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2006 American Film Institute Awards


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'Dreamgirls,' 'Borat' Among AFI's Top 10

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'Dreamgirls'

The musical, "Dreamgirls," the September 11 drama, "United 93" and the outrageous comedy, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" were among the American Film Institute's picks for the Top 10 Films of 2006.

Also among the AFI's Top 10: the ensemble story, "Babel," the fashion-world satire, "The Devil Wears Prada," the gritty classroom drama, "Half Nelson," the animated penguin romp, "Happy Feet," the bank-heist thriller, "Inside Man," the World War II saga, "Letters From Iwo Jima" and the road-trip tale, "Little Miss Sunshine."

The AFI does not rank its picks for Best Films of the Year. The list was chosen by a panel of 13 filmmakers, critics, scholars and AFI trustees. This year's panel included directors Michael Apted and James L. Brooks, writer-producer Diana Ossana and Los Angeles Times critic Kenneth Turan.

A separate AFI panel that included producers Steven Bochco and Kevin S. Bright picked the group's choices for Top 10 Television Shows of the Year: "Battlestar Galactica," "Dexter," "Elizabeth I," "Friday Night Lights," "Heroes," "The Office," "South Park," "24," "The West Wing" and "The Wire."

The films and shows will be honored at an AFI luncheon in Los Angeles on Friday, January 12.

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AFI Names Top Films of the Year

by Pamela McClintock

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'Borat'

Comedy was well represented on the American Film Institute's Seventh Annual Top 10 List, a sharp contrast to last year's emphasis on high-minded and downbeat films. Among the feel-good items were "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," "The Devil Wears Prada" and the musical, "Dreamgirls."

Also among the light-hearted movie fare on AFI's Top 10 List for 2006 were the animated toon, "Happy Feet" and "Little Miss Sunshine." In contrast, AFI only had one comedy on its Top 10 List last year. That film was "The 40-Year-Old Virgin."

Serious pictures selected by the AFI film jury were the multi-language "Babel," the Spike Lee-helmed "Inside Man," the indie "Half Nelson," Clint Eastwood's Japanese-language "Letters From Iwo Jima" and Paul Greengrass' "United 93." Last year, AFI emphasized "serious" films such as "Brokeback Mountain," "Crash" and "Munich."

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'Half Nelson'

Missing from the AFI roster was more violent fare such as Martin Scorsese's "The Departed" and Mel Gibson's "Apocalypto," as well as films including "Flags of Our Fathers." But no-shows shouldn't despair. The early voting in the awards season points up the wide open race.

The National Board of Review kicked off the season with its Top 10 Films, and only four pictures ("Iwo Jima," "Sunshine," "Babel" and "Prada") appear on both the NBR and AFI lists. And it's interesting that the AFI eschewed many of the literary, ambitious films cited by NBR in favor of more crowd-pleasers.

On the television side, AFI's Top 10 Programs of the Year included four from NBC: the comedy, "The Office," the long-running "The West Wing" and freshmen dramas, "Heroes" and "Friday Night Lights."

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'Heroes'

In the drama-heavy tally, the AFI TV committee also recognized HBO's "Elizabeth I" and "The Wire," Sci Fi's "Battlestar Galactica," Showtime's "Dexter," Comedy Central's "South Park" and Fox's "24."

AFI awards announcement capped two days of secret deliberation by the AFI film and TV juries, each made up of 13 critics, artists, scholars and AFI trustees. Identities of the jurors were kept confidential until Sunday.

The rationale for each award choice will be disclosed at the Friday, January 12 awards ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. Hewlett-Packard, which will sponsor the awards luncheon, has created 20 scholarships at the AFI Conservatory in honor of the winners.

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American Film Institute Awards 2006
(listed in alphabetical order)


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Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt in 'Babel'

AFI Movies of the Year Official Selections

11. "Babel"
12. "Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan"
13. "The Devil Wears Prada"
14. "Dreamgirls"
15. "Half Nelson"
16. "Happy Feet"
17. "Inside Man"
18. "Letters From Iwo Jima"
19. "Little Miss Sunshine"
10. "United 93"

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Showtime's 'Dexter'

AFI TV Programs of the Year Official Selections
(listed in alphabetical order)
11. "Battlestar Galactica"
12. "Dexter"
13. "Elizabeth I"
14. "Friday Night Lights"
15. "Heroes"
16. "The Office"
17. "South Park"
18. "24"
19. "The West Wing"
10. "The Wire"
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American Film Institute Awards 2006 Jury


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Robert G. Rehme
Chair, AFI Awards Jury
for Motion Pictures


AFI Jury for Motion Pictures

Robert G. Rehme
Producer
AFI Board of Trustees
Chair, AFI Awards Jury for Motion Pictures


Michael Apted
Director/Producer/Writer
President, Directors Guild of America
Member, AFI Board of Trustees


Roger Birnbaum
Co-Chairman/CEO, Spyglass Entertainment
Member, AFI Board of Trustees


Leo Braudy
Leo S. Bing Chair in English and American Literature
Professor of English, University of Southern California


James L. Brooks
Director/Producer/Writer

Mary Corey
Professor of History
University of California, Los Angeles


Jane M. Gaines
Professor of Literature and English
Duke University


Elvis Mitchell
Film Critic
National Public Radio


Diana Ossana
Writer/Producer

David V. Picker
Producer
AFI Trustee Emeritus


Tom Pollock
Producer
Chair Emeritus, AFI Board of Trustees


Anne Thompson
Deputy Film Editor
The Hollywood Reporter


Kenneth Turan
Chief Film Critic
The Los Angeles Times


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Richard Frank
Chair, AFI Awards Jury
for Television


AFI Jury for Television

Richard Frank
Chair, AFI Awards Jury for Television
Vice Chair, AFI Board of Trustees


Dick Askin
Tribune Entertainment Company
President/CEO, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
Member, AFI Board of Trustees


Steven Bochco
Producer/Director

Kevin S. Bright
Producer/Director

Paul Brownfield
TV Critic
The Los Angeles Times


Michael Dinner
Director/Producer/Writer

Barry Garron
Staff Writer
The Hollywood Reporter


Amanda D. Lotz
Assistant Professor of Communication
University of Michigan


Brian Lowry
Chief TV Critic
Variety/Daily Variety


Tara McPherson
Associate Professor of Gender Studies and Critical Studies
University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts


Matt Roush
Chief Critic
TV Guide


Vivian Sobchack
Associate Dean of the School of Theater, Film and Television,
University of California, Los Angeles
Member, AFI Board of Trustees


Kristal Brent Zook
Associate Adjunct Professor
Graduate School of Journalism
Columbia University
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