For over fifty years, the American Film Institute has flourished as
one of America's great cultural entities. Its graduates, faculty,
supporters, and trustees have included such acclaimed individuals
as Steven Spielberg, Maya Angelou, Gregory Peck, Meryl Streep, Les
Moonves, Patty Jenkins, David Lynch, Jane Fonda, Edward James
Olmos, Shonda Rhimes, James L. Brooks, Michael Nesmith, Sir Howard
Stringer, and many other respected leaders in the worlds of film,
television, digital media, and philanthropy. Written in a unique
memoir style, Becoming AFI: 50 Years Inside the American Film
Institute offers a candid look at how this remarkable organization
has brought together aspiring filmmakers, outstanding educators,
and visionary artists. The book details AFI's journey to becoming
the foremost national champion for moving images as a vibrant art
form and a critical component of America's cultural history. AFI's
story is chronicled through in-depth essays written by those who
have been involved in its adventures, growth, and successes: from
its early years under George Stevens Jr.'s direction at the
legendary Greystone mansion and the Kennedy Center in Washington,
DC; through its period of incredible growth, under Jean Picker
Firstenberg's guidance, as an influential cultural institution at
its landmark Hollywood campus; to its continued years of excellence
under Bob Gazzale's dynamic leadership. Becoming AFI provides an
insightful, behind-the-scenes look at how AFI-with passionate
determination-overcame the hurdles of advancing technology,
political shifts, and new audience dynamics to turn its aspirations
into a substantial and highly successful organization. A tireless
advocate of moving images as one of America's most popular art
forms, AFI is maturing into one of the world's most respected
educational and cultural institutions.
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