Founded in 1967, the American Film Institute (AFI) is a national arts organization with a mission to train filmmakers while preserving America's film heritage. It was established by the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities as a nonprofit with the support of the Motion Picture Association of America and the Ford Foundation. The 1998 television series entitled "AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies" was responsible for bringing renewed attention to the country's classic movies.
In its early years, the institute was responsible for launching training programs for filmmakers at its Center for Advanced Film Studies, maintaining a repertory film exhibition program at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and publishing the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, which is today seen as the definitive source for American film history. The AFI Life Achievement Award began in 1973 and is now recognized as the highest honor bestowed for a career in film.
The American Film Institute occupies an eight-acre campus in Hollywood, where the AFI Conservatory offers graduate level courses in all aspects of movie-making. It also operates the AFI Digital Content Lab and the K-12 Screen Education Center. Among its annual projects are the AFI FEST sponsored by Audi and the AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival. The institute is located at 2021 North Western Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90027-1625.