Jeffrey Katzenberg, James Newton Howard Present Honorary Degrees to Surprised AFI Conservatory Grads

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

The American Film Institute (AFI) celebrated this year's 122 AFI Conservatory graduates, and the world's newest filmmakers, at Hollywood's historic TCL Chinese Theatre. During commencement ceremonies, Doctorate of Fine Arts degrees honoris causa were conferred upon Angela Lansbury and Lawrence Kasdan.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation and AFI's 2010 Honorary Degree recipient, presented the honor to actress Angela Lansbury, beloved for her film, television and theater roles including Mrs. Potts in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1991) — produced during Katzenberg's tenure as chairman at The Walt Disney Studios. Composer James Newton Howard presented the honor to celebrated writer, director and producer Lawrence Kasdan. Newton scored six of Kasdan's films including GRAND CANYON (1991) and WYATT EARP (1994).

Words of wisdom were shared by presenters and Honorary Degree recipients to the class of 2015. Howard said about his long-time collaborator, Kasdan, "I was a film composer … he turned me into a filmmaker." Kasdan advised the graduates to make thoughtful movies and to stay focused on their art as they work toward commercial success. "It has never been easy to get challenging projects made … Get your movies made any way you can," said Kasdan.

As Katzenberg presented the honor to his friend and Hollywood icon Lansbury, he noted, "The American Film Institute is honoring an American institution." While observing the various mediums filmmakers have available to them today, Lansbury commented that the graduates are "about to set forth into the thrilling world of drama and storytelling. Whether it be way of film, television or the Internet … everything counts!"

Lansbury and Kasdan join an esteemed group of filmmakers who are previous recipients of an AFI Honorary Degree: Robert Altman, Maya Angelou, Kathryn Bigelow, Mel Brooks, Anne V. Coates, Clint Eastwood, Roger Ebert, Nora Ephron, James Earl Jones, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Kathleen Kennedy, John Lasseter, Spike Lee, David Lynch, Helen Mirren, Robert Towne, Cicely Tyson, Haskell Wexler and John Williams.

About the AFI Conservatory

The AFI Conservatory offers a two-year Master of Fine Arts degree in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. Aspiring artists learn from the masters in a collaborative, hands-on production environment with an emphasis on storytelling. Esteemed director, producer and screenwriter James L. Brooks serves as Artistic Director of the AFI Conservatory where he provides creative leadership for the elite film program. Proud supporters of the AFI Conservatory are Sony and American Airlines, the official airline of AFI.

AFI Fellows make four to 10 films during their training. Many of their films earn prestigious recognition: the 2015 Cannes Film Festival's Cinéfondation First Prize and an Emerging Filmmaker Showcase Honorable Mention; five wins at the 36th College Television Awards; two wins at the 2015 DGA Student Film Awards and a bronze medal at the 2014 Student Academy Awards®.

Joining an elite group of just 4,716 alumni, the AFI Class of 2015 will enter the workforce comprised of award-winning artists from the Conservatory who have received a total of 133 Academy Award®nominations and 27 wins. Throughout the 2014-2015 academic year to date, AFI alumni have been nominated for 184 awards by 33 major guilds, academies and other professional associations — with 62 award wins.

About the American Film Institute
AFI is America's promise to preserve the heritage of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers.AFI programs include theAFI Catalog of Feature Films and the AFI Archive, which preserve film heritage for future generations; the AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in film;AFI AWARDS, honoring the most outstanding motion pictures and television programs of the year;AFI's 100 Years…100 Movies television events and movie reference lists, which have introduced and reintroduced classic American movies to millions of film lovers; year-round and special event exhibition through AFI FEST presented by Audi, AFI DOCSand the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center; and educating the next generation of storytellers at the world-renowned AFI Conservatory. For more information about AFI, visit AFI.com or connect with AFI at twitter.com/AmericanFilm,facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute and youtube.com/AFI.

All images owned and under copyright protection and used courtesy of American Film Institute.

Haute Tease

  • World News: Trump Reactivates Sanctions Against Iran

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The unilateral decision of the United States to reactivate the UN gasoline sanctions against Iran is part of the sensationalist and provocative policy of Donald Trump. But does not the coup de brilliance reveal a weakness in the speech of the current president?

     
  • Haute-Lifestyle.com Target of Attempted Circumvent

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Haute-Lifestyle.com, the online boutique luxury lifestyle magazine solely owned by Ms. Janet Walker, was recently targeted by individuals attempting to impersonate ownership of the digital magazine. Behind these attempts are a Manhattan religious organization she once attended.

     
  • The Wrecking Crew Review - A Fun, Captivating, Magical Music Trip

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Wrecking Crew, from Magnolia Pictures and Lunchbox Films, presents a trip back in musical time to the beginning of the California sound, the music which defined a generation and spawned peace, love and groovin’ freedom.

     
  • Disgraced Hollywood Mogul Harvey Weinstein Found Guilty

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood producer who propelled many to Oscar victory winning loyalty and devotion, has been found guilty by a Manhattan jury of sex crimes which could send the disgraced titan to prison for decades.

     
  • Josh Hutcherson, Scarlett Johansson, Zoe Saldana And Octavia Spencer To Present At 87th Oscars®

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Josh Hutcherson, Scarlett Johansson, Zoe Saldana and Octavia Spencer will be presenters at this year's Oscars, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Oscars, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will air on Sunday, February 22, live on ABC.  

  • Miss You Already Review - A Double Pack Tearjerker as Besties Face Life with Flair

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Miss You Already, from Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions, presents a story of friendship, of long-lasting, never-ending, enduring everything bond that survives through the struggles, the loves, hurt, injury and survives even through the nausea of modern life.