AFI Catalog of Feature Films

AFI Catalog Academic Network Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is involved in participating in the AFI Catalog Academic Network?

A: Each AFI Catalog record includes two lengthy fields that involve research and writing --- the "Summary" and "Note" fields. For every film selected, you will receive a research kit from AFI that includes a copy of the film, and a collection of prior research materials via PDF.

  • To produce the "Summary" field, you will view the film and then write a careful and complete summary based upon AFI's Style Manual.
  • To produce the "Note" field, you will conduct original research, including a careful review of the prior research file, online searches of relevant sources, and additional research in other archival sources (if available). You will then write the "Note" essay, complete with scholarly citations using the AFI's Style Manual as a guide.
  • To produce the "Subject Heading" field, you will receive a list of AFI Catalog Subject Headings and subsequently identify a maximum of six major headings and a larger number of minor subject headings. Viewing the film is an essential part of creating these Subject Headings.

Q: Will I be required to enter movie credits or other data?

A: No, AFI staff members are handling data entry and fact checking.

Q: How do I get started?

A: Student catalogers are provided with the following materials via PDF:

  • An AFI Catalog Academic Network Manual
  • An AFI Catalog Summary & Note Writing Guide
  • A list of AFI Catalog Subject Headings
  • An AFI Catalog guide to relevant books, periodicals, and online resources
  • A PDF of prior research conducted for each film selected

Q: How do I transmit my work to AFI?

A: You may simply email a Word file to your AFI Editor.

Q: How many films should I expect to produce in a term or quarter?

A: You and your Faculty Advisor will determine your workload. AFI invites each student to produce as many films as they would like in a term, and there is no set number required during the first year.

Q: Do I get credit towards my degree by participating in this program?

A: Each program is responsible for establishing the credit requirements. Confer with your Faculty Advisor.

Q: Do I get to choose my own film titles?

A: At the start of each semester, the AFI Catalog Editor will supply a list of available films to the Academic Advisor. The Academic Advisor consults the IFD and, in coordination with interested students, selects the number of films to be cataloged that semester and their titles.

Q: How long does a typical film cataloging project take?

A: Each record typically requires approximately 15-20 hours, including viewing, research, writing, and editing.

Q: How is the editorial review process handled?

A: Your work will be reviewed by both your Faculty Advisor and an AFI Editor, and conforms to conventional editorial review processes. You will be expected to verify claims and cite sources. You must conform your writing, usage and syntax to the AFI Style Manual. You may be requested to revise your work, based upon feedback from your Editor.

Q: What happens to a finished contribution?

A: After AFI Catalog Editors review an entry, it will be added to the approved database and displayed on and other web sites that subscribe to AFI's data. All entries created by members of the Academic Network will carry authorial credit for the student contributor, the Faculty Advisor, and the program or institution within which the work has been produced.

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