AFI Conservatory Celebrates 50th Anniversary With Big Reunion Drawing Some Very Famous Graduates

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The AFI Conservatory, one of the crown jewels of the American Film Institute, celebrated its 50th anniversary in style Thursday night at the place where it all started, the fabled Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. One of the first “colleges” for filmmakers (there were only four at the time), it opened at Greystone in 1969 and stayed there until 1981 ,when it moved to Griffith Park, where it still stands at the former Immaculate Heart campus.

The students — or fellows, as they are called for that first class — included future Oscar- nominated legends like Terrence Malick, Paul Schrader, and cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, the latter among many alumni who returned to the original campus for a class-reunion-of-all-class-reunions Thursday. Others attending included three-time Oscar nominee and 2019 Honorary Academy Award winner David Lynch from the class of 1970, Pieter Jan Brugge (Class of 1979), Jay Cassidy (1976), Susannah Grant (1991), Liz Hannah (2009), Marshall Herskovitz (1975), Mel Jones (2010), Matthew Libatique (1992), Melina
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