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American Film Institute Sets 50th Anniversary Event at Library of Congress

The American Film Institute has set a celebration of its 50th anniversary for Nov. 1 with a dinner in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

The event is aimed at commemorating the AFI’s roots in the nation’s capital and on five decades of partnership with the Library of Congress to preserve America’s motion picture heritage. One of AFI’s first acts in 1968 was to create a “rescue list” with the Museum of Modern Art, George Eastman House, and the Library of Congress, and to coordinate efforts among the archives to locate and preserve missing films. Currently, there are more than 37,000 motion pictures  preserved in the AFI Collection at the Library of Congress.

The 50th anniversary celebration will include remarks by 2011 AFI life achievement award recipient Morgan Freeman; Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden; AFI founding director George Stevens, Jr; and AFI president and CEO Bob Gazzale.

Guests will include Bradley Cooper; Christopher Nolan; Lesli Linka Glatter, an alumna of the AFI Directing Workshop for Women; Lori McCreary, AFI trustee and co-founder of Revelations Entertainment with Freeman; Howard Stringer, the chairman of the AFI Board of Trustees; and Jean Picker Firstenberg, AFI president emerita. The evening’s program will include a presentation highlighting treasures from the AFI Collection.

“AFI’s 50th Anniversary is a moment for our nation to stand together in appreciation of America’s art form,” said Gazzale. “As time goes by, these screen stories are a proven bond to unite us — an imperative for today and an inspiration for the next 50 years.”

Stevens said, “AFI has seen the world change over 50 years but the Institute’s aspiration for excellence in preservation, education and providing recognition has remained constant. We are proud to celebrate our half-century collaboration with the Library of Congress in saving America’s film heritage.”

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