August 24, 2020
The American Film Institute (AFI) and Universal Pictures have launched a week-long AFI Movie Club event called “Black Stories Matter,” spotlighting narratives from celebrated black films.
Born from a recent AFI/Universal collaboration honoring Do the Right Thing and Academy Award-winning director Spike Lee, the expanded partnership will pay tribute to BlacKkKlansman, Get Out, Girls Trip, Loving and Straight Outta Compton with free digital movie rentals.
Each of the Universal films will be available to rent for free on Amazon, Apple, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Dish, FandangoNow, Redbox, Verizon and Vudu, among others, beginning Aug. 24 through Aug. 30.
Enhanced AFI Movie Club content will feature new interviews with composer Terence Blanchard (BlacKkKlansman), Malcolm D. Lee (Girls Trip), cinematographer and AFI Alum Matthew Libatique (Straight Outta Compton), Ruth Negga (Loving), writer Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip), Ron Stallworth (BlacKkKlansman) and more.
“For decades, Universal has supported thought-provoking stories and powerful perspectives that have served to enlighten, enrich and entertain,” Donna Langley, chairman, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, and AFI Trustee, said in a statement. “Through this partnership with AFI, we are proud to further shine a light on these distinctly important works that continue to so poignantly amplify today’s conversation.”
AFI Movie Club will highlight each day’s film with a conversation between film critic Shawn Edwards and filmmakers and talent involved with the films; “Behind the Scene” featurettes about a specific scene examined by an artist from the film; and exclusive clips sourced from AFI’s archive of Master Class Seminars, as well as curated trivia researched from the AFI Catalog of Feature Films.
“The mission of AFI and the AFI Movie Club has always been to educate and inspire audiences — and to drive culture forward,” Bob Gazzale, president and CEO of the American Film Institute, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to expand our partnership with Universal and to further the conversation about stories that are culturally and nationally significant.”
Launched on March 31 with the goal to show audiences a world of art above anxiety, AFI Movie Club has announced a classic film a day as a way of connecting audiences with “movies to watch together when we’re apart,” according to the AFI. The first title was The Wizard of Oz and was announced via special video introduction by Steven Spielberg. Since then, special guests introducing daily titles have included J.J. Abrams, Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jack Black, Kenneth Branagh, Millie Bobby Brown, Hanelle Culpepper, Robert De Niro, Benicio del Toro, Lena Dunham, Cynthia Erivo, Carl Franklin, Morgan Freeman, Danny Glover, Jeff Goldblum, Hugh Grant, Taylor Hackford, Jon Hamm, Asher Jelinsky, Eva Longoria, Leonard Maltin, Helen Mirren, Demi Moore, LaToya Morgan, Elisabeth Moss, Mira Nair, Brad Pitt, Natalie Portman, Issa Rae, Eddie Redmayne, Emma Roberts, Sarah Silverman, Alicia Silverstone, Sharon Stone, Emma Thompson and Kerry Washington.