AFI Catalog of Feature Films HELP

Welcome to the AFI Catalog of Feature Films.

In the Fall of 2017, the American Film Institute relaunched the AFI Catalog of Feature Films database with a new interface to facilitate the discovery and use of its vast resources. The platform provides sophisticated tools for robust searches and unique, innovative ways to interact with the data. Please see below for frequently asked questions, descriptions of the new interface, and tips to help you navigate the site.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is "The First 100 Years 1893-1993"?
The AFI Catalog of Feature Films: The First 100 Years 1893-1993 is a project that documented every theatrically-released American feature film and co-production during the first one hundred years of the art form, from the earliest exhibition of moving images in America with EDISON KINETOSCOPIC RECORDS (1893) to the technological advances of JURASSIC PARK (1993). The First 100 Years provides the most authoritative, scholarly documentation of American film.

Does the AFI Catalog contain information for movies released after 1993?
The database includes basic records for films released between 1994 and 2015. When users search movies outside of The First 100 Years 1893-1993, the database will suggest selections of titles from AFI's 100 Years Lists that were released before 1994.

What was the criteria for selecting titles for The First 100 Years project?

  1. American Films or Co-Productions
    To be considered an American film or co-production, the picture must be completely or partially financed by an American company or producer. The AFI Catalog of Feature Films: The First 100 Years 1893-1993 also includes foreign productions that were filmed on location in the U.S.
  2. Feature Films The AFI Catalog defines a feature film as a motion picture that is forty minutes or longer.
  3. Theatrical Release
    Films included in the AFI Catalog were released in theaters and distributed for public exhibition. The AFI Catalog does not include films that aired on television prior to making a theatrical release, or films that were released direct-to-video. For post-1993 films, theatrical releases occurred before the picture streamed on the Internet.
  4. Rating
    Pornographic films that received an X-rating by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) are not included in the AFI Catalog.
  5. Historical Films
    The AFI Catalog includes early silent, historical films that were publicly exhibited before the advent of the modern feature films and theater venues.

How were films selected for the carousel on the AFI Catalog home page?
AFI has begun curating selections of films from its 100 Years Lists, and other culturally significant or historically relevant titles, to be featured in the carousel.

What are Premier Records?
Film records that include unique media assets from the AFI Archive, including audio and video footage of filmmakers discussing their work on the film, are called Premier Records.

How do I use the BROWSE BY DECADE feature?
Click on the decade to get a list of all American films and co-productions that were released theatrically during that time.

How do I use the SEARCH feature?
The main SEARCH bar is present on all pages. By default it will search Movie Titles first. Selecting from the alternative search options in the dropdown enables a user to be more specific with a search. For example, searching for Lois Weber and selecting Movies by Director will return a list of movies that Lois Weber directed. Searching for Weber and selecting Search for People returns names that match or contain "Weber" instead of Movie Titles.

I used the ADVANCED SEARCH feature on the previous AFI Catalog webpage. What do I do now?
AFI has a new ADVANCED SEARCH feature for the new database that will be accessible soon. Please check back for updates on this feature.

There are films listed at the bottom of the records under the header: FROM AFI's 100 YEARS LISTS. What are the lists and how were these films selected?
For more information about AFI's Lists, please click here:
These titles are included on the AFI Catalog movie details pages to give users links to other films that are featured in the database.

How does KEEP EXPLORING work?
This feature provides quick links to other films that share the same genres, subjects and keywords as the movie documented on that page.

How do TOP SEARCHES work?
These films are the most commonly searched films from the AFI Catalog.

What do the icons mean?
Definitions of the icons appear when you hover over the image, and are displayed in a legend at the bottom of every page.

AFI viewed a film that I am unable to locate. Can I watch this film at AFI?
AFI does not archive films that are viewed for documentation in the AFI Catalog. However, you are welcome to contact us for assistance in your research.

For more information, please contact the AFI Catalog Manager: [email protected]