AFI picks 'Moments of Significance'

'Slumdog Millionaire,' Tina Fey make 2008 list

Adding its voice to the year-end summing-up, the American Film Institute on Sunday declared eight "Moments of Significance" that had an impact on the moving image in 2008.

They ranged from "Slumdog Millionaire," cited as an example of global filmaking," to TV and the web's coverage of the presidential election to the broadcast of the summer Olympics to Tina Fey, dubbed "America's First Lady of Laughs."

"Slumdog" was cited as "a momument to the possiblities of cross-cultural storytelling," along with such other films as "Gran Torino," "The Visitor," "Australia" and TV's "Heroes."

Pointing the presidential race, the AFI said, "television and web coverage played to each other's strengths, as every nuance of the long, arduous campaigns was accessible for public celebration and scrutiny."

Of NBC's coverage of the Olympics, the AFI said, "The opening ceremony, directed and staged by acclaimed Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou, marked the most significant live event of the year--one staged with breathtaking pageantry and poetry."

Praising Fey for her work on "30 Rock," the AFI called her Sarah Palin impersonation "a lightning rod for laughs ... (that) captivated the country with the wink of an eye."

The other moments deemed signficant by the AFI were:

-- "Age of Anxiety" as business models for the arts evolve, explaining "the one certainty in these uncertain times is that the film and television communities continue to redefine their business models for the digital age."

-- Independent film artists face distribution crisis.

-- Film critics lose voice.

-- Joss Whedon's "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," which represented "another moment in the evolution of established artists presenting short films online."