AFI Honors Morgan Freeman with Lifetime Achievment Award Today

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American film's finest have confirmed their participation on the American Film Institute (AFI) Gala Benefit Committee honoring 39th Life Achievement Award recipient, Morgan Freeman. Members of this year's benefit committee are Ben Affleck, Jim Carrey, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Ashley Judd, Helen Mirren, Mike Nichols, Jack Nicholson, Brad Pitt, Sidney Poitier, Robert Redford, Tim Robbins, Steven Spielberg, Hilary Swank, Denzel Washington and Alfre Woodard. AFI will present the 39th AFI Life Achievement Award - America's highest honor for a career in film - to Freeman on June 9th. "TV Land Presents: The AFI Life Achievement Award Honoring Morgan Freeman" will air on TV Land on Sunday, June 26, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.

The black-tie event will take place on historic Stage 15 at Sony Pictures Studios, where "The Wizard of Oz," "Grand Hotel," "Spiderman" and other classic movies were filmed. The stage will be transformed into an elegant ballroom to honor the storied career of Morgan Freeman. Proceeds from the AFI Life Achievement Award Gala directly support the Institute's national educational programs and the preservation of American film history.

"Morgan Freeman has embodied characters that range from prisoner to president, from gumshoe to God," said Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO. "Over the years, Morgan has collaborated with American film's finest, and the artists represented on the AFI Benefit Committee are a testament to this man and his extraordinary body of work."

"Morgan Freeman's unparalleled acting career in film and television resonates with fans across the globe and his devotion to his craft has won the respect of many of his fellow actors, some of whom are on this year's Benefit Committee," said Larry W. Jones, President, TV Land. "TV Land is honored to give viewers the chance to witness his extraordinary talent when Hollywood comes together to honor Morgan for his remarkable work in Hollywood and beyond."

Press credentialing for the event is now open at tvlandpress.com. Credentialing will close on May 27 at 5:00 p.m. PT.

About the American Film Institute

AFI is America's promise to preserve the history of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work, and to educate the next generation of storytellers. AFI provides leadership in film, television and digital media and is dedicated to initiatives that engage the past, the present and the future of the moving image arts.

AFI preserves the legacy of America's film heritage through the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, an authoritative record of American films from 1893 to the present, and the AFI Archives, which contains rare footage from across the history of the moving image.

AFI honors the artists and their work through a variety of annual programs and special events, including the AFI Life Achievement Award and AFI Awards. For 39 years, the AFI Life Achievement Award has remained the highest honor for a career in film while AFI Awards, the Institute's almanac for the 21st century, honors the most outstanding motion pictures and television programs of the year. AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies television events and movie reference lists, as well as AFI Night at the Movies,have introduced and reintroduced classic American movies to millions of film lovers. And as the largest nonprofit exhibitor in the United States, AFI offers film enthusiasts a variety of events throughout the year, including AFI Fest presented by Audi, the longest running international film festival in Los Angeles; AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs, the largest documentary festival in the US; and year-round programming at the AFI Silver Theatre in the Washington, DC area.

AFI educates the next generation of storytellers at its world-renowned AFI Conservatory, offering a two-year Master of Fine Arts degree in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. AFI also explores new digital technologies through special workshops.

Additional information about AFI is available at AFI.com.

About the AFI Life Achievement Award

The highest honor given for a career in film, the AFI Life Achievement Award was established by the AFI Board of Trustees on February 26, 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."

2011 AFI Life Achievement Award honoree Morgan Freeman joins an esteemed group of individuals who have been chosen for this distinguished honor since its inception in 1973: John Ford (1973), James Cagney (1974), Orson Welles (1975), William Wyler (1976), Bette Davis (1977), Henry Fonda (1978), Alfred Hitchcock (1979), James Stewart (1980), Fred Astaire (1981), Frank Capra (1982), John Huston (1983), Lillian Gish (1984), Gene Kelly (1985), Billy Wilder (1986), Barbara Stanwyck (1987), Jack Lemmon (1988), Gregory Peck (1989), Sir David Lean (1990), Kirk Douglas (1991), Sidney Poitier (1992), Elizabeth Taylor (1993), Jack Nicholson (1994), Steven Spielberg (1995), Clint Eastwood (1996), Martin Scorsese (1997), Robert Wise (1998), Dustin Hoffman (1999), Harrison Ford (2000), Barbra Streisand (2001), Tom Hanks (2002), Robert De Niro (2003), Meryl Streep (2004), George Lucas (2005), Sean Connery (2006), Al Pacino (2007), Warren Beatty (2008), Michael Douglas (2009) and Mike Nichols (2010).