By Ray Pride



LOS ANGELES, CA, December 10, 2012– The American Film Institute (AFI) today announced the official selections of AFI AWARDS 2012 – the awards season event favored by artists and entertainment executives for its intimacy and collaborative recognition where everyone is a winner – that documents the year’s most outstanding achievements in film and television.

AFI AWARDS is the only national recognition that honors the community’s creative ensembles as a whole, acknowledging the collaborative nature of the art form. Honorees are selected based on works which best advance the art of the moving image; enhance the rich cultural heritage of America’s art form; inspire audiences and artists alike; and/or make a mark on American society. 


MAD MEN now tops the list as the most recognized AFI AWARDS TV honoree, with 2012 marking its fifth appearance in the AFI almanac, followed closely by BREAKING BAD, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, MODERN FAMILY, THE SOPRANOS and THE WIRE, each with four AFI AWARDS honors since 2001.

“AFI AWARDS celebrates America’s storytellers as collaborators,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO. “We are honored to bring together artists as a community, without competition, to acknowledge the gifts they have given the world in 2012.”

Verizon Digital Media Services returns as the presenting sponsor of the event, underwriting the AFI AWARDS luncheon and creating 20 scholarships in the name of each honoree for the next generation of storytellers at the AFI Conservatory, which is renowned for its advanced training in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. And, AFI Conservatory alumni continue to be represented across the film and television honorees – in 2012, AFI alumni worked on programs ranging from AMERICAN HORROR STORY, BREAKING BAD and HOMELAND to movies including ARGO and LINCOLN, to name a few.

Marking the thirteenth chapter in the American Film Institute’s 21st century almanac, AFI AWARDS 2012 selections are made through AFI’s unique jury process in which scholars, film and television artists, critics and AFI Trustees determine the most outstanding achievements of the year, as well as provide a detailed rationale for each selection. This year’s juries – one for film and one for television – were chaired by producers and AFI Board of Trustees Vice Chairs Tom Pollock (former Vice Chairman of MCA, Chairman of Universal Pictures) for the movies and Rich Frank (former Chairman of Walt Disney Television, President of Walt Disney Studios, President of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) for television, and includes award-winning artists such as Angela Bassett, Brad Bird, Chris Carter, Marta Kauffman and Octavia Spencer; film historian Leonard Maltin; scholars from prestigious universities with recognized motion picture arts programs (Syracuse, UCLA, University of Texas, USC, Wesleyan); AFI Board of Trustees; and critics from leading media outlets such as Entertainment Weekly, The Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Time Magazine, USA Today and more.

AFI will honor the creative ensembles for each of the selections at an invitation-only luncheon on Friday, January 11, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.

In addition to Verizon, Audi of America returns as an official sponsor of the event. Additional sponsors include Stella Artois and American Airlines, the official airline of the American Film Institute, providing travel support throughout the year.

Additional information, including awards criteria, can be found at later today. Press coverage of the AFI AWARDS luncheon is very limited and by invitation only. Photos and video footage will be available through AFI by 5:00 p.m. immediately following the event on January 11, 2013.

About the American Film Institute
AFI is America’s promise to preserve the history of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. AFI provides leadership in film, television and digital media and is dedicated to initiatives that engage the past, the present and the future of the moving image arts.

AFI preserves the legacy of America’s film heritage for future generations through the AFI Archive, comprised of rare footage from across the history of the moving image and the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, an authoritative record of American films from 1893 to the present.

AFI honors the artists and their work through a variety of annual programs and special events, including the AFI Life Achievement Award and AFI Awards. Celebrating its 41st year in 2013, the AFI Life Achievement Award has remained the highest honor for a career in film while AFI Awards, the Institute’s almanac for the 21st century, honors the most outstanding motion pictures and television programs of the year. AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies television events and movie reference lists have introduced and reintroduced classic American movies to millions of film lovers. And as the largest nonprofit exhibitor in the United States, AFI offers film enthusiasts a variety of events throughout the year, including AFI Fest presented by Audi, the Institute’s annual year-end celebration of artistic excellence in cinema; AFI Silverdocs, the largest documentary festival in the U.S.; and year-round programming at the AFI Silver Theatre in the Washington, DC, area.

AFI educates the next generation of storytellers at its AFI Conservatory, which has been consistently recognized as one of the world’s top film schools, boasting alumni including Darren Aronofsky, Patty Jenkins, Janusz Kamiński, Heidi Levitt, Matthew Libatique, David Lynch, Terrence Malick, Wally Pfister, Robert Richardson, Ed Zwick and so many more. AFI Conservatory offers a two-year Master of Fine Arts degree in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. Aspiring artists learn from the masters in a collaborative, hands-on production environment with an emphasis on storytelling.

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