The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has disrupted the film industry in an unprecedented way, with the closures of most cinemas and the stoppage of production on TV shows and films. To combat this, we’ve seen distributors such as Kino Lorber create new streaming platforms, theater chains like Alamo Drafthouse try to replicate the theater-going experience at home, and studios begin to encourage film fans to watch brand-new movies on VOD instead of in cinemas. Now, Steven Spielberg is joining the effort of keeping films alive during the global pandemic with the AFI Movie Club.
According to a new introductory video posted by the American Film Institute (AFI), Steven Spielberg is here to give film fans a new way to enjoy films in this time when we’re told to keep a safe distance from other people—the AFI Movie Club. This isn’t some new subscription service or way for studios to take your money. This AFI Movie Club is more like the film version of Oprah’s Book Club and the like.
Each day, the AFI Movie Club will encourage film fans to watch a specific film, complete with an introductory video from a Hollywood figure. For today, the film is “The Wizard of Oz,” and the person introducing the film is, as mentioned, Spielberg, who wants fans to watch the iconic film thinking about what it means when you say, “There’s no place like home.”
Unfortunately, the Club doesn’t provide a free way to watch the films, and instead, it asks folks to either watch their own copy of the film or rent/purchase a copy through a selection of VOD services. Obviously, during this uncertain time, it’s not necessarily bad to support the arts financially, if you’re able to.
You can learn more information on the AFI website and in the video below.