Post(s) tagged with "2012 graduation"

Mel Brooks and David Lynch Receive Honorary Degrees

Today at the 2012 AFI Conservatory commencement, we were proud to confer Doctorate of Fine Arts degrees honoris causa upon American comedy icon Mel Brooks and celebrated surrealist David Lynch for “contribution of distinction to the art of the moving image.” Both artists worked together on the Academy Award winning THE ELEPHANT MAN (1980), with Lynch as director and screenwriter and Brooks as executive producer. Brooks and Lynch join previous AFI Honorary Degree recipients including Robert Altman, Maya Angelou, Clint Eastwood, Roger Ebert, James Earl Jones, Nora Ephron, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Kathleen Kennedy, John Lasseter, Spike Lee, Helen Mirren, Haskell Wexler and John Williams.

For the first time, the AFI Conservatory commencement was held at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, which was declared a cultural landmark in 1968. AFI graduating class representative Vanara Taing spoke about the importance of films, acknowledging the American Film Institute’s tenet that movies matter by saying, “It’s not just a movie – it’s a time to transcend.” In her remarks, Taing referred to AFI as “graduate school on steroids – we make 110 films over two years together.” 122 graduates of the AFI Conservatory received degrees at the ceremony.


AFI is America’s promise to preserve the history of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. AFI provides leadership in film, television and digital media and is dedicated to initiatives that engage the past, the present and the future of the moving image arts.

As a non-profit educational and cultural organization open to the public, AFI relies on the generous financial support from moving arts enthusiasts like you to provide funding for its programs and initiatives. Become a member today and support your American Film Institute!


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