AFI Awards: Top 10 Films and TV of 2019, Plus Special Awards for ‘Parasite’ and ‘Fleabag’

This year's juries went diverse with their picks from some of the industry's most singular creators.

The American Film Institute’s annual lists highlighting the top 10 movies and TV shows of the year include multiple awards frontrunners. The two juries — which are a mix of critics, academics, and film professionals — always celebrate the best of American cinema and television. Given their international provenance, Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” and Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s “Fleabag” landed Special Awards from the American Film Institute film juries, as “Roma” did last year.

This year’s crop is diverse, with films from lauded veterans Clint Eastwood, Sam Mendes, Martin Scorsese, Noah Baumbach, and Quentin Tarantino alongside relative newcomers to the awards conversation like Todd Phillips, Taika Waititi, and Rian Johnson.

Eight of the ten films were directed by men, with two women, Greta Gerwig (“Little Women”) and Lulu Wang (“The Farewell”), also on deck for the honor. On the TV side, newcomers “Watchmen,” “Fosse/Verdon,” and “Chernobyl” joined returning shows like “The Crown,” while “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” was omitted this time around.

Among the Oscar hopefuls that were left out of the Film Top 10 are “Bombshell,” “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” “Dark Waters,” “Dolemite Is My Name,” “Ford v Ferrari,” “Harriet,” “A Hidden Life,” “Honey Boy,” “The Lighthouse,” “The Peanut Butter Falcon,” “The Report,” “Rocketman,” “The Two Popes,” and “Waves.”

Check out the full list of honorees for both film and television below.

AFI Motion Pictures of the Year


“The Farewell”

“The Irishman”

“Jojo Rabbit”


“Knives Out”

“Little Women”

“Marriage Story”

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

“Richard Jewell”

Special Award: “Parasite”

AFI Television Programs of the Year


“The Crown”


“Game of Thrones”






“When They See Us”

Special Award: “Fleabag”

As usual, this year’s juries — one for film and one for television — were chaired by AFI Board of Trustees Vice Chairs Tom Pollock (former Vice Chairman of MCA, Chairman of Universal Pictures) for film and Richard Frank (former Chairman of Walt Disney Television, President of Walt Disney Studios, President of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) for television. The juries included actors John Amos and Delroy Lindo, directors Betty Thomas and Lesli Linka Glatter, and writer Callie Khouri, alongside film scribes, academics, and film historian Leonard Maltin, as well as the AFI Board of Trustees, among others.

The annual AFI Awards luncheon (January 3) is a lovely untelevised gathering that brings the film and television industries together to celebrate the best of the year.

Daily Headlines
Daily Headlines covering Film, TV and more.

By subscribing, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

PMC Logo
IndieWire is a part of Penske Media Corporation. © 2023 IndieWire Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.