FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TO BE HONORED AS ALUMNUS OF THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE
CINEMATOGRAPHER OF THE DARK NIGHT RISES TO RECEIVE
22ND ANNUAL FRANKLIN J. SCHAFFNER ALUMNI MEDAL
Joins Previous AFI Conservatory Alumni Including
Darren Aronofsky, David Lynch and Terrence Malick
LOS ANGELES, CA, May 31, 2012 – The American Film Institute (AFI) announced that Wally Pfister, recognized as one of the most gifted cinematographers in the world today, will receive the 2012 Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal. Pfister will be presented with the medal as part of the AFI Life Achievement Award honoring Shirley MacLaine, to be held at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City on June 7, 2012, and broadcast on TV Land on June 24 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
The Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal recognizes the extraordinary creative talents of a graduate of the AFI
Conservatory or AFI Directing Workshop for Women who symbolizes the legacy of Franklin Schaffner. The AFI Conservatory – named the #1 film school in the world by The Hollywood Reporter – is renowned for its collaborative approach to hands-on filmmaking and its advanced training of the next generation of storytellers in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting.
A graduate of the AFI Conservatory in 1991, Pfister joins 21 AFI alumni who have been awarded this honor, including Darren Aronofsky (BLACK SWAN, THE WRESTLER), Amy Heckerling (FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH), Janusz Kamiński (SCHINDLER’S LIST, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN), David Lynch (BLUE VELVET), Terrence Malick (TREE OF LIFE, BADLANDS) and Ed Zwick (GLORY).
Pfister is best known for his collaboration with director Christopher Nolan, which spans every motion picture
Nolan has directed since MEMENTO (2000), including INSOMNIA (2002); BATMAN BEGINS (2005); THE PRESTIGE (2006); THE DARK KNIGHT (2008); INCEPTION (2010), for which Pfister received the Oscar; and this summer’s THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (2012). Other recent films include MONEYBALL (2011) and the documentary MARLEY (2012), now playing in theaters. He has been nominated for four Oscars and was twice nominated for the American Society of Cinematographers Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography.
The son of a television news executive, Pfister began working as a news cameraman upon graduation from high school and covered the United States Congress, the White House and breaking news for a Washington news service in the early 1980s. When director Robert Altman needed a real news cameraman to appear in TANNER ’88, he hired Pfister as an actor. The producers saw his footage and brought him on as second unit cameraman, his first exposure to dramatic material.
Pfister pursued his passion for Cinematography at the AFI Conservatory where he collaborated with classmates on SENZENI NA? (1990), a dark look at apartheid nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. Janusz Kamiński (AFI Class of 1987), the 2010 recipient of the Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal, saw the film and recruited Pfister to work with Roger Corman and Phedon Papamichael. His long and productive collaboration with Christopher Nolan followed. Pfister is currently in pre-production on his directorial debut for Alcon Entertainment.
Verizon’s Digital Media Services group is the proud sponsor of the presentation of the Schaffner Alumni Medal to Wally Pfister and additionally honored to support the next generation of filmmakers through scholarships to the AFI Conservatory.
HP is the Presenting Sponsor of the AFI Life Achievement Award tribute honoring Shirley MacLaine. Official Sponsors include Audi of America, Deloitte, Verizon Digital Media Services and American Airlines – the official airline of AFI, with additional support provided by Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills and Stella Artois.
About Franklin J. Schaffner and the Schaffner Alumni Medal
O ver the course of a remarkable 40-year career, Franklin J. Schaffner earned a total of 28 Academy Award nominations and the directing O scar for PATTO N in 1970. Schaffner’s association with AFI began in 1975, with his election to the AFI Board of Trustees, and lasted until his death in 1989.
The Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal recognizes the extraordinary creative talents of a graduate of the AFI Conservatory or of the AFI Directing Workshop for Women who symbolize the legacy of Franklin Schaffner. The distinguished recipients of the Schaffner Alumni Medal are: David Lynch (1991), Edward Zwick (1992), Randa Haines (1993), Martin Brest (1994), Jon Avnet (1995), Carl Franklin (1996), John McTiernan (1997), Amy Heckerling (1998),
Mimi Leder (1999), Terrence Malick (2000), Darren Aronofsky (2001), Todd Field (2002), John Dahl (2003), Patty Jenkins (2004), Paul Schrader (2005), Marshall Herskovitz (2006), Gary Winick (2007), Mark Waters (2008), Steve Golin (2009), Janusz Kamiński (2010) and Steven Rosenblum (2011).
About the American Film Institute
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.
AFI preserves the legacy of America’s film heritage for future generations through the AFI Archive, comprised of rare footage from across the history of the moving image and the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, an authoritative record of American films from 1893 to the present.
AFI honors the artists and their work through a variety of annual programs and special events, including the AFI Life Achievement Award and AFI Awards. Celebrating its 40th year in 2012, the AFI Life Achievement Award has remained the highest honor for a career in film while AFI Awards, the Institute’s almanac for the 21st century, honors the most outstanding motion pictures and television programs of the year. AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movies television events and movie reference lists have introduced and reintroduced classic American movies to millions of film lovers. And as the largest nonprofit exhibitor in the United States, AFI offers film enthusiasts a variety of events throughout the year, including AFI Fest presented by Audi, the Institute’s annual celebration of excellence in global cinema; AFIDiscovery Channel Silverdocs, the largest documentary festival in the U.S., celebrating its 10th edition this year; and year-round programming at the AFI Silver Theatre in the Washington, DC area.
AFI educates the next generation of storytellers at its world-renowned AFI Conservatory, named the #1 film school in the world by The Hollywood Reporter for the quality of its instructors and speakers, and its “glittering parade of alumni.” 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.
For more information about AFI, visit AFI.com or connect with AFI at twitter.com/AmericanFilm, facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute and youtube.com/ AFI.
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