Wednesday, May 29, 2024

American Film Institute Salutes George Clooney Tonight After a Down Year of Finances


George Clooney will be saluted tonight by the American Film Institute at their annual fundraiser. The proceedings will be shown on TNT on June 21st. Julia Roberts, whose last movie with Clooney– “Money Monster”– was a disaster, will give Clooney the award. If Roberts is anything like she’s been at similar ceremonies, there will be a lot of bleeping during her speech. She drops the F word about as much as Adele.

Clooney, it is hoped, will be a big draw. The AFI needs it. According to their Form 990 for 2016, their revenue less expenses came to MINUS $262,124. Total assets were off by $2 million, from $47 mil in 2015 to $45 mil. Net assets or fund balances were down from 2015 by about $1.5 million.

On the bright side, the AFI upped their grants to individuals in 2016 to $225,000 from just $18,000 the year before. But the not for profit, so important to film students and historians, is top heavy with $16 million in salaries in 2016. (Their CEO made $567,000.) They spend just a tad more– $17 million– on education and training, exhibitions, and national programs. Independent contractors were paid around $2 million in 2016.

The AFI has two big annual events– tonight’s dinner and an annual luncheon during Golden Globe weekend, held at the Four Seasons for the 10 best movies and TV shows of the year. In 2016, they reported a net loss of $601,080. The net realized losses on investments is listed as MINUS $1.39 million.

So the Clooney event tonight is key. We’re rooting for them. Maybe Clooney and his Casamigas Tequila partners will underwrite some scholarships. Every year, AFI produces a new class of talented filmmakers whose names usually come up in awards seasons not too long after graduation.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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