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Black Panther and more genre films deemed culturally and historically important by AFI

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Dec 4, 2018, 4:28 PM EST (Updated)

The American Film Institute (AFI) announced its Top 10 picks for the best films of 2018 today. Among them, three are high-profile genre projects: Black Panther, A Quiet Place, and Mary Poppins Returns

All three movies were chosen as the AFI decided that they were "culturally and artistically significant." When you think about it, they do represent certain milestones in cinema and general culture: Black Panther was the first black superhero to get their own movie in the MCU; A Quiet Place used sound in a way no one had done before; and Mary Poppins Returns is a direct sequel made over 50 years after the original that still uses old school storytelling techniques. 

With awards season about to pick up serious momentum (the Golden Globe nominees are announced this Thursday), the inclusion of these sci-fi and fantasy movies, alongside more serious fodder like Roma and Green Book, is very encouraging indeed.

After Guillermo del Toro proved that sci-fi could win Best Director and Best Picture last winter at the 90th Oscars, nothing will be the same ever again. Black Panther could very well become the first superhero movie in history to take home Best Picture.

Of course, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention that The Silence of the Lambs and Return of the King were the genre trailblazers that took home the top gold statues first, but the floodgates are really open now. This could be a year in which the Oscars, particularly the more prestigious categories, are dominated by genre fare. 

All of the AFI honorees will be officially recognized at the AFI's private luncheon on January 4 in Los Angeles, California. During the ceremony, "AFI will present jury rationales providing artistic and cultural context for the selection of each honoree," reads the website.