It is a very rare for a filmmaker to receive the industry honor of having their hand- and foot-prints cemented into the famed forecourt of the legendary Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. But now, out of 262 honorees in 85 years, The Dark Knight trilogy’s Christopher Nolan is not only at age 41 one of the youngest filmmakers but also only the 8th director to receive the honor. Here are photos from Saturday’s ceremony:
June is the season for graduations around the nation and the American Film Institute is no different. After handing out their 40th Life Achievement Award less than a week ago to Shirley MacLaine today the focus was on those just embarking on a career in the entertainment industry (in addition to two very well-known veterans).
This AFI Commencement stood out as a purely Hollywoood affair taking place not on their own campus, but rather a short distance away inside Grauman’s Chinese theatre. In addition to the 121 graduates receiving their AFI diplomas in fields including screenwriting, directing, producing, production design, cinematography and editing, the undisputed highlight of the 90-minute ceremony (presided over by AFI CEO and President Bob Gazzale) were the two Honorary Degree recipients Mel Brooks and David Lynch.
It was actually appropiate the two receive these honors together because Mel, through his production entity Brooksfilm actually gave Lynch his first big directing job on 1980′s much-acclaimed Best Picture nominee The Elephant Man resulting in a Best Director Oscar nomination for Lynch. After a funny intro from “best friend” Carl Reiner and a clip reel covering such Brooks classics as The 2000 Year Old Man, The Producers, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein among others, Brooks stepped up to tell Reiner he was confused by it all. “I’m very honored and I’m very happy but bitterly disappointed. When I was offered this award I thought I was gonna become a doctor. And in fact I was …