[01/17/08 - 01:12 PM]
Afi's 10 Top 10, a New Entertainment Special Honoring America's Greatest Animated, Fantasy, Gangster, Sci-Fi, Western, Sports, Mystery, Romantic Comedy, Courtroom Drama and Epic Films, to Be Broadcast in June 2008 on the CBS Television Network
Celebrating film genres that have never been honored before, AFI will create 10 new lists within the format previously designed for a top 100.

[via press release from CBS]


AFI'S 10 TOP 10, a new chapter in its Emmy Award-winning "AFI's 100 Years..." series, 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. The new entertainment special will be broadcast in June 2008 on the CBS Television Network.

AFI's 10 TOP 10 turns a page in the institute's 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.

"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).

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: WAR OF THE WORDS (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 BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING (1997); Courtroom Drama: WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION (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 process:


Narrative format, typically over 60 minutes in length.


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.



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.


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.


AFI defines the "gangster film" as a genre that centers on organized crime or maverick criminals in a 20th century setting.


AFI defines "science fiction" as a genre that marries a scientific or technological premise with imaginative speculation.


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.


AFI defines "sports" as a genre of films with protagonists who play athletics or other games of competition.


AFI defines "mystery" as a genre that revolves around the solution of a crime.


AFI defines "romantic comedy" as a genre in which the development of a romance leads to comic situations.


AFI defines "courtroom drama" as a genre of film in which a system of justice plays a critical role in the film's narrative.


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.


Formal commendation in print, television and digital media.


Recognition from competitive events including awards from peer groups, critics, guilds and major film festivals.


Including success at the box office, television and cable airing, and DVD/VHS sales and rentals.


A film's mark on the history of the moving images through visionary narrative devices, technical innovation, or other ground breaking achievements.


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-32 of the 50 films on the ballot were made by the Walt Disney Company; 13 were produced by Walt Disney himself. 17 of the 50 films are computer animated.

Fantasy-11 movies feature ghosts and four movies feature super heroes. The 1980s is the most represented decade with 15 movies.

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), GODFATHER II (Gangster/Epic), HOW THE WEST WAS WON (Western/Epic), JERRY MAGUIRE (Sports/Romantic Comedy) .

33 recipients of AFI's Life Achievement Award are represented on the ballot.

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 AFI.com.

The 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 companies.

  [january 2008]  

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