Jon Avnet, Kathryn Bigelow & Anne V. Coates To Receive Honorary Degrees From The American Film Institute
2013 COMMENCEMENT TO BE HELD ON JUNE 12, 2013 AT 10:00 A.M.
AT THE HISTORIC EL CAPITAN THEATRE
LOS ANGELES, CA, TUESDAY MAY 14, 2013 – The American Film Institute (AFI) announced it will confer a Doctorate of Communication Arts degree honoris causa upon director/producer/writer Jon Avnet, and a Doctorate of Fine Arts degree honoris causa upon Academy Award®-winning director Kathryn Bigelow and Academy Award®-winning editor Anne V. Coates. Avnet will be recognized for his contributions to the Institute, and Bigelow and Coates for their contributions of distinction to the art of the moving image. The honors will be given during AFI Conservatory’s commencement ceremony on June 12, 2013 at the historic El Capitan Theatre.
Avnet, Bigelow and Coates join an esteemed group of filmmakers who are previous recipients of an AFI Honorary Degree: Robert Altman, Maya Angelou, Mel Brooks, Clint Eastwood, Roger Ebert, James Earl Jones, Nora Ephron, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Kathleen Kennedy, John Lasseter, Spike Lee, David Lynch, Helen Mirren, Haskell Wexler and John Williams.
Jon Avnet has been a guiding force of AFI for 25 years. He is an AFI Conservatory alumnus and currently serves as Vice Chair of the AFI Board of Trustees. As a Fellow in AFI Conservatory’s Directing program, Avnet’s thesis film CONFUSION’S CORNER featured then unknown Richard Gere. Since then Avnet has directed, written and produced nearly 60 motion pictures, television movies and Broadway plays over the last 30 years. Among them are BLACK SWAN, THE BURNING BED, FRIED GREEN TOMATOES, “The History Boys”, RISKY BUSINESS, “Spamalot” and UPRISING. His work has won or been nominated for multiple Oscars®, Emmys®, Golden Globes®, Directors Guild of America Awards, as well as Writers Guild of America Awards, the Peabody and the Tonys® (35 nominations and 12 wins). â€¨In 1995, Avnet was awarded AFI’s Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal, which celebrates extraordinary creative talents and artistic achievements.
Kathryn Bigelow made film history with THE HURT LOCKER as the first woman to win the Academy Award® for Best Director, the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing, the BAFTA Award for Best Direction and the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Director. In April 2010, Bigelow was named on the Time 100 list of the most influential people of the year. Her films include K-19: THE WIDOWMAKER, NEAR DARK, POINT BREAK, STRANGE DAYS and ZERO DARK THIRTY. Bigelow won AFI Awards for both THE HURT LOCKER and ZERO DARK THIRTY.
Anne V. Coates’ career spans over 40 years. She is best known as the editor of David Lean’s epic film, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA in 1962, for which she won the Oscar® for Best Film Editing and ranks #7 on AFI’s list of the top 100 movies. Coates has been nominated another four times for the Academy Award® for Film Editing for BECKET, THE ELEPHANT MAN, IN THE LINE OF FIRE and OUT OF SIGHT. Among her films are CHAPLIN; CONGO; ERIN BROCKOVICH; GREYSTOKE: THE LEGEND OF TARZAN, LORD OF THE APES; THE GOLDEN COMPASS; OUT TO SEA; STRIPTEASE; WHAT ABOUT BOB? and UNFAITHFUL. In February 2007, she was awarded BAFTA’s highest honor, The Academy Fellowship.
Full bios of Avnet, Bigelow and Coates are available here.
AFI Conservatory, named one of the top film schools in the world, 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. Sony is a proud supporter of the AFI Conservatory.