Kong, Galactica Honored by AFI

Peter Jackson’s remake of King Kong has been named one of the movies of the year by the American Film Institute (AFI). On Friday, the organization also gave props to the vfx-laden SCI-FI channel series, Battlestar Galactica, naming it one of ten programs of the year.

As its worldwide gross crossed the $500 million mark, Universal’s King Kong became the only effects-driven film to make this year’s Movie of the Year list. The other honorees are Focus Features’ Brokeback Mountain, Sony Pictures Classics’ Capote, Lions Gate Films’ Crash, Universal’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Warner Independent Pictures’ Good Night, and Good Luck, New Line Cinema’s A History of Violence, Universal’s Munich, Samuel Goldwyn Films’ The Squid and the Whale and Warner Bros.’ Syriana.

On the TV side, SCI FI’s redo of Battlestar Galactica carries the vfx torch. Also honored in the category this year are FOX’s 24, HBO’s Deadwood, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, FOX’s House, ABC’s Lost, FX’s Rescue Me, Showtime’s Sleeper Cell, HBO Films’ Sometimes In April and UPN’s Veronica Mars.

The honorees were toasted by special guest Steven Spielberg during a luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles. The event also reflected on the six AFI Moments of Significance’issues that most affected the art of film and television during 2005. These included the continuing consolidation in the film community marked this year by the acquisitions of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and DreamWorks; post 9/11 movies and television productions with themes of terrorism, heroism and the struggle to find common ground; the theatrical experience in crisis; television breaking out of the box to migrate to new platforms such as the iPod and mobile phones; the role of television in the news coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Internet as an important broadcast tool demonstrated through AOL’s on-line coverage of the Live 8 concert. More information about the American Film institute can be found at www.AFI.com.