Award To Be Presented At The AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute to Julie Andrews

 Special to Premiere on TNT Thursday, June 16 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Los Angeles, CA, May 11, 2022 – The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today that Academy Award® winner Siân Heder (AFI DWW Class of 2005), writer and director of CODA, this year’s Best Picture Oscar® winner, will receive the 2022 Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal, which will be presented at the upcoming AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute to Julie Andrews. 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, Patty Jenkins, Janusz Kamiński, Mimi Leder, David Lynch, Terrence Malick, Melina Matsoukas and Rachel Morrison.

The AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute to Julie Andrews special will on air Thursday, June 16 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on TNT.

“Siân Heder is a voice the world needs now more than ever,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO. “We are proud to honor her as an Alumna of the AFI Directing Workshop for Women – and, more importantly, as a storyteller who drives culture forward with an inspiring alchemy of intellect and heart.”

Heder is an Academy Award®- and BAFTA-winning writer and director and a graduate of the AFI Directing Workshop for Women, where she made her first short film, MOTHER, which was awarded the Cinéfondation Jury Award at the Cannes Film Festival. Her debut feature film, TALLULAH, a feature adaptation of MOTHER, starred Elliot Page and Alison Janney. The film premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and was released as a Netflix original.

Heder wrote and produced for three seasons of the Netflix series ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, receiving multiple WGA nominations for her work. Her other television writing credits include MEN OF A CERTAIN AGE, which earned her a Peabody Award. She has directed episodes of Netflix’s GLOW, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, Hulu’s THE PATH, and Apple TV+’s LITTLE AMERICA, which she also executive produces and showruns.

CODA, Heder’s second feature, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2021, where it was the first film in the festival’s history to win all four major awards: the Grand Jury Prize, the Audience Award, Best Director and an Ensemble Acting Award. The film sold to Apple for a record-breaking $25 million and garnered critical praise upon its release. CODA went on to win the Academy Award® for Best Picture as well as Best Adapted Screenplay for Heder and Best Supporting Actor for Troy Kotsur. In 2021, Heder announced her multi-year overall deal with Apple. Future projects include directing, writing and producing BEING HEUMANN, based on the memoir by disability rights activist Judith Heumann, and writing and directing a feature adaptation of Sarah Lotz’s novel “Impossible.”

The presentation of the Schaffner Medal will take place at the AFI Life Achievement Award Tribute to Julie Andrews on June 9, 2022. Tickets to attend the in-person Gala are available at AFI.com/laa/.

The AFI Life Achievement Award Tribute special will air on TNT on Thursday, June 16, at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT, followed by an encore at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT. Additional encore presentations will air on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) this fall. This marks the eighth year the Emmy®-winning AFI special will air on TNT.

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

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 gives viewers the best seat in the house for electrifying stories, dynamic characters and thrilling events. TNT is home to some of television’s most popular original series including “Snowpiercer,” “Animal Kingdom,” and big-ticket movies. TNT is expanding its programming to include premium unscripted with the docuseries “Rich & Shameless,” “Rhodes to the Top,” and “Shaq Life.” TNT also presents primetime specials and sports coverage, including Inside the NBA, the NHL, NBA and NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championships and the professional wrestling league All Elite Wrestling (AEW), which has exploded onto the scene with “AEW: Rampage” and the AEW specials “Battle of the Belts”. Website: www.tntdrama.com

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) and Melina Matsoukas (2019).

About the AFI Conservatory

The 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. AFI Conservatory’s Alumni have been consistently recognized with all of the major industry awards — Academy Awards®, Emmy® Awards, Guild Awards — as well as Tony and Peabody Awards®.

Within the Conservatory is the DWW program which was founded in 1974 and has trained over 350 filmmakers. The landmark program mentors directors from historically underrepresented perspectives through the production cycle of a short film, providing hands-on instruction led by industry experts, and introduces the filmmakers into a wide network of industry creatives and executives.

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. 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 FESTAFI DOCS and year-round exhibition at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Maryland. Other pioneering programs include workshops aimed at increasing diversity in the storytelling community, including the AFI DWW program and the AFI Cinematography Intensive for Women. AFI’s newest program is AFI Movie Club, a daily global engagement for those who love the movies. 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 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 critically acclaimed series like The Essentials, along with 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, the TCM Big Screen Classics screening series, and the TCM Classic Cruise. In addition, TCM produces the wildly successful podcast “The Plot Thickens,” which has had more than 6 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 Classics Curated by TCM hub on HBO Max.


For general AFI press inquiries