By JONATHAN LANDRUM Jr.
AP Entertainment Writer
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — In a ballroom filled with stars like Viola Davis, Ben Stiller and Sigourney Weaver, the American Film Institute Awards on Friday paid tribute to Lisa Marie Presley.
AFI president Bob Gazzale began the ceremony with a moment of silence for Presley, who died a day earlier after a medical emergency. The invite-only luncheon honored the Elvis Presley biopic “Elvis” among its 10 film honorees. Lisa Marie Presley, her father’s only child, has been supporting the film throughout its awards season run, attending Tuesday’s Golden Globe Awards where star Austin Butler took home a trophy for his portrayal of her father.
Some in the ballroom sat in silence while others bowed their heads in Beverly Hills, California.
The event, which also honors 10 television shows, normally has a light, fun tone. Gazzale acknowledged a table of “Elvis” film representatives, including director Baz Luhrmann.
“As this event is founded in community and not competition — never competition — I asked that we offer a quiet moment of reflection to consider loss,” Gazzale said. “Not for others, but for all of us. All who create from inspiration. In this silence, they will feel like we are here for them. And you will feel we are here for you.”
Attendees included Steven Spielberg, Patricia Arquette, Daniel Kaluuya, Seth Rogen and Miles Tiller.
Films recognized included “Avatar: The Way of Water,” “Elvis,” “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” “The Fabelmans,” “Nope,” “She Said,” “Tar,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “The Woman King” and “Women Talking.”
Television shows honored were “Abbott Elementary,” “The Bear,” “Better Call Saul,” “Hacks,” “Mo,” “Pachinko,” “Reservation Dogs,” “Severance,” “Somebody Somewhere” and “The White Lotus.”
“The Banshees of Inisherin” was separately given a special award during the event — where each film and TV show was honored with well-spoken words about the celebrated project followed by a brief clip of a scene.
Laughs and hugs were shared before the event between “Severance” stars Adam Scott and Arquette, who later took photos with other cast members including the show’s director Ben Stiller. “Nope” director Jordan Peele had a chat with Ted Sarandos, co-CEO of Netflix. Weaver posed for photos with her “Avatar” co-star Stephen Lang, the film’s director James Cameron and Disney CEO Bob Iger.
A pregnant KeKe Palmer was all smiles when she saw Kaluuya, her “Nope” co-star, before the two hugged and talked for a few minutes.
Al Pacino received a standing ovation after he closed the luncheon with a 10-minute benediction to celebrate the honoree’s achievements.
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