Oscar-winning filmmaker Mel Brooks has been honored with the American Film Institute's (AFI) 41st Life Achievement Award, the highest accolade for a career in film, at a private dinner held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California.

The 86-year-old, whose films include Young Frankenstein and The Producers, accepted the award from director Martin Scorsese.

"Movies saved my life," he said during the acceptance speech, "They rescued my soul. No matter what was bad or wrong, it could be wiped out on Saturday morning."

The ceremony started with a performance from comedian Martin Short, with a song-and-dance routine, compiled from a set of songs from Brooks' films.

"The word genius is used a lot in Hollywood, so I might as well call Mel one," Short said.

Celebrities at the event included Billy Crystal, Robert DeNiro, Cloris Leachman, Amy Poehler, Conan O'Brien, Morgan Freeman, Jimmy Kimmel, David Lynch and Larry David.

"Mel's appearances on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show are some of the most explosively funny and hilarious moments in the history of all late-night television. When I was growing up and word would get out that Mel Brooks was going to be a guest on Johnny, my whole house would stay up late," O'Brien shared.

Meanwhile, Woody Allen, Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg appeared on video and wished Brooks on his latest achievement.

According to AFI website, "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."

The highlights from the ceremony will air on 15 June on TNT, followed by another airing on TCM on 24 July.

Actor Martin Short (C) performs during the American Film Institute's 41st Life Achievement Award Gala at the Dolby theatre in Hollywood, California June 6, 2013.Reuters
Producer and honoree Mel Brooks waves at the audience as he walks on stage during the American Film Institute’s 41st Life Achievement Award Gala at the Dolby theatre in Hollywood, California June 6, 2013.Reuters
Producer and honoree Mel Brooks acknowledges the audience as he walks on stage during the American Film Institute’s 41st Life Achievement Award Gala at the Dolby theatre in Hollywood, California June 6, 2013.Reuters
Producer and honoree Mel Brooks (R) greets actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen during the American Film Institute’s 41st Life Achievement Award Gala at the Dolby theatre in Hollywood, California June 6, 2013.Reuters
Actor Carl Reiner (bottom R) speaks during the American Film Institute's 41st Life Achievement Award Gala at the Dolby theatre in Hollywood, California June 6, 2013.Reuters
Actor Martin Short performs during the American Film Institute’s 41st Life Achievement Award Gala at the Dolby theatre in Hollywood, California June 6, 2013.Reuters
Actor Martin Short performs during the American Film Institute’s 41st Life Achievement Award Gala at the Dolby theatre in Hollywood, California June 6, 2013.Reuters
Producer and honoree Mel Brooks (R) poses with actor Billy Crystal at the American Film Institute’s 41st Life Achievement Award Gala at the Dolby theatre in Hollywood, California June 6, 2013.Reuters
Producer and honoree Mel Brooks poses at the American Film Institute’s 41st Life Achievement Award Gala at the Dolby theatre in Hollywood, California June 6, 2013.Reuters