American Film Institute
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|American Film Institute|
|Location||Los Angeles, CA|
|Key people||Bob Gazzale
(President and CEO)
Sir Howard Stringer
(Chair, Board of Trustees)
(Chair, Board of Directors)
The American Film Institute (AFI) is an independent non-profit organization created by the National Endowment for the Arts, which was established in 1967 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act.
The American Film Institute operated the National Film Theatre in Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center until 1998. Prior to Kennedy Center, it screened films in the auditorium of the National Gallery of Art. In April 2003, AFI re-opened the 1938 AFI Silver theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland just north of Washington.
The American Film Institute was founded in 1967 as a national arts organization to preserve the legacy of American film heritage, educate the next generation of filmmakers and honor the artists and their work. The National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities recommended creating AFI “to enrich and nurture the art of film in America” with initial funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Ford Foundation. The original 22-member Board of Trustees included Chair Gregory Peck and Vice Chair Sidney Poitier as well as Francis Ford Coppola, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Jack Valenti and other representatives from the arts and academia.
George Stevens, Jr., served as director from the institute's founding until 1980. He was followed by Jean Picker Firstenberg who held the position of President and CEO from 1980 to 2007. Bob Gazzale was named President and CEO in 2007. As a national nonprofit organization, the institute funds its efforts through foundation and government grants, contributions and sponsorships from large corporations and small companies, donations from individuals and its AFI membership program.
AFI Conservatory 
In 1969, the institute established the Center for Advanced Film Studies at Greystone, the Doheny Mansion in Beverly Hills, CA. The first class included filmmakers Terrence Malick, David Lynch, Caleb Deschanel and Paul Schrader. That program grew into the AFI Conservatory, a fully accredited graduate film school, located in the hills above Hollywood, CA. In addition to the Conservatory, AFI has a tuition-free program called the AFI Directing Workshop for Women that operates each spring and summer from the Los Angeles campus.
Notable alumni 
Several AFI Alums have received both national and international recognition. Among the notable alumni of AFI are: Darren Aronofsky, Miguel Arteta, Jon Avnet, Keith D. Black, Wally Pfister, Stuart Cornfeld, Bill Duke, Edward James Olmos, Carl Colpaert, Rodrigo García, Steve Golin, Patrick Creadon, Amy Heckerling, Marshall Herskovitz, Janusz Kamiński, Jonathan Levine, Matthew Libatique, Mimi Leder, David Lynch, Terrence Malick, John McTiernan, Paul Schrader, Frank Spotnitz, Mark Waters, Gary Winick, Edward Zwick, and Susannah Grant.
AFI Programs 
AFI Catalog of Feature Films 
The AFI Catalog of Feature Films, started in 1968, is an online database that preserves the history of American film in encyclopedic detail. A prime research tool for film historians, the catalog consists of entries on more than 50,000 films, from 1893 to the mid-1970s, documenting casts, crews, synopses and production notes. New catalog entries of the remaining 15,000 American feature films produced between 1974 and present day are incorporated every year.
AFI Life Achievement Award 
AFI Awards 
The annual AFI Awards honors the creative ensembles of the 10 outstanding movies and television shows of the year. Two 13-person juries composed of artists, academics, critics and AFI Trustees deliberate, discuss and determine the honored ensembles, who are then feted at a private event in January. In addition, Ten Moments of Significance, documenting the year’s media milestones, are entered into an ongoing almanac.
AFI 100 Years… series 
The popular AFI 100 Years… series, which ran from 1998 to 2008, and created jury-selected lists of America’s best movies in categories including Musicals, Laughs and Thrills, drove new generations to experience classic American films. The juries consisted of over 1,500 artists, scholars, critics and historians, with movies selected based on the film’s popularity over time, historical significance and cultural impact. Citizen Kane was voted the greatest American film twice.
AFI Film Festivals 
AFI operates two film festivals: AFI FEST in Los Angeles, CA, and AFI-Discovery Channel SILVERDOCS documentary festival in Silver Spring, MD. AFI FEST is the only film festival in the US to hold FIAPF (Fédération Internationale des Associations de Producteurs de Films) accreditation.
AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center 
As the largest nonprofit exhibitor in the United States, AFI screens films regularly at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, MD, and the ArcLight Cinemas and Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, CA. Programming at the AFI Silver Theatre consists of an eclectic mix of retrospectives, festivals and first-run features as well as community events and educational activities.
AFI Digital Content Lab 
The AFI Digital Content Lab is a research and development facility for digital media located on the LA campus. The lab explores and creates digital entertainment prototypes for film, television, video games, broadband and mobile phones.
AFI ScreenNation 
AFI ScreenNation is a Web site featuring AFI-produced educational materials and tips for new filmmakers to share work, receive recognition and compete for prizes.
AFI Directors Series 
AFI released a set of hour long programs; briefly reviewing the career of acclaimed directors. The Directors Series content was copyrighted 1997 by Media Entertainment Inc & The American Film Institute, and the VHS & DVDs were released between 1999-2001 on Winstar TV & Video. Directors featured included:
- John McTiernan (WHE73067)
- Ron Howard (WHE73068)
- Sydney Pollack (WHE73071)
- Norman Jewison (WHE73076)
- Lawrence Kasdan (WHE73088)
- Terry Gilliam (WHE73089)
- Spike Lee (WHE73090)
- Barry Levinson (WHE73093)
- Milos Forman (WHE73094)
- Martin Scorsese (WHE73098)
- Barbara Streisand (WHE73099)
- David Cronenberg (WHE73101)
- Robert Zemeckis (WHE73131)
- Robert Altman
- John Frankenheimer
- Adrian Lyne
- Garry Marshall
- William Friedkin
- Clint Eastwood
- David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker
- Roger Corman
- Michael Mann
- James Cameron
- Rob Reiner
- Joel Schumacher
- Steven Spielberg
- Wes Craven
- "History of AFI". afi.com. Archived from the original on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-12.
- Jenkins, Mark (8 October 2004). "Off With the Show". Washington City Paper (washingtoncitypaper.com). Retrieved 2011-05-12.
- Eugene L. Meyer (13 June 2007). "A Dose of Art and Entertainment Revives a Suburb". New York Times (NYTimes.com). Retrieved 2011-05-12.
- "American Film Institute Awards hail top 10 best movies of 2008". Los Angeles Times (LATimes.com). 14 December 2008. Retrieved 2011-05-12.
- Rick Lyman (10 January 2001). "Film Institute Chooses Top 10 'Moments of Significance'". New York Times (NYTimes.com). Retrieved 2011-05-12.
- Lawrence VanGelder (21 June 2001). "‘Citizen Kane’ Wins an Election". New York Times (NYTimes.com). Retrieved 2011-05-12.
- Rachel Cooper. "SILVERDOCS 2011 Documentary Film Festival". About.com. Retrieved 2011-05-12.
- Eric P. Nash (30 March 2003). "An Old Movie House Gets Its Glow Back". New York Times (NYTimes.com). Retrieved 2011-05-12.
- Official website
- AFI Fest Official website
- American Film Institute collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- AFI Los Angeles Film Festival - History and Information