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Last Updated: Monday, 15 December, 2003, 08:41 GMT
Rings lauded on top 10 movie list
The Lord of the Rings
The Return of the King is released this week worldwide
The final instalment in The Lord of the Rings trilogy has made the American Film Institute's (AFI) best films of the year list even before its release.

As well as The Return of the King, the AFI also chose Finding Nemo, In America and The Last Samurai as picks of 2003.

The AFI annually publishes a list of its favourite films, although it does not rank them in any order.

Its 10 best TV shows included Alias, Everybody Loves Raymond, Joan of Arcadia and Nip/Tuck.

The winners were chosen by a 13-person jury which included critics, film-makers and scholars.

AFI's top 10 films
American Splendor
Finding Nemo
The Human Stain
In America
The Last Samurai
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Lost in Translation
Master and Commander: Far Side of the World
Mystic River

"I think what AFI is trying to create is an almanac for the 21st century so we can look back and see what we consider excellence in narrative storytelling in 2003," said Jean Picker Firstenberg, AFI director and chief executive officer.

Other films that made it on to the movie top 10 list included Sir Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman's The Human Stain, Russell Crowe's seafaring adventure Master and Commander and Mystic River, directed by Clint Eastwood.

Many of those selected have already been tipped for Oscar success by experts.

"We don't rank them because what we want to celebrate is the creative collaboration in front and behind the camera that made these stories possible," said Ms Firstenberg.

Its list for 2002 included a number of movies that went on to be Oscar successes, including Chicago, Gangs of New York and The Hours.

The AFI will hold a special lunch in Los Angeles on 22 January to honour the creative teams behind the top 10 films.

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