American Film Institute Inc

aka AFI   |   Los Angeles, CA   |  www.afi.com

Mission

The American Film Institute is America's promise to preserve the heritage of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. As a nonprofit educational arts organization, AFI provides leadership in film and television and is dedicated to initiatives that engage the past, the present and the future of the moving image arts.

Ruling year info

1967

President & CEO

Bob Gazzale

Main address

2021 North Western Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90027 USA

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Formerly known as

The American Film Institute

EIN

52-6072925

NTEE code info

Film, Video (A31)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

AFI Catalog of Feature Films

In 1968, AFI launched a project of epic ambition – the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, a singular scholarly resource for American cinema which published its first volume of research in 1971.

In 2017, the Catalog completed its documentation of the first 100 years of American film (1893-1993). Available free at AFI.com, the Catalog offers unmatched, comprehensive detail on the cast, crew, plot, subject and genre for over 50,000 films – attracting over 1.3 million visitors to the site each year. With a new and improved user interface, the online Catalog now includes digitized clips from the AFI Archive, allowing the words of cinematic masters to enrich the historic record of such classic films as ALL ABOUT EVE, CITIZEN KANE, THE GODFATHER, GONE WITH THE WIND and KING KONG.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Academics

The AFI Digital Preservation Project is another ambitious, multi-year preservation initiative aimed at salvaging the Institute’s largest and most valuable asset: a vast collection of recordings central to film history and scholarship. Now in its fifth year, the project continues to pursue its goal of digitizing a half century’s worth of video and audio footage amassed by the Institute since its inception. Much of this material was recorded on analog formats that are disintegrating and at risk of being lost forever. To date, AFI has digitized and preserved 3,950 hours of student films, seminars and interviews with masters of the motion picture art form – ensuring that this priceless footage survives to entertain and enlighten film students and audiences for many years to come.

During 2017-18, AFI conducted a comprehensive review of its archive and identified highly fragile elements most urgently in need of preservation. Following the assessment, a group of 300 assets were digitized, reframed and color corrected as needed. Among the preserved elements were early thesis films made by Fellows at the AFI Conservatory: HOT TOMORROWS (1977), written, produced and directed by Martin Brest with music by Danny Elfman, and INTERMISSION (1972), written, produced and directed by Gill Dennis, lensed by Caleb Deschanel, starring Tom Rickman, with contributions from David Lynch – all members of the inaugural class of the AFI Conservatory. Also notable, AFI secured a copy of the lost thesis film WEDNESDAY, starring Jack Lemmon and directed by Martin Kupfer (AFI Class of 1974). This year, AFI intends to have the film color-corrected and digitized so that it may be shared with audiences for the first time in more than 40 years.

Once digitized, all assets are made available to Conservatory Fellows, alumni and other film researchers (authors, historians, sociologists, media industry professionals and scholars) at the AFI Library. In addition, AFI regularly posts short excerpts of the footage to its YouTube channel, enabling millions of film lovers to view this previously unavailable content. This June, AFI posted never-before-released audio of Olivia de Havilland’s Harold Lloyd Masters Seminar (HLMS) with Fellows on campus in 1974, in which she discussed the making of GONE WITH THE WIND. The clip has garnered more than 7,000 views to date.

In the coming year, AFI will initiate the next phase of the Digital Preservation Project, which will entail working toward digitizing all remaining elements in the collection – an estimated 6,000 hours of footage – and filling important gaps. This will include making sure that digital copies are captured for all target event series, such as AFI Life Achievement Awards, HLMS and Conservatory Commencement programs; continued preservation of footage related to institutional history; and creating digital surrogates for all thesis films, ensuring that high quality copies are available in perpetuity.

Population(s) Served
Adults

In 1973, the Institute established the AFI Life Achievement Award to honor “one whose talent has in a fundamental way advanced the film art; whose accomplishment has been acknowledged by scholars, critics, professional peers and the general public; and whose work has stood the test of time." The AFI Life Achievement Award has been broadcast around the world for 46 years – and continues to be considered the highest honor for a career in film. In 2018 the Institute paid tribute to America's leading man, George Clooney – a modern-day icon who combines the glamour of a time gone by with a ferocious passion for ensuring that art's impact echoes beyond the screen. The 2019 AFI Life Achievement Award will be presented to actor, director and producer Denzel Washington (GLORY, TRAINING DAY, MALCOLM X) at the Dolby Theatre on June 6.

Population(s) Served
Adults

In 2000, the Institute created AFI AWARDS to celebrate the year's most outstanding achievements in the art of the moving image – with a selection of films and television programs deemed culturally and artistically significant. The event honors 10 films and 10 television shows from the prior year.

Population(s) Served
Adults

AFI also honors excellence in the motion picture arts by exhibiting premier narrative and documentary films at two annual festivals. AFI FEST is the longest running international film festival in Los Angeles and the only U.S. film festival of its size and prestige that offers free admission. The festival is presented at historic Hollywood venues including the Egyptian Theatre and TCL Chinese Theatres. This year’s festival featured over 65 films directed by women, representing 48% of the festival’s films. To honor those 200 female filmmakers, festival sponsor Audi created a projected light installation on the iconic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel with data and images calling attention to the change happening within the industry – more women in leadership positions, more opportunities for women in filmmaking and more recognition of women behind the scenes. Other highlights included screenings of GREEN BOOK, THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS and THE FAVOURITE; a conversation with Nicole Kidman following a screening of her new film DESTROYER; a Cinema’s Legacy section spotlighting six groundbreaking female filmmakers; and an Indie Contenders panel discussion with Willem Dafoe, Kathryn Hahn, Felicity Jones, Rosamund Pike and John C. Reilly.

Population(s) Served
Adults

AFI DOCS, the Institute’s annual celebration of documentary film, is held in June in Washington, DC, and features screenings of over 90 films from more than 20 countries, delving into such diverse topics as race, education and health care in America, criminal justice reform, international politics, space exploration, celebrity profiles, art, poetry, music and sports. Through enrichment activities – including a two-day Impact Lab for issue-driven filmmakers and the Forum, a four-day filmmaker conference – the festival once again provided documentary storytellers with the knowledge, tools and connections needed to use their film as a catalyst for political and social change. The 2019 festival will take place June 19-23 in our nation’s capital.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Core to the mission of AFI since its inception has been the education of the next generation of filmmakers. Since opening its door in 1969, the AFI Conservatory has pursued this goal, becoming globally recognized for its exceptional filmmaker-training program. This rigorous, two-year program is built on the philosophy that artists develop their voice and the skills to express it by practicing their craft and learning from the masters. Conservatory students, known as Fellows, graduate with a Master of Fine Arts degree in one of six disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design or Screenwriting.
Admission is highly selective, with approximately 140 filmmakers invited to participate in each graduating class – resulting in a total enrollment of 257 students in 2017-18. The Conservatory curriculum emphasizes the principles of narrative storytelling, while placing its aspiring filmmakers in creative teams that mirror professional productions. AFI Fellows embark on film projects the moment they step on campus. In 2017-18, first year Fellows made 84 films – more than their peers at any other film school. The Faculty comprises some of the most respected artists and executives working in film and television today, helping AFI reach #3 on The Hollywood Reporter’s annual list of top film programs.
From the big to the little screen, the work of AFI Conservatory alumni pushed the art of storytelling forward this past year and received the entertainment community’s highest honors. A remarkable 261 AFI Conservatory alumni garnered 54 awards and 212 nominations in 2017-18 alone. A shooting star among them, Rachel Morrison (AFI Class of 2006) made history in 2018 as the first woman ever nominated for an Academy Award® in the Cinematography category for her work on MUDBOUND. That same year, Morrison broke a second glass ceiling as the first woman to shoot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the blockbuster BLACK PANTHER. When she accepted the Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal at the Life Achievement Award ceremony this June, Morrison shared: “Somewhere between yesterday and a lifetime ago, I was a wide-eyed AFI Fellow desperate to abandon corporate jobs and escape to this magical place called the American Film Institute, where aspiring filmmakers could dream, explore, create and flourish…if you had asked me then if I could see myself or any other female cinematographer being nominated for an Academy Award, I wouldn’t have thought it possible.”
Morrison education at the Conservatory was made possible by a scholarship – and financial aid continues to open the doors of AFI’s life-changing filmmaker training program to students of need and those from populations historically underrepresented in film and television. In the last year, AFI has seen the results of its work to expand scholarship funding significantly since 2000, from 2% to 10% of overall tuition – helping the number of diverse American Fellows grow from 34% to 41% of the student body and achieving 50/50 gender parity by the start of the 2018-2019 school year.

Population(s) Served
Students

Complementing the Conservatory’s film education and efforts to create a more inclusive industry, the AFI Directing Workshop for Women (DWW) is dedicated to increasing the number of women working professionally as narrative screen directors. Founded in 1974, this tuition-free program annually provides eight gifted female filmmakers with immersive training in screen directing and production resources, helping them leave the program with a short film worthy of festival screenings. To create a pipeline for DWW alumnae to gain employment in the industry following graduation, AFI has forged pioneering “bridge programs” with a number of major studios, including 20th Century Fox, NBCUniversal and Lifetime.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Students

A leadership gift from the Nancy Malone Estate in 2017 provided AFI with the ability to ensure the continued growth and investment in DWW’s “bridge to the profession” work, while also expanding opportunities for women and people of color at the Conservatory. In one of the first acts of the newly established Nancy Malone Inclusion Initiative, AFI launched a groundbreaking new program for female cinematographers: the inaugural AFI Cinematography Introductory Intensive for Women (CIIW), sponsored by 21st Century Fox. Taking place August 3-6, 2018, the tuition-free program introduced the fundamentals of visual storytelling to 20 women – selected out of 700 applicants – interested in a career in cinematography. In 2019, Fox and AFI will partner to launch the Fox DP Lab for recent alumnae of the AFI Conservatory.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Students

Where we work

Financials

American Film Institute Inc
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Operations

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American Film Institute Inc

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Howard Stringer