2020 AFI Awards

The American Film Institute has announced its 2020 AFI Awards honorees, and it’s a pretty solid line-up all around (with a few exceptions). The list of films includes Da 5 Bloods, Judas and the Black Messiah, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Mank, Minari, and more. On the TV side of things, AFI is honoring Better Call Saul, Bridgerton, The Crown, The Good Lord Bird, and others. On top of all that, AFI is also giving a special award to Hamilton.

Established in 1967, the American Film Institute is “the nation’s non-profit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring artists and audiences through initiatives that champion the past, present, and future of the moving image.” Today, AFI announced their 2020 AFI Awards honorees, and it’s a list of titles that we’re bound to keep hearing about throughout awards season. Per AFI, their selections “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 a historical context, these stories provide a complex and rich visual record of our modern world.”

Here’s what we’re looking at on the film side of things:

AFI MOVIES OF THE YEAR

DA 5 BLOODS 

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH 

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM 

MANK 

MINARI 

NOMADLAND 

ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI… 

SOUL 

SOUND OF METAL 

THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 

This is a good line-up overall, although I would probably lose The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, personally. To be clear: I don’t think those movies are bad, I just found them somewhat underwhelming (even though both feature a collection of great performances).

In addition to movies, AFI is also honoring the following TV shows:

AFI TELEVISION PROGRAMS OF THE YEAR

BETTER CALL SAUL 

BRIDGERTON 

THE CROWN 

THE GOOD LORD BIRD 

LOVECRAFT COUNTRY 

THE MANDALORIAN 

MRS. AMERICA 

THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT 

TED LASSO 

UNORTHODOX

Again: solid list. As long as we’re all on the same page about Better Call Saul being one of the best shows on TV, I can’t complain. On top of all of this, AFI is also giving a special award to the Disney+ version of Hamilton, which makes sense – it was a big deal.

“For 20 years, AFI Awards has been a moment to gather artists in one room with a singular goal – to create community over competition,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President & CEO. “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 on YouTube.com/AFI and AFI.com on February 26.

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