AFI Top 10 films of 2016: Oscar frontrunners make the cut with American Film Insitute

The AFI announced its annual list of the Top 10 American-made movies of the year on Thursday and seven of its choices — “Arrival,” “Fences,” “La La Land,” “Manchester by the Sea,” “Moonlight,” “Silence” and “Sully” — number among our 10 frontrunners for Best Picture at the Oscars.

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Two of our Oscar contenders — “Jackie” and “Lion” — were ineligible as the American Film Institute only considers homegrown films. However, “Loving” was made in America and tells the compelling story of a real-life couple jailed for their mixed race marriage. The AFI list is rounded out by “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Hell or High Water” and “Zootopia.”

The AFI has a strong track record at previewing the Best Picture line-up at the Oscars. Since the academy expanded that category in 2009, the AFI has previewed 51 of the 57 nominees that were American-made; that translates into a staggering 90% success rate.

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The AFI missed these six domestic productions that went on to make the cut with the academy:

2009: “Avatar” and “Inglourious Basterds”
2012: “Django Unchained”
2013: “Dallas Buyers Club”
2014: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
2015 : “The Revenant”

The AFI jury is comprised of scholars, film and television artists, critics and AFI Trustees. Members consider the following criteria when determining the honor roll of 10 American films:

Best advance the art of the moving image;
enhance the rich cultural heritage of America’s art form;
inspire audiences and artists alike; and
make a mark on American society.

These films, along with the winners of the TV awards, will be feted during a Jan. 6 luncheon in Los Angeles.

Predict the Oscar nominations now; change them till January 24

Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. How do you think “La La Land” will do with academy voters? Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how this film is faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before nominations are announced on January 24 at 5:00 am PT/8:00 am ET. Be sure to read our contest rules. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.


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