The American Film Institute's AFI Fest, featuring a world class selection of short and feature films, is only a week away. In this guest blog post, AFI's Bob Jennings and Lane Kneedler discuss the festival and the treasure trove of short films they find online.

Any festival can tell you programming short films is very hard. At AFI Fest, we only have space for about 30 shorts and over 3,000 submissions to choose from. However, this year we didn’t limit ourselves to just submissions. We also travelled to other festivals and looked increasingly to the web as a source for content to curate and showcase.

It’s an incredible experience to find short films and show them in a theater with an audience. Hearing a group of strangers laughing and crying together in the dark is an almost spiritual experience. We are also delighted to showcase as many films from our Official Selections on YouTube as possible. We want to help short filmmakers find audiences in any way we can. YouTube has proven that there are huge audiences out there for this content and it’s our pleasure to help highlight as much as we can, which is why we're happy to be the guest editors of today's homepage.


AFI is also proud to be a YouTube Partner. Our channel has nearly 700 videos that include never-before-seen interviews with Master Filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock and Martin Scorsese, clips from our annual AFI Life Achievement Award and more. Recently, we started posting a new video every Monday through Friday and the response has been astounding as we’re approaching nearly 2 million views per month.

While AFI is proud to host a prestigious film festival and continues to build a robust YouTube Channel, we are a non-profit organization that relies on a national membership program to help us preserve the history of film, educate the next generation of filmmakers and honor the artists. If you're interested in joining, check out AFI.com/members.

AFI FEST 2010 presented by Audi takes place November 4-11 in Hollywood, California. For more info visit www.afi.com/afifest.

Bob Jennings, Manager, AFI Social Media & Lane Kneedler, Associate Director of Programming, AFI Fest just watched Marcel the Shell With Shoes On