spotlight‘s Steve Golin, The Post‘s Liz Hannah and Get Out‘s Beatriz Sequeira.