AFI awards attract talent


With the Golden Globes reduced to a press conference and all its attendant parties canceled, stars and filmmakers such as George Clooney, Paul Thomas Anderson, Javier Bardem and Scott Rudin gravitated to the American Film Institute's annual AFI Awards luncheon, recognizing the top-10 films and top-10 TV programs of the past year.

In his welcoming remarks, Bob Gazalle, AFI's new president and CEO, acknowledged the rapid changes engulfing the entertainment industry and addressed the honorees present by saying, "We turn to you, the storytellers, the constant in a sea of change."

The honorees included the talent associated with the 10 films: "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead," "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," "Into the Wild," "Juno," "Knocked Up," "Michael Clayton," "No Country for Old Men," "Ratatouille," "The Savages" and "There Will Be Blood."

The honored TV programs inducted into the AFI's record book were "Dexter," "Everybody Hates Chris," "Friday Night Lights," "Longford," "Mad Men," "Pushing Daisies," "The Sopranos," "Tell Me You Love Me," "30 Rock" and "Ugly Betty."

Hewlett-Packard sponsored the Friday event and created 20 scholarships at the AFI Conservatory in the name of the honored films and TV shows. As Gazalle joked, "At the American Film Institute, there is (now) a 'Knocked Up' scholarship."