44TH AFI Life Achievement Award Tribute Gathers American Film's Finest To Celebrate John Williams'

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Composer John Williams was honored with the American Film Institute's (AFI) 44th Life Achievement Award on Thursday, June 9, in an evening filled with music and memories from his treasured collaborators, including J.J. Abrams, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.

This marked the first time in history that America's highest honor for a career in film was bestowed upon a composer. The televised special, AFI LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: A TRIBUTE TO JOHN WILLIAMS, will air on TNT June 15 at 10:00 p.m.(ET/PT), followed by an encore presentation on sister network Turner Classic Movies (TCM) on September 12 during a night of programming dedicated to Williams.

Paying tribute to Williams were presenters, performers and guests including J.J. Abrams, Harrison Ford, Tom Hanks, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Drew Barrymore, Kobe Bryant, Chris Columbus, Gustavo Dudamel, Will Ferrell, Harrison Ford, Morgan Freeman, Mark Hamill, Tom Hanks, Bryce Dallas Howard, Cloris Leachman, Seth MacFarlane, Steve Martin, Idina Menzel, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Itzhak Perlman and Daisy Ridley.

Welcome remarks were made by Sir Howard Stringer, Chair of the AFI Board of Trustees, and Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO. Acclaimed director/producer and AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women alumna Lesli Linka Glatter (HOMELAND, MAD MEN, TWIN PEAKS) was awarded the 2016 Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medalfor her commitment to excellence in film and television.

The Tribute launched without words as Will Ferrell conducted the ballroom in singing Williams' famous five-note motif from CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977). The evening's highlights included clips spanning Williams' career; touching remarks and anecdotes from guests and presenters; and a moving performance of the SCHINDLER'S LIST (1993) theme, with Los Angeles Philharmonic Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel conducting an 11-piece ensemble comprised of violin soloist Simone Porter and musicians from the American Youth Symphony.

The evening concluded with Spielberg's presentation of the AFI Life Achievement Award to the Oscar®-winning composer. "John, you breathe belief into every film we have made," Spielberg said. "You take our movies, many of them about our most impossible dreams, and through your musical genius you make them real and everlasting for billions and billions of years."

Accepting the prestigious honor, Williams said, "Tomorrow morning, when I'm back at work, I will try to deserve all of this."

Proceeds from the Gala event support the Institute's national education programs and the preservation of American film heritage. Sponsors of the 44th AFI Life Achievement Award Tribute include American Airlines, the official airline of AFI; Audi of America; Deloitte; and VIZIO, the official home theater sponsor of AFI.

About John Williams 
John Williams' storied career as the composer behind many of the greatest American films and television series of all time boasts more than 150 credits across seven decades. Whether epic in scale, jazz-infused, or intimate and personal, his music has helped define over half a century of the motion picture medium.

Three of Williams' scores landed on AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores — a list of the 25 greatest American film scores of all time — including the unforgettable score to STAR WARS: EPISODE IV – A NEW HOPE (1977), which ranks at number one. With five Academy Award® wins and 50 nominations in total, Williams holds the record for the most Oscar® nominations of any living person.

About the AFI Life Achievement Award
The highest honor given for a career in film, the AFI Life Achievement Award was established by the AFI Board of Trustees on February 26, 1973. It is presented to a single honoree each year based on the following criteria as mandated through a resolution passed by the AFI Board of Trustees:

“The recipient should be one whose talent has in a fundamental way advanced the film art; whose accomplishment has been acknowledged by scholars, critics, professional peers and the general public; and whose work has stood the test of time.”

About TNT and Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
TNT, a division of Turner, is one of cable's top-rated networks. Seen across multiple platforms in 94 million households, TNT is home to such original drama series as Animal KingdomThe Last ShipThe LibrariansMajor CrimesMurder in the FirstRizzoli & Isles and the upcoming Good Behavior, Foreign Bodies and The Alienist, along with a new horror block featuring Tales from the Crypt. TNT is also the cable home to popular dramas like CastleBonesSupernatural and Grimm; primetime specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards®, the Live Nation Music Awards and the iHeartRadio Music Awards; and championship sports coverage, including the NBA and the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship.

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is a two-time Peabody Award-winning network that presents great films, uncut and commercial-free, from the largest film libraries in the world highlighting the entire spectrum of film history. TCM, which is available in more than 85 million homes, features the insights of hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz, plus interviews with a wide range of special guests and serves as the ultimate movie lover destination. Currently in its 22nd year as a leading authority in classic film, TCM offers critically acclaimed series like The Essentials, hosted by Robert Osborne and Sally Field, along with annual programming events like 31 Days of Oscar® in February and Summer Under the Stars in August. TCM also directly connects with movie fans through events as the annual TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood and the TCM Classic Cruise, as well as through the TCM Classic Film Tour in New York City and Los Angeles. In addition, TCM produces a wide range of media about classic film, including books and DVDs, and hosts a wealth of material online at tcm.com and through the Watch TCM mobile app.

Turner, a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, sports, animation and young adult multi-platform content for consumers around the world. Turner brands and businesses include CNN/U.S., HLN, CNN International and CNN.com, TBS, TNT, TCM, truTV, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Adult Swim, Turner Sports, Bleacher Report, iStreamPlanet and ELEAGUE.

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 the AFI 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 movies and TV series 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 DOCS and 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/AmericanFilmInstituteinstagram.com/AmericanFilmInstitute and youtube.com/AFI.

 

All pictures provided by AFI and used with permission.

Haute Tease

  • Gallery 16 Celebrates 25th Anniversary Announces 2018 Programming and New Documentary

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Since its founding by Griff Williams in 1993, Gallery 16 has remained dedicated to the belief that the brick and mortar gallery is vital to the advocacy and nurturing of working artists, the local community and its creative culture.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama Challenged on Recess Appointments; January Job Numbers; Kerry Sworn In; White Nominated

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama received a stunning upset recently when the federal appeals court ruled that National Labor Relations Board appointments he made over a year ago during the recess were deemed unconstitutional.

     
  • Armand de Brignac Champagne Review - Bubbling Over with Delight

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Celebrating the joys of a life well-lived and success well-deserved always calls for a toast of champagne.  As an aspiring connoisseur, I'm indelibly on the hunt for champagnes that offer a multi-sensory delight even beyond the palate.  In this quest I have uncovered Armand de Brignac - a treasure, quite literally.

     
  • Maryland High School Football Gang Rape Shocks Prosecutors

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Four Junior Varsity football players were arraigned as adults and charged with multiple counts of sexual battery, rape and violence following what prosecutors are calling an "astonishingly cruel" locker room gang rape at Damascus High School.

     
  • Hostile Border Review - Sharp, Edgy, Courageous

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Hostile Border, from Samuel Goldwyn, brings to the screen a sharp, edgy drama of contemporary life for a Mexican rancher and his Pocha daughter after her criminal life in the U.S. is busted and she is deported.

     
  • Stuber Review – A Wild, Bad-Ass, Cat and Mouse Dramady

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Stuber, from 20th Century Fox Entertainment, presents a comedic drama that pairs the unlikeliest of heroes, an Uber driver and a blind LA detective, in the effort to bring to justice the drug kingpin responsible for his partner’s death.

     
  • Renowned Plein Air Artists Featured At Catalina Island Conservancy Artist Salon

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Catalina Island Conservancy will be hosting an Artist Salon on Sunday, May 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the Castillo del Mar in Avalon. This event is a precursor to the Conservancy's Catalina: The Wild Side Art Show and Sale, which will be held in October.

     
  • FAQ’s Answered on FDA Approved Non-Surgical Balloon Weight Loss Method

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Americans spend almost 60 billion dollars annually in pursuit of weight loss with gastric bypass surgery the most common; an option that isn’t for everyone. Like any major procedure, gastric bypass has significant health risks and side effects.

     
  • The Sound Games Are Made Of: Sennheiser Launches New Gaming Headsets

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Las Vegas, January 7, 2014 – Sennheiser unveils two new high-end PC gaming headsets – G4ME™ ZERO and G4ME™ ONE and announces a unique alliance with one of the world’s leading game developers – Io-Interactive.

     
  • Beltway Insider: World Unites Against ISIS/ISIL; United Nations Host World Leaders; Holder Resigns

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama presented his message of peace in the midst of ever growing global violence as he addressed the United Nations General Assembly calling on an end to extremism, the destruction ISIS/ISIL, and the choice of hope.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama Addresses ACA Launch Failure; Mass Shooting at LAX; SNAP Benefits Slashed; Snowden Seeks Assistance

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama continued his campaign to win back the confidence of the people as his favorability rating dropped to record lows while the Health and Human Services Secretary explained to Congress the failures with the ObamaCare rollout.

     
  • Alive and Kicking Review - A Mind Blowing Rush

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Alive and Kicking, from Magnolia Pictures, presents a definitive documentary on Swing Dancing, a lost art that is experiencing revival, with men and women in every corner of the world suddenly dancing to music long forgotten.

     
  • Top Retailers Join No Kid Hungry Campaign With Gift For Gift Donations

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    As friends and families gather to celebrate the holiday season, Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry® campaign invites holiday shoppers to remember the one in six children suffering from hunger by purchasing gifts that support the effort to end childhood hunger in America.

     
  • Suspect Arrested in 1973 Murder of Newport Beach Child

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A Colorado Springs, Colorado, man has been arrested in the 46 year-old cold case murder of Linda Ann O'Keefe, 11, who was last seen July 6, 1973 walking home from summer school in Newport Beach, California.

     
  • Hackett Mill presents: Jess: A Family Collection

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Hackett Mill is pleased to present a special solo exhibition of the seminal Bay Area artist, Jess. The paintings, drawings, collages, and assemblages featured will highlight the range of this avant-garde artist as seen through the lens of a single patron.