The American Film Institute (AFI)
The American Film Institu
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The American Film Institute (AFI)

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The American Film Institute (AFI)

The American Film Institute (AFI)

Science and education

Description

The American Film Institute (AFI) is an American nonprofit film organization that educates filmmakers and honors the heritage of the motion picture arts in the United States. AFI is supported by private funding and public membership fees.

History

The American Film Institute was founded by a 1965 presidential mandate announced in the Rose Garden of the White House by Lyndon B. Johnson—to establish 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. Two years later, in 1967, AFI was established, supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Ford Foundation.

The original 22-member Board of Trustees included actor Gregory Peck as chairman and actor Sidney Poitier as vice-chairman, as well as director Francis Ford Coppola, film historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., lobbyist Jack Valenti, and other representatives from the arts and academia.

The institute established a training program for filmmakers known then as the Center for Advanced Film Studies. Also created in the early years were a repertory film exhibition program at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the AFI Catalog of Feature Films — a scholarly source for American film history. The institute moved to its current eight-acre Hollywood campus in 1981. The film training program grew into the AFI Conservatory, an accredited graduate school.

AFI moved its presentation of first-run and auteur films from the Kennedy Center to the historic AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, which hosts the AFI DOCS film festival, making AFI the largest nonprofit film exhibitor in the world. AFI educates audiences and recognizes artistic excellence through its awards programs and 10 Top 10 Lists.

In 2017, then-aspiring filmmaker Ilana Bar-Din Giannini claimed that the AFI expelled her after she accused Dezso Magyar of sexually harassing her in the early 1980s.

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