June 14, 2009

Eastwood receives honorary AFI degree

The American Film Institute said it has conferred an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts degree upon actor and director Clint Eastwood.

The Oscar-winner was last week presented with the honorary degree for his contribution of distinction to the art of the moving image during AFI commencement ceremonies for its 2009 graduating class, the Institute announced in a news release.

Following the presentation by film historian Richard Schickel on the American Film Institute campus, Eastwood warmly quieted the group by telling them to Knock it off, will ya?

He then reflected on his early experiences in filmmaking saying: I never went to a film school because they didn't have them when I started out. But after doing more than 50 films as an actor and 30 as a director I would have thought I could have graduated before this.

Eastwood concluded by reminding the graduates that when they find themselves challenged by difficulties in their careers as filmmakers they should never forget they are artists and they should always believe in their talent.