American Film Institute (AFI), nonprofit organization established in Washington, D.C., in 1967 by the National Endowment for the Arts to preserve and catalog American films and television, to provide work grants for new and established filmmakers, and to increase recognition and understanding of the art of film. The institute operates a movie theater at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and provides financial and research assistance to U.S. museums and other organizations that present film programs. It maintains the Center for Advanced Film Studies in Beverly Hills, Calif., which offers M.F.A. degrees in cinematography, directing, editing, producing, production design, screenwriting, and digital media; where it holds professional and nonprofessional seminars and workshops; and where it maintains a library of thousands of books and film scripts. The AFI has a collection at the Library of Congress of more than 27,500 titles, mainly theatrical features and shorts dating from 1894 to the present but also many newsreels, documentaries, and television programs. Additional films are held in a dozen other archives, such as the UCLA Film and Television Archive, the Museum of Modern Art, and the International Museum of Photography. The institute also publishes detailed catalogs of feature films produced in the United States after 1921.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.