In collaboration with Screen Australia and the Onbass Family Trust, the American Film Institute seeks to support emerging Australian motion picture storytellers by establishing the Screen Australia Onbass Fellowships at the AFI Conservatory.

The Screen Australia Onbass Fellowships will expand opportunities for Australian filmmakers to pursue their craft and artistry free from the burden of tuition at one of the world's leading filmmaking training programs. Additionally, the Fellowships will provide home-away-from-home in Hollywood for the Australian Fellows to develop a network of high-performing peers and a community of collaborators from across the globe, while serving as ambassadors for the excellence and artistry of Australia.


With support from Screen Australia and the Onbass Family Trust, AFI has established the Screen Australia Onbass Fellowships – fully underwriting the tuition, fees, and some related expenses for one gifted Australian filmmaker entering the AFI Conservatory in the fall of 2019 and one in the fall of 2020 – to join the graduating classes of 2021 and 2022, respectively.

Recipients of the Screen Australia Onbass Fellowships will receive full-tuition scholarships to attend the AFI Conservatory in addition to receiving a modest stipend each semester (approximately $4,000 per semester) to help offset the expenses of living in Los Angeles during the program.


Applicants to the Screen Australia Onbass Fellowship may choose to apply to the program that best suits their interests. The Master of Fine Arts degree or Certificate of Completion is a 60-plus credit hour program awarded in six disciplines:


Applicant Requirements

In collaboration with Screen Australia and its partners, AFI will establish qualifying criteria for the prospective Australian Fellows to attend the AFI Conservatory.

  1. Applicants must be Australian citizens to be considered for the Fellowship.
  2. Applicants are preferably aged over 21, but must be at least 18 years of age to apply for the Fellowship.
  3. Applicants must be submit their completed application by October 15, 2018, 5:00 p.m. U.S. PST.
  4. Applicants must adhere to the AFI Conservatory admissions requirements and processes as outlined in Admissions Policies.

Online Application

Applications are only accepted via our online application process. The application will be accessible beginning September 1, 2018. Click here to apply.

Application Components

Although the application will not be accessible until September 1, 2018, below are brief descriptions of the required components of the application. Please feel free to review information in order to begin preparing your submissions.

Narrative Statement

The Narrative Statement is important, as it serves as the primary introduction of the applicant to both the Admissions Committee and the Screen Australia Onbass Fellowship Committee. This essay gives the candidate the opportunity to showcase their passion for filmmaking while interweaving meaningful examples of their relevant artistic experiences.

Each discipline will provide specific prompts for you to utilize when crafting your Narrative Statement. Admissions Requirements will be available August 1, 2018.


Your résumé should detail your professional work, set experience and education to date.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must provide the names and e-mail addresses of two recommenders via the online application. Upon formal submission of the application by October 15, 2018, the Admissions Office will contact the recommenders via e-mail and supply the Recommender Form with submission instructions. The Recommendation Forms are due no later than October 21, 2018.


Transcripts from colleges or universities listed in the application must be submitted by October 15, 2018. Applicants who apply for the MFA program and have graduated from AFTRS or VCAs are highly regarded, but Bachelor’s degree equivalent are very welcomed to apply.

Candidates may request official e-transcripts be sent directly to the Admissions Office via e-mail to Please note, official e-transcripts often have time sensitive encryption on them so allow your school 2-3 for processing and submission.

The AFIC Admissions Office also accepts hard copy original transcripts that can be sent directly to the AFI Conservatory:

Attn: Admissions
AFI Conservatory
2021 North Western Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Discipline Specific Supporting Materials/Portfolio Requirements

The discipline specific supporting materials requirements will be available August 1, 2018 on the Admissions Fall 2019 Requirements Page.

Scholarship Essay

Please write a one-page essay on your desire to pursue your graduate studies at the AFI Conservatory and the ways in which the Screen Australia Onbass Fellowship will help you achieve your goals as an Australian filmmaker.

Application Fee

The application fee for admission into the AFI Conservatory is $90 and is due upon submission of your completed Fellowship application.

Interview Process

Applicants are invited to interview with the AFI Conservatory Admissions Committee based on the formal review of their application materials. If selected, interviews for all disciplines are highly encouraged to be on the AFI Conservatory campus but may be available via Skype.

Fellowship Committee

Upon completion of the interview, if invited, a list of finalists will be provided to the Fellowship Committee for review and final selection.


The proposed timeline for announcing and selecting the recipients of the Screen Australia Onbass Fellowship is as follows:

September 1, 2018: Application for enrollment in the AFI Conservatory and the Screen Australia Onbass Fellowship opens.

October 15, 2018: Applications for consideration for the Screen Australia Onbass Fellowships closes.

December 1, 2018: Recipient notified of acceptance to AFI and offer of Screen Australia Onbass Fellowship, along with summary of expectations of the Fellowship, contingent on decision by December 21, 2018.

January 2019: Tentative G'DAY USA Announcement of First recipient of the Fellowship.

August 2019: First Screen Australia Onbass Fellow begins enrollment at the AFI Conservatory.