BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) – From Leonardo DiCaprio to Brad Pitt, some of Hollywoodâ€™s brightest stars came together to relax and sip wine in a room where everyone ended up walking away a winner at the American Film Institute Awards on Friday.
The annual AFI invite-only luncheon honored 11 films and 11 television shows with well-spoken words about the celebrated project followed by a brief clip of a scene.
Hugs and laughs were shared before the event between Pitt and DiCaprio, the stars of â€œOnce Upon a Time … in Hollywood.â€ Bradley Cooper had a chat with Pitt too. â€œRichard Jewellâ€ actor Jon Hamm greeted attendees after taking a couple pictures on the red carpet with a â€œHappy New Year,â€ while â€œPoseâ€ star Billy Porter twirled with a smile into the ballroom in Beverly Hills, California.
The event – held on the weekend of the Golden Globes – is all about having fun, creating a laid-back vibe with no pressure.
â€œOur goal for this moment is to free you,â€ AFI President Bob Gazzale said. â€œWe want to provide an oasis to the junkets and the red carpets and all the stress that comes with selling. At the AFI, we do not sell. We celebrate.â€
Films recognized include â€œ1917,â€ â€œThe â€œFarewell,â€ â€œThe Irishman,â€ â€œJojo Rabbit,â€ â€Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,â€ â€œJoker,â€ â€œKnives Out,â€ â€œLittle Women,â€ â€œMarriage Story,â€ â€œRichard Jewellâ€ and â€œParasite.â€ The television shows honored were â€œChernobyl,â€ â€œThe Crown,â€ â€œFosse/Verdon,â€ â€œGame of Thrones,â€ â€œPose,â€ â€œSuccession,â€ â€œUnbelievable,â€ â€œVeep,â€ â€œWatchmen,â€ â€œWhen They See Usâ€ and â€œFleabag.â€
Many in the star-studded room that also included Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro and Clint Eastwood looked on as each project was paid homage.
Mel Brooks shared a story about his late wife Anne Bancroftâ€™s participation in the AFI Directing Workshop for Women. He also joked about Taika Waititi portraying Adolf Hitler in â€œJojo Rabbitâ€ before praising the director-actor for his work.
â€œYou did a great job, and even as actor you were good, which is hard,â€ Brooks, the 43rd AFI achievement award recipient, said as attendees burst into laughter including Waititi, who sat at the same table with co-stars Roman Griffin Davis and Thomasin McKenzie.
Rita Moreno closed the luncheon with a benediction to celebrate the honorees.
â€œI am filled with hope and love and excitement because times are definitely changing,â€ said Moreno, who’s won all the major awards: the Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony. â€œFor what itâ€™s worth, I applaud it and I applaud you.â€