At the same time it unveiled its list of nominees, AFI revealed the names of the voters who came up with the noms.
Nomination choices were made via two 13-member committees, one representing film, the other TV. Both convened over the past two weekends in Los Angeles.
The film committee included four AFI trustees: Marsha Mason, Michael Nesmith, Tom Pollock and UCLA School of Theater, Film & TV’s Vivian Sobchack.
Also included on that panel were director Mimi Leder and writer-helmer Steven Zaillian; critics Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times and Molly Haskell and Andrew Sarris, both of the N.Y. Observer; Jeanine Basinger of Wesleyan U.; Todd Boyd, USC School of Cinema-Television; and UC Santa Barbara’s Edward Branigan.
Committee chairman was Time magazine’s Richard Schickel.
On the TV panel were producer-helmer Thomas Carter; producer-writer Diane English; producers Marian Rees and Frank Spotnitz; two AFI trustees, producer Suzanne de Passe and director Daniel Petrie Sr.; David Bianculli of the New York Daily News; TV Guide’s Matt Roush; Newsday’s Diane Werts; Angela M.S. Nelson, Bowling Green State U.; Horace Newcomb, U. of Georgia; and Lynn Spigel, USC School of Cinema-Television.
The TV panel was chaired by Disney TV vet Richard Frank, also an AFI trustee.
Who will pick the winners
A 100-person AFI jury representing showbiz experts will select the awards through ballots mailed today by AFI. Members of the jury will be announced by AFI two days prior to the telecast.
The jury will consist of representatives from all of the groups in the nominating panels plus all the disciplines being honored. “We have a wealth of diversity, from a broad spectrum of people who’ve devoted their lives to these mediums,” said AFI topper Jean Picker Firstenberg.
Picker Firstenberg enthused to Daily Variety that “it was an honor” to sit with the committees as they deliberated. “These are people who were smart and don’t have the opportunity to sit with each other and talk about what they care about. They had to come to the table prepared. They shared their point of view (and) listened to other people. A lot of minds were opened. And they came to consensus after considerable consideration.”