The American Film Institute (AFI) announced that it has named incoming AFI Conservatory Screenwriting Fellow Taryn Procsal as recipient of the Kirk Douglas Fellowship, a full-tuition two-year scholarship awarded to an AFI Conservatory Fellow. Procsal is a single mother of three who was selected to receive the Fellowship due to her extraordinary talent and unique voice. She is entering the Conservatory this fall as one of a full-class of 140 first-year Fellows. 

“I am honored and pleased to have Taryn Procsal receive the first Kirk Douglas Fellowship,” said Kirk Douglas.

It is fitting that this Fellowship honors an aspiring screenwriter as Douglas has been a champion for the craft across 70 years in the film community.  Most notably, in 1960, Douglas hired blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo to pen SPARTACUS and gave him full credit on the film, leading to the end of the Hollywood blacklist. Douglas received the19th AFI Life Achievement Award in 1991. 

The AFI Conservatory screenwriters include alumni like Sam Esmail (MR. ROBOT), Liz Hannah (THE POST), Brad Falchuk (AMERICAN CRIME STORY, AMERICAN HORROR STORY, GLEE), Scott Frank (OUT OF SIGHT, LOGAN), Susannah Grant (ERIN BROCKOVICH, A GIFTED MAN) and LaToya Morgan (SHAMELESS, PARENTHOOD, TURN). 

About the AFI Conservatory
The AFI Conservatory has been named the #1 film school in the world. In 1969, the AFI Conservatory opened its doors to an inaugural class that included Terrence Malick, Caleb Deschanel and Paul Schrader. Today, the AFI Conservatory offers a two-year MFA degree in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. Aspiring artists learn from the masters in a collaborative, hands-on production environment with an emphasis on storytelling. Alumni of this elite program include Andrea Arnold, Darren Aronofsky, Julie Dash, Steve Golin, Patty Jenkins, Janusz Kamiński, David Lynch, Melina Matsoukas and Robert Richardson, among others.