AFI to Honor Rita Moreno, Quentin Tarantino

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Tue, 05/03/2016 - 11:43 -- Nick Dager

The American Film Institute will confer Doctorate of Fine Arts degrees honoris causa upon Rita Moreno and Quentin Tarantino. Both Moreno and Tarantino will be recognized for their contributions to the art of the moving image during the AFI Conservatory's commencement ceremony on June 15 at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre.

Moreno and Tarantino join an esteemed group of distinguished past Honorary Degree recipients, including Robert Altman, Maya Angelou, Kathryn Bigelow, Mel Brooks, Anne V. Coates, Clint Eastwood, Roger Ebert, Nora Ephron, James Earl Jones, Lawrence Kasdan, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Angela Lansbury, John Lasseter, Spike Lee, David Lynch, Helen Mirren, Robert Towne, Cicely Tyson, Haskell Wexler and John Williams.

One of only a handful of performers to have won all four major entertainment awards, the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony, collectively known as the coveted EGOT, actress Rita Moreno is perhaps best known for her iconic and acclaimed performance as Anita in West Side Story. Spanning seven decades, her celebrated career as actress, singer, dancer and author has included widely varied roles across film, TV and stage — such as Carnal Knowledge, Jane the Virgin, The King and I, The Muppet Show, HBO's Oz and Singin’ in the Rain. Moreno is currently working on Netflix's One Day at a Time. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004, the National Medal of Arts in 2010 and the Kennedy Center Honor in 2015.

Director, screenwriter, producer and actor, Quentin Tarantino is a bold voice in American filmmaking — one whose work is often characterized by its stylized storytelling, dark comedy, eclectic soundtracks and fluency in the vocabulary of film history. He first commanded attention with 1992's Reservoir Dogs and earned a Best Screenplay Oscar for Pulp Fiction— a film which ranks among AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies list of the greatest American movies of all time — and for which Tarantino was also nominated for Best Director. He has continued to gain a loyal following with his master classics like Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight — the director's bloody valentine to 70 mm cinema, Inglourious Basterds and Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and Kill Bill: Vol. 2.

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. 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.

American Film Institute