Meryl Streep, Zoe Saldaña, Naomi Watts, David E. Kelley, Morgan Freeman, Keith Urban, Aaron Sorkin, Reese Witherspoon and Lulu Wang Among Guests

Special to Premiere on TNT on June 17 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT

Gala Raises Over $2 Million for AFI’s Non-Profit Education Programs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Los Angeles, CA, April 28, 2024 – The American Film Institute (AFI) presented the 49th AFI Life Achievement Award to Nicole Kidman on Saturday, April 27, at a Gala Tribute in Hollywood. The tribute special, THE 49TH AFI LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: A TRIBUTE TO NICOLE KIDMAN, will premiere on TNT on June 17 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT and on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) on June 27 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. This marks the ninth year the Emmy®-winning AFI Life Achievement Award special will air on TNT.

Lee Daniels, Ava DuVernay, Zac Efron, Cynthia Erivo, Morgan Freeman, Barry Jenkins, David E. Kelley, Joey King, Mimi Leder, Mike Myers, Edward James Olmos, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jane Seymour, Meryl Streep, Brian Tee, Miles Teller, Lulu Wang, Naomi Watts and more filled the Dolby Theatre to celebrate Kidman’s award-winning career and her indelible impact on the moving arts. The event began with welcome remarks from Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO and featured tributes honoring Kidman, including speeches from Zoe Saldaña, Aaron Sorkin, Keith Urban, Reese Witherspoon, among others and taped messages from Hugh Jackman, Jane Campion, Jimmy Fallon, Cate Blanchett, George Miller, Baz Luhrmann and Russell Crowe.

In presenting the award, Meryl Streep, recipient of the 32nd AFI Life Achievement Award, praised Kidman’s formidable talent and stunning range of work.

Kidman accepted the award to a standing ovation. In her acceptance speech, she said, “It is a privilege to make films. And glorious to have made films and television with these storytellers who allowed me to run wild and be free and play all of these unconventional women. Thank you for making me better at my craft and giving me a place, however temporary, in this world. Thank you for inviting me into your movie families. Thank you for my childhood dream that became a reality.”

The event also included the presentation of the 2024 Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal to AFI Alumnus and three-time Academy Award® nominee Matthew Libatique, ASC, LPS (AFI Class of 1992). The Schaffner Alumni Medal recognizes the extraordinary creative talents of AFI Alumni who embody the qualities of filmmaker Franklin J. Schaffner. Libatique’s latest work can be seen in the Academy Award®-nominated MAESTRO (2023), directed by Bradley Cooper, and in A24’s Academy Award®-winning film THE WHALE (2022), where he reteamed with director Darren Aronofsky (AFI Class of 1992), his longtime collaborator who he met on their third day while attending the AFI Conservatory. Libatique said, “Starting in this incubator called AFI, we’ve gone on to have a career-long collaboration that I feel privileged and grateful to be a part of.”

The event concluded with attendees receiving an exclusive commemorative tribute book about Kidman’s career. Guests were also introduced to the new online tribute site chronicling Kidman’s life and career at

The event raised over $2 million, and all proceeds from the AFI Life Achievement Award support the American Film Institute as a nonprofit organization. To donate to AFI, visit

The AFI Life Achievement Award, established by the AFI Board of Trustees in 1973, 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.”

The official dinner sponsor of the 49th AFI Life Achievement Award Gala was Canva, the official water sponsor was FIJI and the official red carpet sponsor was AMC Theatres.








About the American Film Institute (AFI)

The American Film Institute (AFI) is a nonprofit organization with a mandate to champion the moving image as an art form. Established in 1967, AFI launched the first comprehensive history of American film and sparked the movement for film preservation in the United States. In 1969, AFI opened the doors of the AFI Conservatory, a graduate-level program to train narrative filmmakers. The Conservatory, which counts Deniese Davis, Affonso Gonçalves, Susannah Grant, Matthew Libatique, David Lynch, Melina Matsoukas and Rachel Morrison as Alumni, is ranked the #1 film school in America. AFI’s enduring traditions include the AFI Life Achievement Award, which honors the masters for work that has stood the test of time; AFI AWARDS, which celebrates the creative ensembles of the most outstanding screen stories of the year; and scholarly efforts such as the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and the AFI Archive that preserve film history for future generations. AFI exhibition programs include AFI FEST and year-round exhibition at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Maryland. AFI Movie Club is a destination for movie lovers from around the world to celebrate and engage with the art form every day. Other pioneering programs include workshops aimed at increasing diversity in the storytelling community, including AFI DWW+ and the AFI Cinematography Intensive for Women. Read about all of these programs and more at and follow us on social media at,,, and


About TNT

TNT, a Warner Bros. Discovery brand, is watched by more people than any other cable network and known for big, lean-forward television that takes viewers on a thrill ride of electrifying stories, dynamic characters and premium events. TNT is home to some of television’s most popular sports franchises and unscripted and scripted originals including “AEW: Rampage,” “Rich & Shameless,” and “The Lazarus Project”. TNT also presents primetime specials and sports coverage, including the NHL, NBA and NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championships. Website:


About Turner Classic Movies (TCM)

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is a two-time Peabody Award-winning network that presents classic films, uncut and commercial-free, from the largest film libraries in the world highlighting “where then meets now.” TCM features the insights from Primetime host Ben Mankiewicz along with hosts Alicia Malone, Dave Karger, Jacqueline Stewart and Eddie Muller, plus interviews with a wide range of special guests and serves as the ultimate movie lover destination. With more than two decades as a leading authority in classic film, TCM offers annual programming events like 31 Days of Oscar® and Summer Under the Stars. TCM also directly connects with movie fans through popular events such as the annual TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood and the TCM Classic Cruise. In addition, TCM produces the wildly successful podcast “The Plot Thickens,” which has had more than 9 million downloads to date. TCM hosts a wealth of material online at and through the Watch TCM mobile app. Fans can also enjoy a classic movie experience on the TCM hub on Max.


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