May 28, 2013
On May 20, DGA Past President and current Secretary-Treasurer Michael Apted was presented with the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for his Up documentary series. The award was presented at the 72nd Annual Peabody Awards held at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.
The Peabody Award ‑‑ which recognizes distinguished achievement and meritorious service by broadcasters, cable, producing organizations, and individuals ‑‑ is bestowed by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. It is noted as the industry’s most competitive honor, with an average of 25-35 winners chosen annually from more than 1,000 entries. Apted was one of 39 recipients selected for this honor by the Peabody Board, a 16-member panel of distinguished academics, television critics, industry practitioners and experts in culture and the arts.
In announcing Apted’s Peabody win, the committee stated:
“In 1963 Apted created 7 Up, a series that followed a group of British seven-year-olds. Originally conceived to illustrate class immobility, the series that revisits the same group of British citizens every seven years, most recently in 56 Up, has long since become more personal than political. Apted has shown how change and continuity define human experience. Notable for its creator’s patience and its subjects’ humanity, the Up series receives an Institutional Peabody.”
A veteran feature, documentary and television director, Apted’s credits include the feature films Gorillas in the Mist, Coalminer's Daughter, The World is Not Enough, Gorky Park, Thunderheart, Nell, Enigma, Amazing Grace, and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. In addition to his documentary and feature work, Apted has worked extensively in television, including directing the first three episodes of HBO’s epic series Rome.
Apted has received numerous awards and nominations for his body of work, including a DGA Award, a Grammy, a British Academy Award, and the International Documentary Association’s Career Achievement Award. By the order of Queen Elizabeth II, he was made a Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George for his work in the film and television industries.
Apted, who joined the DGA in 1978, served as Guild President for three terms from 2003-2009 and in that position oversaw the Guild’s negotiations in 2004 and 2008, and currently serves as DGA Secretary-Treasurer. In 2013, he was honored with the Robert B. Aldrich Award, for extraordinary service to the Directors Guild of America and to its membership.