Honoring the Outstanding Achievements of AFI Alumni,
Award to Be Presented to the Acclaimed Cinematographer on June 8, 2017

Previous Recipients Include Darren Aronofsky, Lesli Linka Glatter, Patty Jenkins,
Janusz Kamiński, David Lynch, Terrence Malick and Wally Pfister

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — April 25, 2017 — Los Angeles, CA — The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today that celebrated cinematographer Frederick Elmes (AFI Class of 1972) will receive the 2017 Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal. This honor recognizes the extraordinary creative talents of an AFI alumnus or alumna who embodies the qualities of filmmaker Franklin J. Schaffner: talent, taste, dedication and commitment to quality storytelling in film and television. Applauding the ongoing career of the influential artist who has lensed such films as ERASERHEAD (1977), RIVER'S EDGE (1986), BLUE VELVET (1986), WILD AT HEART (1990) and THE ICE STORM (1997), as well as TV's OLIVE KITTERIDGE and THE NIGHT OF, the presentation of the Schaffner Medal will take place at the AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute to Diane Keaton in Hollywood on June 8, 2017.

Over the past five decades, Elmes has brought to life stories from cinema's most fearless iconoclasts — including John Cassavetes, David Lynch, Jim Jarmusch, Ang Lee and AFI Life Achievement Award honoree Diane Keaton, with whom he collaborated on her directorial debut HEAVEN (1987). He has received a Primetime Emmy® nomination, two Film Independent Spirit Awards and a New York Film Critics Circle Award, among other accolades, and is a member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC).

From among an elite community of nearly 5,000 AFI graduates, Elmes joins an esteemed group of past recipients that includes Darren Aronofsky (BLACK SWAN), Lesli Linka Glatter (HOMELAND), Patty Jenkins (WONDER WOMAN), Janusz Kamiński (SCHINDLER'S LIST), David Lynch (BLUE VELVET), Terrence Malick (THE TREE OF LIFE) and Wally Pfister (THE DARK KNIGHT).

About Franklin J. Schaffner and the Schaffner Alumni Medal
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.

The Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal recognizes the extraordinary creative talents of a graduate of the AFI Conservatory or the AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women who symbolizes the legacy of Franklin J. 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), Steven Rosenblum (2011), Wally Pfister (2012), Stuart Cornfeld (2013), Anne Garefino (2014), Caleb Deschanel (2015) and Lesli Linka Glatter (2016).

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. Within the Conservatory is also a unique training program, the AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women (DWW). AFI Conservatory's alumni have been consistently recognized with all of the major industry awards — Academy Awards®, Emmy® Awards, guild awards — as well as the Tony Awards®. Esteemed director, producer and screenwriter James L. Brooks serves as Artistic Director of the AFI Conservatory where he provides creative leadership for the elite film program. Proud supporters of the AFI Conservatory are American Airlines, the official airline of AFI and VIZIO, the official home theater sponsor of AFI.

About the American Film Institute
AFI is America's promise to preserve the heritage of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. AFI programs include the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and the AFI Archive, which preserve film heritage for future generations; the AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in film; AFI AWARDS, honoring the most outstanding movies and TV series of the year; AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies television events and movie reference lists, which have introduced and reintroduced classic American movies to millions of film lovers; year-round and special event exhibition through AFI FEST presented by Audi, AFI DOCS and the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center; and educating the next generation of storytellers at the world-renowned AFI Conservatory. For more information about AFI, visit or connect with AFI at,, and

Media Contacts: 
Liza deVilla Ameen, 323.856.7885, [email protected]
Stephanie Sweeney, 323.856.7871, [email protected]