Award to be Presented at the AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute to Nicole Kidman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Los Angeles, CA, January 9, 2024 – The American Film Institute (AFI) is pleased to announce that two-time Academy Award® nominee Matthew Libatique, ASC (AFI Class of 1992) will receive the Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal, which will be presented at the upcoming AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute to Nicole Kidman on April 27, 2024, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

The air dates for THE 49TH AFI LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: A TRIBUTE TO NICOLE KIDMAN special on TNT and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will be announced at a later date. This marks the ninth year the Emmy®-winning AFI Life Achievement Award special will air on TNT.

The Schaffner Alumni Medal recognizes the extraordinary creative talents of AFI Conservatory Alumni who embody the qualities of filmmaker Franklin J. Schaffner: talent, taste, dedication and commitment to quality storytelling in film and television. Past recipients include Darren Aronofsky, Lesli Linka Glatter, Siân Heder, Patty Jenkins, Janusz Kamiński, Mimi Leder, David Lynch, Terrence Malick, Melina Matsoukas and Rachel Morrison.

“Matthew Libatique is one of our generation’s defining voices in the art of visual storytelling,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO. “Now, AFI is honored to shine the light upon on him – celebrating his impact on the art form and the pride he brings us as a graduate of the AFI Conservatory.”

Matthew Libatique’s latest work can be seen in the critically acclaimed MAESTRO (2023), directed, produced, co-written by and starring 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.

Aronofsky and Libatique previously collaborated on projects including PI (1998); REQUIEM FOR A DREAM (2000), which earned Libatique a Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography; THE FOUNTAIN (2006); BLACK SWAN (2010), for which he received his first Academy Award® nomination; NOAH (2014); and MOTHER! (2017), starring Jennifer Lawrence.

In 2021, Libatique shot DON’T WORRY DARLING, Olivia Wilde’s story of a 1950s housewife living in a utopian experimental community. This project marked his second time working with Wilde, having lensed the short WAKE UP, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

Previously, Libatique worked with director Ryan Murphy on THE PROM (2020) starring this year’s AFI Life Achievement Award honoree Nicole Kidman along with Jo Ellen Pellman, Meryl Streep, James Corden, Keegan-Michael Key, Andrew Rannells, Ariana DeBose and Kerry Washington.

Libatique received Academy Award® and American Society of Cinematographers nominations for his lensing of Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut A STAR IS BORN (2018), starring Lady Gaga. To add to his impressive list of credits, he has also collaborated with Academy Award® winner Spike Lee on numerous films, including INSIDE MAN (2006), MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA (2008), CHI-RAQ (2015) and SHE HATE ME (2004). He also shot the anti-hero action blockbuster VENOM (2018), the Oscar®-nominated STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON (2015), COWBOYS & ALIENS (2011), EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED (2005) and TIGERLAND (2000), as well as Academy Award®-nominated superhero films IRON MAN (2008) and IRON MAN 2 (2010), kicking off a defining style for the Marvel universe franchise. He is represented by UTA in the United States.

The presentation of the Schaffner Medal will take place at the 49th AFI Life Achievement Award Tribute to Nicole Kidman. Tickets to attend the in-person Gala are available at AFI.com/laa/.

The highest honor given for a career in film, the AFI Board of Trustees established the AFI Life Achievement Award in 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.”

To learn more about AFI and the AFI Life Achievement Award Tribute to Nicole Kidman, please visit AFI.com.

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 AFI.com and follow us on social media at Facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute, YouTube.com/AFI, Twitter.com/AmericanFilm and Instagram.com/AmericanFilmInstitute.

About the Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal

The Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal is awarded annually to an Alumnus of either the AFI Conservatory or the AFI DWW, who best embodies the qualities of the late director: talent, taste, dedication and commitment to quality filmmaking. Over the course of a remarkable 40-year career, Franklin J. Schaffner earned a total of 28 Academy Award® nominations and the Best Director Oscar® for PATTON in 1970. Schaffner’s association with AFI began in 1975, with his election to the AFI Board of Trustees, and lasted until his passing in 1989.

Recipients of the Franklin J. 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), Steven Rosenblum (2011), Wally Pfister (2012), Stuart Cornfeld (2013), Anne Garefino (2014), Caleb Deschanel (2015), Lesli Linka Glatter (2016), Frederick Elmes (2017), Rachel Morrison (2018), Melina Matsoukas (2019) and Siân Heder (2022).

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: www.tntdrama.com

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 7 million downloads to date. TCM hosts a wealth of material online at tcm.com 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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