‘The Post,’ ‘Wonder Woman,’ ‘Insecure’ Among 2017 AFI Awards Picks

Photo Source: “The Post”: Niko Tavernise

Celebrating achievements in film and television, American Film Institute (AFI) announced the official selections of its annual awards Dec. 7. The prestigious institute honors 10 big- and small-screen programs in a noncompetitive ceremony.

Among the 10 movies of the year, most have already garnered their fair share of Oscar buzz. Nine were awarded Critics’ Choice Award Best Film nominations this week; the notable exception was Warner Brothers’ big budget film “Wonder Woman,” keeping that larger production’s Oscar hopes alive. The other winners were A24’s “Lady Bird,” Sony Pictures Classics’ “Call Me by Your Name,” Warner Brothers’ “Dunkirk,” 20th Century Fox’s “The Post,” Amazon Studios’ “The Big Sick,” Fox Searchlight Pictures’ “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and “The Shape of Water,” as well as Universal Pictures’ “Get Out.” All have already earned their fair share of accolades through festivals and this year’s film awards season.

AFI’s TV Programs of the Year showed big wins for streaming services, with three programs from Netflix, “The Crown,” “Master of None,” and “Stranger Things 2,” as well as “The Handmaid’s Tale” from Hulu. Of the other winners, “Big Little Lies,” “Insecure,” and “Game of Thrones” come from HBO; FX was honored with recognition of its limited series “Feud: Bette and Joan.” NBC’s “The Good Place” and “This Is Us” rounded out the list.

The emphasis on collaboration versus competition distinguishes the AFI Awards, whose namesake institute celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. AFI president and CEO Bob Gazzale, in a statement, spoke to its special status in the film industry: “At a time when the world seems defined by division, storytellers bring us together as one. AFI Awards is honored to celebrate this community of artists who challenge and inspire us, entertain and enlighten us—ultimately reminding us of our common heartbeat.”

This year, the org also gave specific recognition to “The Vietnam War,” the 10-part Ken Burns and Lynn Novick PBS documentary, which was honored with an AFI Special Award.

Television Programs and Films of the Year are selected by a jury composed of AFI Trustees, scholars, artists, and critics, including acclaimed figures such as Judd Apatow (who recused himself from voting on Amazon’s “The Big Sick,” which he produced), critics from major media outlets ranging from NPR to Rolling Stone, and actors Jamie Lee Curtis and Halle Berry, to name a few. This year's juries were chaired by AFI Board of Trustees Vice Chairs Tom Pollock and Richard Frank, for film and TV, respectively.

Winners will be celebrated at an invitation-only luncheon Jan. 5, 2018. For the full list of this year’s honorees, visit the Institute’s official website.

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