On June 5th, 2017, the American Film Institute (AFI) celebrated its 50th Anniversary at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Created by Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidential mandate, AFI seeks to “preserve the heritage of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work, and to educate the next generation of storytellers.” According to AFI President and CEO Bob Gazzale, “AFI is hosting its Conservatory Commencement on the date of AFI’s anniversary because we look to the art form’s future through the eyes of these young filmmakers. AFI’s founding promise was to nurture and support the young men and women wishing to pursue the art form as their life’s work, and it is an ongoing mission we are proud to carry forward.”
AFI Founding Director George Stevens, Jr., joined AFI President Emerita Jean Picker Firstenberg and current AFI President and CEO Bob Gazzale to bring together all three presidents from AFI’s history. Also present were Sir Howard Stringer, AFI Board of Trustees Chair, and Robert A. Daly, AFI Board of Directors Chair.
The Anniversary and Commencement Ceremony featured three Honorary Degree recipients: American icon Carol Burnett and renowned filmmakers Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick. Each speaker shared their thoughts on the entertainment industry, delivered laughs, and imparted wisdom.
More information regarding AFI’s 50th Anniversary is available on their blog.