The American Film Institute announced their launch of the new AFI Movie Club, aimed to encourage people to do social distancing while keeping themselves entertained at home. Critically acclaimed director Steven Spielberg, an AFI Trustee and 1995 recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award, also contributed to the Movie Club’s initiation by announcing The Wizard of Oz as the club’s first film.
The AFI Movie Club is a daily virtual gathering to promote a love of film and optimism to cinephiles across the nation during the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic. Iconic movies will be selected by the AFI each day for the world to watch together, “creating a communal viewing experience during these unprecedented times of social distancing.” The daily featured film can be viewed by logging on to AFI.com/MovieClub and using any of the streaming services listed under the selected movie. To add more engagement to this collective movie-watching experience, AFI has provided fun facts, discussion questions, and exclusive material from the AFI archives. The plan is to have a variety of other guest hosts in the film world announce AFI Movies of the Day in videos posted on AFI.com and social media platforms. Audiences can continue the conversation online using the hashtag #AFIMovieClub.
President and CEO Bob Gazzale stated: “AFI’s goal is to live in a world of art above anxiety. We’re honored to have Steven Spielberg, the greatest storyteller of our day, lead the way.”
On Tuesday, AFI uploaded an introductory video of Spielberg announcing the iconic 1939 family-friendly film: “Now I know you think you’ve seen it but think again, because right now at this moment in history what better message is there then, ‘there’s no place like home.'” Indeed, there is no place like home, as many large public figures have used their platforms to urge everyone to stay home as that responsibility has the power to save millions of people across the nation. The Movie Club is aiming to look somewhere over the rainbow to offer a beacon of hope and sense of unity to our newly adjusted daily lives.
Watch Spielberg’s video message below: