October 8, 1999
Filmmaker Martin Scorsese, Ed Sherin, National Vice President, Directors Guild of America and Executive Producer of Law and Order, Mary Schmidt Campbell, Dean, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and Andrew Tisch, Chairman Loews Corporation and Dean’s Council, Tisch School of the Arts, today announced plans for the first annual Directors Guild of America Honors..., a gala celebration of the Eastern Region’s film and television production community, to be held at the Hilton Hotel in New York on November 21st.
Also revealed were names of honorees who will receive special Directors Guild of America Honors... awards for their exemplary contributions to the Eastern Region production community. They include: legendary New York City-based filmmaker Martin Scorsese; Congressman Richard A. Gephardt, (D, MO) who has supported the arts and assisted in passing creative rights legislation, strongly allied with organized labor; Thomas O’Donnell Sr., President, Local 817, The International Brotherhood of Teamsters Union whose efforts have upheld labor’s rights while encouraging production in New York; and The Austin Texas Film Society, a nationally recognized film exhibition and artists support center, founded in 1985 by Director Richard Linklater (Slacker, Dazed and Confused, The Newton Boys), which provides a haven for artists and serves as an example to the entertainment industry. All of the honorees will be present to accept their awards.
"If we are to continue to have a healthy production industry in the United States we must recognize the valuable contributions of those who have helped to nurture and grow the industry on the East Coast," said Sherin of the honorees. "In a highly competitive international marketplace, our honorees have demonstrated a commitment to putting the United States production community first."
The first annual Directors Guild of America Honors... was created to honor individuals and institutions in four categories: filmmaker, political leader, industry/union leader, and Eastern Region community leader. A selection committee of DGA members, appointed by President Jack Shea, and Sherin, chose the honorees.
Mr. Scorsese announced that he will donate the $15,000 that accompanies the Directors Guild of America Honors... filmmaker award to the Tisch School of the Arts to be used as a grant for a student filmmaker at NYU.
"I learned my craft at NYU and have remained dedicated to making films in New York," said Scorsese. "I am honored to receive this award from the DGA and feel that it is important that a young filmmaker benefit from my good fortune."
Scorsese began his career in the late sixties making student films at NYU and serving on their faculty. The Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at the Tisch School of the Arts provides an intensive and professional education in filmaking. The program shared first place in recent U.S. News and World Report rankings of the nation’s film schools.
On hand from NYU to receive the gift from Mr. Scorsese were Andrew Tisch and Mary Schmidt Campbell. "Congratulations to Marty on being chosen an inaugural winner of the DGA Honors Annual Award and thank you for your continued generosity and support of the Tisch School’s film program," said Campbell.
Directors Guild of America Honors... will bring together top industry professionals, unions, government, civic, and business leadership, as well as the DGA membership.
Its goal is to help build awareness of the important role of production in New York and of the Eastern Region as a competitive venue for full-scale production of films, television programs, and commercials.
The Directors Guild will work to leverage this increased visibility to expand production opportunities in the East as well as the entire United States.
Founded in 1936 by 13 of Hollywood’s leading filmmakers, including the legendary John Ford and King Vidor, the Directors Guild of America is the nation’s pre-eminent organization representing directors and members of the directorial team.