American Film Institute

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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.

George Stevens, Jr., was the first CEO and director. In 1980 Jean Picker Firstenberg became Director and CEO, who in-turn was replaced in 2007, by Bob Gazzale. The AFI Conservatory focuses on training through hands-on experience with established figures, and also produces film education and appreciation materials for middle and high school students. The organization is also preserving archived film, which is subject to degradation of its film stock, and in spite of its name, AFI does not focus exclusively on movies, but also on television and video. The AFI re-opened the AFI Silver theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland, near Washington, D.C., in April 2003.

In 1973, the AFI established a Life Achievement Award. Their own film festival, AFI Fest, was launched in 1987 and has been held every year. AFI Fest is the first film festival in the United States to carry FIAPF accreditation. In 1998, the 100th anniversary of American film, AFI began its 100 Years... series, celebrating and promoting interest in film history.