AFI Announces Top Films, TV Shows of 2020

The American Film Institute announced the recipients of the 2020 AFI Awards, featuring 10 films and 10 TV shows, as well as a Special Award for Hamilton.

Top honorees include Netflix’s Mank, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Trial of the Chicago 7, Da Five Bloods, “The Crown,” “Bridgerton” and “The Queen’s Gambit”; Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso”; the acclaimed Frances McDormand starrer Nomadland; HBO’s “Lovecraft Country”; Amazon’s One Night in Miami …; Disney’s animated Soul; and Disney+’s “The Mandalorian.”

The AFI’s global Movie Club program will showcase the official selections beginning in February, with new and exclusive content released daily, including special guests from the honored works introducing the titles and AFI “Behind the Scene” conversations with filmmakers and actors. 

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“For 20 years, AFI Awards has been a moment to gather artists in one room with a singular goal — to create community over competition,” Bob Gazzale, AFI president and CEO, said in a statement. “This year we cannot gather but will instead celebrate each honoree by creating exclusive content to be shared with a global audience through AFI Movie Club, shining a proper light on excellence.”

The AFI Awards tributes will culminate with a virtual benediction premiering Feb. 26 on and

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The AFI Awards is the only national program that honors creative teams as a whole, recognizing those in front of and behind the camera. 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. All of the honored works advance the art of the moving image, inspire audiences and artists alike, enhance the rich cultural heritage of America’s art form and make a mark on American society. “When placed in an historical context, these stories provide a complex and rich visual record of our modern world,” according to the AFI.



Da 5 Bloods

Judas and the Black Messiah

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom




One Night in Miami…


Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7



“Better Call Saul”


“The Crown”

“The Good Lord Bird”

“Lovecraft Country”

“The Mandalorian”

“Mrs. America”

“The Queen’s Gambit”

“Ted Lasso”





AFI and Universal Launch ‘Black Stories Matter’ Compaign Offering Free Digital Movie Rentals

The American Film Institute (AFI) and Universal Pictures have launched a week-long AFI Movie Club event called “Black Stories Matter,” spotlighting narratives from celebrated black films.

Born from a recent AFI/Universal collaboration honoring Do the Right Thing and Academy Award-winning director Spike Lee, the expanded partnership will pay tribute to BlacKkKlansman, Get Out, Girls Trip, Loving and Straight Outta Compton with free digital movie rentals.

Each of the Universal films will be available to rent for free on Amazon, Apple, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Dish, FandangoNow, Redbox, Verizon and Vudu, among others, beginning Aug. 24 through Aug. 30.

Enhanced AFI Movie Club content will feature new interviews with composer Terence Blanchard (BlacKkKlansman), Malcolm D. Lee (Girls Trip), cinematographer and AFI Alum Matthew Libatique (Straight Outta Compton), Ruth Negga (Loving), writer Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip), Ron Stallworth (BlacKkKlansman) and more.

“For decades, Universal has supported thought-provoking stories and powerful perspectives that have served to enlighten, enrich and entertain,” Donna Langley, chairman, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, and AFI Trustee, said in a statement. “Through this partnership with AFI, we are proud to further shine a light on these distinctly important works that continue to so poignantly amplify today’s conversation.”

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AFI Movie Club will highlight each day’s film with a conversation between film critic Shawn Edwards and filmmakers and talent involved with the films; “Behind the Scene” featurettes about a specific scene examined by an artist from the film; and exclusive clips sourced from AFI’s archive of Master Class Seminars, as well as curated trivia researched from the AFI Catalog of Feature Films.

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“The mission of AFI and the AFI Movie Club has always been to educate and inspire audiences — and to drive culture forward,” Bob Gazzale, president and CEO of the American Film Institute, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to expand our partnership with Universal and to further the conversation about stories that are culturally and nationally significant.”

The moderated conversations, featurettes and exclusive AFI Archive material will be available on and the AFI YouTube channel at

Launched on March 31 with the goal to show audiences a world of art above anxiety, AFI Movie Club has announced a classic film a day as a way of connecting audiences with “movies to watch together when we’re apart,” according to the AFI. The first title was The Wizard of Oz and was announced via special video introduction by Steven Spielberg. Since then, special guests introducing daily titles have included J.J. Abrams, Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jack Black, Kenneth Branagh, Millie Bobby Brown, Hanelle Culpepper, Robert De Niro, Benicio del Toro, Lena Dunham, Cynthia Erivo, Carl Franklin, Morgan Freeman, Danny Glover, Jeff Goldblum, Hugh Grant, Taylor Hackford, Jon Hamm, Asher Jelinsky, Eva Longoria, Leonard Maltin, Helen Mirren, Demi Moore, LaToya Morgan, Elisabeth Moss, Mira Nair, Brad Pitt, Natalie Portman, Issa Rae, Eddie Redmayne, Emma Roberts, Sarah Silverman, Alicia Silverstone, Sharon Stone, Emma Thompson and Kerry Washington.

Universal Teams With AFI to Offer Free Digital Rentals of Spike Lee’s ‘Do the Right Thing’

Universal Pictures and the American Film Institute (AFI) June 22 announced they partnering to offer free digital rentals of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, a 1989 film centered on racial tensions in a Brooklyn neighborhood that ultimately lead to violence and death.

Do the Right Thing, an AFI Movie Club selection, will be available for free viewing from June 22 through June 29 through digital retailers Amazon, Apple, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Dish, DirecTV, FandangoNow, Google, Microsoft, Redbox, Sony, Verizon and Vudu.

Lee will join the AFI Movie Club for a live conversation June 25 beginning at 5 p.m. PT on the AFI YouTube channel.

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“AFI Movie Club’s global reach has inspired the need for more thoughtful discussions about films that have shaped our culture,” said Bob Gazzale, president and CEO. “Do the Right Thing is a timeless and timely classic, and Spike Lee has forever proven himself the voice for change that we need now more than ever. We would like to thank our partners at Universal for their essential support in educating and inspiring audiences around the world.”

Do the Right Thing was nominated for two Academy Awards, including a Best Original Screenplay nod for Lee and a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Danny Aiello. The film also received four Golden Globe nominations and a Palme d’Or nomination. AFI ranked it as one of the 100 Greatest Films of All Time.

Launched on March 31, AFI Movie Club’s first selection was The Wizard of Oz. Subsequent selections have included Ali, Black Panther, Casablanca, Erin Brockovich, Gilda, Jurassic Park, Just Mercy, Lost in Translation, Milk, Nine to Five, North by Northwest, The Sound of Music, Straight Outta ComptonWhen Harry Met Sally and Wonder Woman.