West Side Story, Nightmare Alley, WandaVision and Reservation Dogs are Disney titles selected to be honored by the American Film Institute by being recognized among the top ten film and television productions of 2021. 

What’s Happening:

  • The American Film Institute (AFI) announced Yesterday (December 8, 2021) the recipients of AFI AWARDS 2021.The honorees will be celebrated on January 7, 2022, at a private reception, and beginning on January 8, AFI Movie Club will showcase the new content hosted exclusively on AFI.com.
  • Celebrating film and television arts’ collaborative nature, AFI AWARDS is the only national program that honors creative teams as a whole, recognizing those in front of and behind the camera. AFI AWARDS honorees include 10 outstanding films and 10 outstanding television programs deemed culturally and artistically representative of this year’s most significant achievements in the art of the moving image.
  • Multiple disney titles are being honored this year, including:
    • For film, 20th Century Studios', West Side Story, is an adaptation of the 1957 musical. West Side Story explores forbidden love and the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.
    • Also for film, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Nightmare Alley. Directed by Guillermo Del Toro, the film follows an ambitious carny with a talent for manipulating people. He soon hatches a scheme to con a dangerous tycoon with help from a mysterious psychiatrist who might be his most formidable opponent yet.
    • In television, the Disney+ original, WandaVision, received rave reviews from Marvel fans everywhere. The show created by Jac Schaeffer blends the style of classic sitcoms with the MCU. Wanda Maximoff and Vision, two super-powered beings living their ideal suburban lives, begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems.
    • Also in television, FX’s, Reservation Dogs, a comedy created by Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi. The show follows four Indigenous teenagers in rural Oklahoma as they steal, rob, and save in order to get to the exotic, mysterious, and faraway land of California.
  • 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.
  • A full list of the 10 films being recognized by AFI include:
    • Coda
    • Don’t Look Up
    • Dune
    • King Richard
    • Licorice Pizza
    • Nightmare Alley
    • The Power Of The Dog
    • tick, tick… BOOM!
    • The Tragedy Of Macbeth
    • West Side Story
  • All 10 television shows receiving recognition by AFI are:
    • Hacks
    • Maid
    • Mare Of Easttown
    • Reservation Dogs
    • Schmigadoon!
    • Succession
    • Ted Lasso
    • The Underground Railroad
    • WandaVision
    • The White Lotus
  • “Special Awards,” designated for works of excellence that fall outside of the Institute’s criteria of American film and television are recognized as well. Special Award recipients include:
    • Belfast
    • Squid Game
    • Summer of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
  • This year’s jury featured acclaimed artists including Lee Isaac Chung, Liz Hannah, Anjelica Huston and Ed Zwick; renowned film historians Annette Insdorf, L.S. Kim, Akira Mizuta Lippit, Leonard Maltin, Ellen Seiter and Robert Thompson; the AFI Board of Trustees; film critics Shawn Edwards from the African American Film Critics Association and Claudia Puig from Los Angeles Film Critics Association; and film and television critics from outlets such as the Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, Rolling Stone, TV Guide and The Washington Post. The jury was chaired by AFI Board of Trustees member Jeanine Basinger (Chair Emerita and Founder of the Film Studies Department, Wesleyan University) and AFI Board of Trustees Vice Chair Richard Frank (former Chairman of Walt Disney Television, President of Walt Disney Studios, President of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences).