Veteran producer will be honored on same night as Mel Brooks, who helped him get started
Producer Stuart Cornfeld will receive the 2013 Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal, the American Film Institute announced Thursday.
Cornfeld will be presented with the honor as part of the AFI Life Achievement Award honoring Mel Brooks, to be held at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on June 6.
The honor recognizes the creative talents of a graduate of the AFI Conservatory or AFI Directing Workshop for Women who symbolizes the legacy of Franklin Schaffner. The AFI Conservatory is renowned for its collaborative approach to hands-on filmmaking and its advanced training of the next generation of storytellers in six filmmaking disciplines: cinematography, directing, editing, producing, production design and screenwriting.
It's appropriate Cornfeld will be honored on the same night as Brooks.
He was part of the AFI class of 1975, and after completing his studies, he collaborated with Anne Bancroft with whom he had worked on two Directing Workshop for Women projects at AFI. Bancroft introduced him to her husband, Mel Brooks, who hired Cornfeld as his assistant on “High Anxiety," and Cornfeld went on to associate produce Brooks’ “History of the World Part 1,” produce Bancroft's “Fatso” and executive produce Brooksfilms' “The Elephant Man.”
After leaving Brooksfilms, Cornfeld produced 17 films including “The Fly,” “Kafka,” “Tropic of Thunder” and “Zoolander.” He executive produced several others, including “European Vacation,” “Megamind” and “Mimic.”
Over the course of his career, Cornfeld has worked with directors Peter Bogdanovich, David Cronenberg, Guillermo Del Toro, Amy Heckerling, David Lynch and Steven Soderbergh.
For the last 15 years, Cornfeld has been Ben Stiller’s partner at Red Hour Films. Their company has made a priority of working with first-time directors, producing Josh Gordon and Will Speck's “Blades of Glory” and Marshal Thurber’s “Dodgeball.” They are currently in post-production on “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” which Stiller directs and stars in, along with Shirley MacLaine, Sean Penn and Kristen Wiig.
Over the course of a 40-year career, Schaffner earned a total of 28 Academy Award nominations and the directing 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 death in 1989.
The AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony will be broadcast on TNT on Saturday, June 15, at 9 p.m. ET/PT and as part of an all-night tribute to Brooks on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Wednesday, July 24 at 8 p.m. ET.
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