Johnston to lead N.Y. pic crix

Gothm org serves as alternative to Oscars

Radar magazine reviewer Andrew Johnston has been named chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle, which will announce its 69th annual film awards Dec. 15.

Johnston takes the post from Journal News/Gannett News critic Marshall Fine, who presided over the 2002 awards, when Todd Haynes’ “Far From Heaven” won the top honor.

This year “has already proven to be a great year for films of all kinds, and we’re only at the halfway point,” Johnston said. “We’ll certainly have no shortage of deserving films and performances to choose from when the time comes to vote on our awards.”

Since 1935, the NYFCC kudos have served as a precursor and alternative to the Oscars, honoring such films as “Citizen Kane,” “A Clockwork Orange” and “Mulholland Drive.”

Org has 32 members.

The 2003 awards will be presented Jan. 4 at Manhattan restaurant Noche. The group honors the year’s best in feature, docu and foreign-language films.

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