The American Film Institute to Award Top Honors Ten Times With Newest Celebration in AFI's 100 Years... Series




Lists Revealed Live During CBS Television Event in June

Jan 17, 2008, 00:00 ET from American Film Institute

    LOS ANGELES, Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Film Institute (AFI)
 today introduced a new chapter in its Emmy Award-winning AFI's 100 Years...
 series. AFI's 10 Top 10 will count down the top 10 films from 10 classic
 American film genres including animation, fantasy, science fiction,
 gangster, western, sports, romantic comedy, courtroom drama, mystery and
 epic films.
     AFI's 10 Top 10 turns a page in the institutes' ongoing celebration of
 the American cinema centennial with a more diverse version of AFI's highly
 anticipated annual countdown special. Celebrating film genres that have
 never been honored before, AFI will create 10 new lists within the format
 previously designed for a top 100.
     "Ten years ago, AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies launched an unprecedented
 celebration of American film to mark cinema's centennial. As we continue
 this program into a new decade, we look forward to catalyzing a national
 conversation 10 times greater -- for the ultimate goal of this program is
 to drive audiences to discover and rediscover the classics of American
 film," said AFI President and CEO Bob Gazzale.
     AFI's 100 Years... series has included AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies
 (1998), 100 Stars (1999), 100 Laughs (2000), 100 Thrills (2001), 100
 Passions (2002), 100 Heroes & Villains (2003), 100 Songs (2004), 100 Movie
 Quotes (2005), 100 Cheers (2006) and AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies-10th
 Anniversary Edition (2007).
     The primetime special will be executive produced and directed by Gary
 Smith; executive produced for AFI by former AFI Board Chair Emeritus
 Frederick S. Pierce; and produced by Dann Netter. SFM Entertainment LLC is
 the distributor of the program. Past sponsors of the series have included
 General Motors, Pepsi, Best Buy, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson,
 Apple, Anheuser-Busch, Colgate-Palmolive, Sony and all major motion picture
     About the Jury Process
     Today, AFI distributed a ballot with 500 nominated movies (50 per
 genre) to a jury of over 1,500 leaders from the creative community,
 including film artists (directors, screenwriters, actors, editors,
 cinematographers), critics and historians.
     This year, the jury will be asked to choose up to 10 movies per genre
 from a comprehensive list, including entries such as: Animated: PINOCCHIO
 (1941) and SHREK (2001); Fantasy: KING KONG (1933) and THE LORD OF THE
 RINGS (2001); Sci-Fi: THE WAR OF THE WORLDS (1953) and THE MATRIX (1999);
 Gangster: SCARFACE (1932) and THE DEPARTED (2006); Westerns: THE SEARCHERS
 (1956) and UNFORGIVEN (1992); Sports: THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES (1942) and
 SEABISCUIT (2003); Romantic Comedy: IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934) and MY
 (1957) and A FEW GOOD MEN (1992); Mystery: SHERLOCK HOLMES (1939) and THE
 USUAL SUSPECTS (1995); and Epics: BEN-HUR (1959) and BRAVEHEART (1995).
     AFI asks jurors to consider the following criteria in their selection
FEATURE-LENGTH FICTION FILMS Narrative format, typically over 60 minutes in length. AMERICAN FILM English-language film with significant creative and/or production elements from the United States. Additionally, only films released before January 1, 2008 will be considered. GENRE: ANIMATED AFI defines "animated" as a genre in which the film's images are primarily created by computer or hand and the characters are voiced by actors. FANTASY AFI defines "fantasy" as a genre where live-action characters inhabit imagined settings and/or experience situations that transcend the rules of the natural world. GANGSTER AFI defines the "gangster film" as a genre that centers on organized crime or maverick criminals in a twentieth century setting. SCIENCE FICTION AFI defines "science fiction" as a genre that marries a scientific or technological premise with imaginative speculation. WESTERN AFI defines "western" as a genre of films set in the American West that embodies the spirit, the struggle and the demise of the new frontier. SPORTS AFI defines "sports" as a genre of films with protagonists who play athletics or other games of competition. MYSTERY AFI defines "mystery" as a genre that revolves around the solution of a crime. ROMANTIC COMEDY AFI defines "romantic comedy" as a genre in which the development of a romance leads to comic situations. COURTROOM DRAMA AFI defines "courtroom drama" as a genre of film in which a system of justice plays a critical role in the film's narrative. EPIC AFI defines "epic" as a genre of large-scale films set in a cinematic interpretation of the past. Their scope defies and demands-either in the mode in which they are presented or their range across time.
CRITICAL RECOGNITION Formal commendation in print, television and digital media. MAJOR AWARD WINNER Recognition from competitive events including awards from peer groups, critics, guilds and major film festivals. POPULARITY OVER TIME Including success at the box office, television and cable airing, and DVD/VHS sales and rentals. HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE A film's mark on the history of the moving images through visionary narrative devices, technical innovation, or other ground breaking achievements.
CULTURAL IMPACT A film's mark on American society in matters of style and substance. AFI allows one write-in vote per genre. Interesting Facts About the Ballot -- Animation -- 13 of the 50 films on the ballot were produced by Walt Disney. -- Fantasy -- 11 movies feature ghosts. -- Gangster -- Robert De Niro is the most featured actor with seven movies; James Cagney and Al Pacino are featured with five movies each. -- Sci-Fi -- 22 of the 50 movies contain an alien presence. -- Western -- 11 of the 50 movies feature John Wayne; 10 of the 50 movies were directed by John Ford. Seven of these 21 movies feature both John Ford and John Wayne. -- Sports -- 12 movies are based on baseball; nine movies are based on boxing; eight movies are based on football. -- Mystery -- Nine movies were directed by Alfred Hitchcock. -- Romantic Comedy -- Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn are featured together three times. Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn are featured together twice. -- Courtroom Drama -- 20 of the 50 films involve a falsely accused defendant. -- Epic -- 16 movies are war films; 11 movies are based on biblical events. -- The ballot includes entries that span from BIRTH OF A NATION (Epic) from 1915, to CARS (Animation), CHILDREN OF MEN (Sci-fi), THE DEPARTED (Gangster), HAPPY FEET (Animation) and LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA (Epic), all from 2006. -- The films that are represented in more than one category are: ADAM'S RIB (Romantic Comedy/Courtroom Drama), THE BIG HEAT (Gangster/Mystery), BULL DURHAM (Sports/Romantic Comedy), DANCES WITH WOLVES (Western/Epic), FIELD OF DREAMS (Sports/Romantic Comedy), THE GODFATHER PART II (Gangster/Epic), HOW THE WEST WAS WON (Western/Epic), JERRY MAGUIRE (Sports/Romantic Comedy). About the American Film Institute AFI is a national institute providing leadership in screen education and the recognition and celebration of excellence in the art of film, television and digital media. Additional information about AFI is available at

SOURCE American Film Institute