American Motion Picture Society
To foster and educate non-commercial, amateur filmmakers by helping them to expand and explore their passion for and creativity within the world of filmmaking.
To educate and enhance the art and craft of non-commercial, amateur filmmaking using competitive film festivals and educational seminars as tools for enrichment purposes.
The American Motion Picture Society (AMPS) has a long and illustrious history. It was originally founded as The American International Film Festival in 1930 by the Amateur Cinema League.
The Amateur Cinema League, a group of national amateur filmmakers, was founded in 1926 in New York City. Its objectives for The American International Film Festival were:
1) increase the pleasure of making home motion pictures by aiding amateurs to originate and produce their own plays
2) promote amateur cinematography as a national sport
3) organize clubs of amateur motion picture makers
4) publish a monthly magazine devoted to amateur motion picture making
The Amateur Cinema League continued to successfully produce the The American International Film Festival until 1954. At that time, however, the Festival was transferred to the Motion Picture Division of the Photographic Society of America (PSA). The PSA continued to organize the Festival until 1990. Then, the PSA transferred the reigns of The American International Film Festival to George W. Cushman, who renamed the festival the American Motion Picture Society (AMPS), and who continued the original intent of the organization which was to nurture and support the non-professional filmmaker.
Since 1990, the mission and goals of the American Motion Picture Society have remained the same: to support and encourage the non-professional filmmaker in the pursuit of personal excellence. On July 1, 1991, the American Motion Picture Society was established as a non-profit 509 (a)(2) Public Charity. Also, at that time AMPS was restructured to include a full-time Board, and opened Festival applications to all non-commercial films, regardless of the status of the filmmakers. Professional filmmakers were now eligible to submit films to the Festival, with the caveat that their submitted films would be only for non-commercial use. Also, film submissions were now open to international applicants.
On April 30, 2010 AMPS was reclassified as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit tax-exempt charitable organization, under which contributions to the organizations became tax-deductible, under section 170 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.
In 2014 a decision was made by the Board of Directors to reorganize and consolidate the organization once again, moving the headquarters for AMPSto southern Utah, USA. 2015 marks the first year for the new Festival location.