More and more Americans are forced to spend time in quarantine and self-isolation as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to escalate. In that sense, ‘there’s no place like home’ seems to be taking on a whole new meaning, as it gives us the power to save millions of lives.

The American Film Institute has recently announced the launch of their AFI Movie Club, which aims to encourage social distancing whilst providing a good dose of entertainment. AFI trustee and beloved director Steven Spielberg has partnered with the institute for this endeavour. He has chosen ‘The Wizard of Oz’ (1939) as the first film to stream as part of the programme. Every day, a new movie will be selected for film aficionados to watch from home, offering a collective viewing experience in an era of self-isolation.


According to Variety, special guests from the film world will announce their own movie picks on certain days, through short videos to be posted on social media and AFI’s website. All you have to do is log on to the institute’s Movie Club and choose any of the streaming services listed under the selected movie. The viewing experience will be enriched with cool facts, discussion questions and archival material provided by AFI.

‘AFI’s goal is to live in a world of art above anxiety’, AFI president and CEO Bob Gazzale said in a press release. ‘We’re honoured to have Steven Spielberg, the greatest storyteller of our day, lead the way.’

In 1995, Spielberg was honoured by the American Film Institute with the AFI Life Achievement Award. Seven of his films have been included on their 100 Greatest Movies of All Time list—‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ (1977), ‘Jaws’ (1975), ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ (1981), ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ (1982), ‘The Color Purple’ (1985), ‘Schindler’s List’ (1993), and ‘Saving Private Ryan’ (1998).