AFI announces 2021 honorees in Film and TV

AFI
(AFI names tops in film and TV)

The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today the recipients of AFI AWARDS 2021.

AFI AWARDS honorees include 10 outstanding films and 10 outstanding TV programs deemed culturally and artistically representative of this year’s most significant achievements in the art of the moving image.

Selections are made through a jury process where AFI Trustees, artists, critics and scholars determine the year’s most outstanding achievements and provide artistic and cultural context for the selection of each honoree. 

This year’s jury featured acclaimed artists including Lee Isaac Chung, Liz Hannah, Anjelica Huston and Ed Zwick; renowned film historians Annette Insdorf, L.S. Kim, Akira Mizuta Lippit, Leonard Maltin, Ellen Seiter and Robert Thompson; the AFI Board of Trustees; film critics Shawn Edwards from the African American Film Critics Association and Claudia Puig from Los Angeles Film Critics Association; and film and television critics from outlets such as the Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, Rolling Stone, TV Guide and The Washington Post.

The jury was chaired by AFI Board of Trustees member Jeanine Basinger (Chair Emerita and Founder of the Film Studies Department, Wesleyan University) and AFI Board of Trustees Vice Chair Richard Frank (former Chairman of Walt Disney Television, President of Walt Disney Studios, President of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences).

Additional honorees were selected in a category for “Special Awards,” designated for works of excellence that fall outside of the Institute’s criteria of American film and television.

AFI MOVIES OF THE YEAR

  • CODA 
  • DON’T LOOK UP 
  • DUNE 
  • KING RICHARD 
  • LICORICE PIZZA 
  • NIGHTMARE ALLEY 
  • THE POWER OF THE DOG 
  • tick, tick… BOOM! 
  • THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH 
  • WEST SIDE STORY

AFI TELEVISION PROGRAMS OF THE YEAR

  • HACKS 
  • MAID 
  • MARE OF EASTTOWN 
  • RESERVATION DOGS 
  • SCHMIGADOON! 
  • SUCCESSION 
  • TED LASSO 
  • THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
  • WANDAVISION 
  • THE WHITE LOTUS

AFI SPECIAL AWARD

  • BELFAST 
  • SQUID GAME 
  • SUMMER OF SOUL (…OR, WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED)

REELated: Get Out tops WGA 101 Greatest Screenplays of 21st Century


“AFI is honored to shine a proper light upon the most outstanding screen stories of 2021 and those who worked collaboratively to bring them to screens large and small,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO. “From soaring in spirit to dark and dangerous – from heartbreaking to hilarious – these are the stories that have united us in uncertain times and continue to drive culture forward.”  

Honorees will gather on January 7, 2022, for recognition at the annual AFI AWARDS private reception at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA — an event favored by the entertainment community for its informal intimacy and its inclusive acknowledgement of excellence. 

Beginning January 8, 2022, Global Movie Club program will showcase the official selections with new daily content, including videos of special guests from the honored works introducing the titles. AFI AWARDS official selections will be celebrated on AFI.com/MovieClub and across all AFI social media platforms.

View all past honorees here.

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