Siân Heder is set to accept yet another honor following a whirlwind awards season that culminated in the “CODA” writer-director landing a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar and the coming-of-age pic being named Best Picture. A press release from the American Film Institute (AFI) announced that she’ll receive the Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal, which “recognizes the extraordinary creative talents of AFI Conservatory Alumni who embody the qualities of filmmaker Franklin J. Schaffner: talent, taste, dedication, and commitment to quality storytelling in film and television.”
Previous recipients of the award include Lesli Linka Glatter (“Homeland”), Patty Jenkins (“Wonder Woman”), and Melina Matsoukas (“Queen & Slim”).
Heder will be presented with the award at the upcoming AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute to Julie Andrews, set to take place June 9.
“Siân Heder is a voice the world needs now more than ever,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO. “We are proud to honor her as an Alumna of the AFI Directing Workshop for Women – and, more importantly, as a storyteller who drives culture forward with an inspiring alchemy of intellect and heart.”
“CODA,” Heder’s second feature, tells the story of an aspiring singer who is the only hearing member in a Deaf family. The pic made history when it premiered at Sundance 2021, where it became the first film to sweep the top U.S. Dramatic Prizes at the fest.
Heder made her feature debut with Elliot Page-starrer “Tallulah.” Her TV credits include “Orange Is the New Black,” “GLOW,” and “Men of a Certain Age.” She won a Peabody Award for the latter.