About AFI – American Film Institute



The American Film Institute champions the moving image as an art form. We believe in the revolutionary power of visual storytelling to share perspectives, inspire empathy and drive culture forward.


Established in 1967, the American Film Institute is the nation’s nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring artists and audiences through initiatives that champion the past, present and future of the moving image.

The AFI Conservatory — the Institute’s world-renowned filmmaker training program — opened its doors in 1969 to an inaugural class that included Terrence Malick, Caleb Deschanel and Paul Schrader. Today, the Conservatory offers a two-year MFA degree in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. In a collaborative production environment, AFI Fellows learn to master the art of storytelling, collectively creating up to 175 films a year. Fellows actively participate in the entire life cycle of a film, from development through production and exhibition. Alumni of this elite program, ranging from modern masters to bold new voices defining the state of the art form, include Andrea Arnold, Darren Aronofsky, Ari Aster, Sam Esmail, Brad Falchuk, Liz Hannah, Patty Jenkins, Janusz Kami?ski, Matthew Libatique, David Lynch, Melina Matsoukas, Polly Morgan, Rachel Morrison and Wally Pfister, among others.

AFI’s other pioneering programs include year-round exhibition at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center and at AFI FEST and AFI DOCS across the nation; workshops aimed at increasing diversity in the storytelling community, including the AFI Directing Workshop for Women and the Cinematography Intensive for Women; honoring today’s masters through the AFI Life Achievement Award and AFI AWARDS; and scholarly efforts such as the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and the AFI Archive preservation project that uphold film history for future generations.

As a nonprofit educational organization, AFI relies on the generous financial support from film enthusiasts like you to provide funding for its programs and initiatives. Read our Impact Report

Become an AFI member today and play your part in preserving as well as making American film history.