DGA Honors

DGA Honors

DGA Honors 2008

On October 16th, 2008 DGA Honors was the New York nexus of entertainment, business, labor and politics — an event as unique as the individuals it recognizes. The DGA Honors ceremony took place at the at the Directors Guild of America Theater in New York City, with a VIP after-party at Nobu 57.

"DGA Honors is our opportunity to gather with friends and colleagues in the entertainment industry to recognize those people whose works and lives have had some profound influence on us," said DGA President Michael Apted."We honor those who have made outstanding cultural contributions or fought to protect, strengthen or steer a better course for creative and economic rights in our industry."

"At DGA Honors, we celebrate those who have committed themselves to bringing about positive changes in society, whether it be through film or television production, advocacy or humanitarian work," added DGA National Vice President Steven Soderbergh. "All of our honorees have left their mark on our industry in an indelible way."

Past honorees have included influential filmmakers Martin Scorsese, Mike Nichols, Sydney Pollack, Spike Lee, Curtis Hanson, Jonathan Demme, Arthur Penn and Robert Altman, as well as leaders in politics, entertainment and labor such as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Senator Ted Kennedy, Robert De Niro, Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels, Sopranos creator David Chase, Jane Alexander, AFL-CIO president John Sweeney, and IATSE president Tom Short.


2008 Honorees

Milos Forman, Director

Director Milos Forman is receiving the DGA Honor for his impressive body of work as a filmmaker along with his conviction and activism as a long-time champion of artists rights.

Forman is perhaps best known for directing the outstanding feature films One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus, which garnered many accolades including two DGA Awards for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film and two Academy Awards for Best Director. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest became only the second film in history to sweep the top five Academy Award categories in one year. But to the DGA and The Film Foundation, Forman might be even more appreciated for his work to protect and promote the rights of artists against unauthorized film alteration.

Forman became personally involved with the issue after his film version of Hair was broadcast with half of its musical scenes removed without his authorization. Forman traveled to Washington, DC on multiple occasions to educate lawmakers about the need to give filmmakers the same rights of redress against misrepresentation that other groups have. He was a Charter Benefactor of the Artists Rights Foundation and continues to serve on the Artists Rights Advisory Council of The Film Foundation. He was awarded the John Huston Award for Artists Rights in 1997.

Other notable Forman films include Hair, Ragtime, Valmont, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Man on the Moon, and Goya’s Ghosts. His films have received many accolades in addition to the DGA Awards and the Academy Awards including Golden Globe, BAFTA, Cesar and many others.


Dick Wolf, Producer

Creator/Producer Dick Wolf is best known as the architect of one of the most successful brands on television – Law & Order. Wolf serves as creator and executive producer of all three Law & Order series: Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. The original Law & Order is the longest-running current drama series on television with more than 400 episodes and multiple Emmy nominations, winning the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series in 1997. Wolf also executive produced the critically-acclaimed HBO original movie Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee which earned the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television as well as six Emmy Awards including Outstanding Made for Television Movie, and served as producer on Twin Towers, which won the 2003 Academy Award for Outstanding Short Documentary. Over the years Wolf’s work has garnered numerous awards, including an Academy Award, multiple Emmys, a Peabody Award, the Broadcast Film Critics Association’s Critic’s Choice Award for Best Picture Made for Television, a Crystal Apple Award, and many more.

There is no producer who has had greater impact on New York-based DGA members than Wolf. With over 750 episodes of the Law & Order brand so far, Wolf is considered the heart of television production in New York. It is often said that nearly every DGA member working in episodic television in the Tri-State Area has been employed at some point on at least one of the Law & Order series. Wolf is being honored with a DGA Honor for his prolific achievements as a producer/writer, enabling him to provide countless opportunities for employment and the nurturing of talent for so many New York-based DGA members throughout his more than 25 years as a creative force in television and film.


John Conyers, Jr (D-MI), United States Congressman

Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) is being honored with a DGA Honor for his extraordinary efforts to support filmmaking and the creative rights of directors in the United States. As chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman Conyers plays a pivotal role on a number of issues of key importance to the Guild, including the protection of intellectual property rights, a critical concern for DGA members in the age of piracy. Congressman Conyers also fought against the ClearPlay legislation which undermined the protection of the works created by filmmakers. He was also a crucial early supporter of the DGA's efforts to secure federal legislation to protect the entertainment industry from the ravages of runaway production, which resulted in the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004.

The second most senior member in the House, Congressman Conyers is currently serving his 21st term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He previously served as chair of the House Committee on Government Operations from 1989 - 1994. The House Committee on the Judiciary, on which Conyers has served as Chair since 2007, has oversight over the Department of Justice and the Federal Courts and jurisdiction over copyright, constitutional, consumer protection and civil rights issues. Congressman Conyers is also one of the 13 founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus, formed in 1969 to strengthen the ability of African-American lawmakers to address the legislative concerns of Black and minority citizens.

In Congressman Conyers' more than 40 years in Congress, some of his other major accomplishments include: the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, the Motor Voter Bill of 1993, the Martin Luther King Holiday Act of 1983, the Alcohol Warning Label Act of 1988, the Jazz Preservation Act of 1987, and the Help America Vote Act of 2002.


Irwin Young, Chairman/DuArt Film & Video

Irwin W. Young, a pillar of the New York film community, has spent years serving in prominent positions at illustrious organizations like the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the New York State Council of The Arts, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Scientific/Technical Awards Committee. However, it is for Young’s many years as a champion of independent film and young independent filmmakers that he is being honored with the DGA Honor. Young has dedicated a lifetime to helping young filmmakers achieve their dreams. From his position as Chair of DuArt to his years as a producer to his leadership on too many boards and councils to list in full, he has shepherded countless projects to fruition and truly earned the gratitude of scores of young independent filmmakers.

In addition to his creative involvement as a producer of numerous award-winning independent films, Young’s interest in motion pictures extends to all aspects of the industry including science, technology and entertainment. With over 50 years in the film industry, he has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Gordon E. Sawyer Award (Oscar) from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) Progress Medal, the New York State Governor’s Arts Award, and the IFP’s First Annual Gotham Lifetime Achievement Award.

In addition to serving as President of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Young also served as President of the SMPTE, three-term President of the Association of Cinema and Video Laboratories, and Chairman and Board Member of the Moving Image Inc (Film Forum Theater, NYC).


Robert Rosen, Dean, UCLA School of Theatre, Film & Television

The Film Foundation's John Huston Award honors those who have made significant contributions to artists rights. Robert Rosen, Dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, is receiving the John Huston Award for his commitment to film preservation and his role as founding chair of the Archivists Advisory Council at The Film Foundation.

An educator, critic and preservationist specializing in issues of media and historical memory, Rosen has spent more than 30 years guiding the growth of the UCLA Film & Television Archive from a small study collection to the world's largest university-based holding of original film and television materials, with more than 280,000 film and television titles and 27 million feet of newsreel footage. As chair of the Archivists Advisory Council since the Foundation's inception, Rosen has been critical in defining and shaping its goals and has contributed significantly to the state of film preservation today.

Rosen has occupied many positions of leadership in the field including Founding Director of the National Center for Film and Video Preservation at the American Film Institute, the Executive Committee of the International Federation of Film Archives, member of the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress and Board Member of the Stanford Theater Foundation and the Geffen Playhouse.

Additionally, he was decorated by the French Government as an Officer of Arts and Letters and was awarded the International Documentary Association's Career Achievement Award for Scholarship and Preservation.


We thank our DGA Honors Sponsors

Golden Tribute Sponsors: Bloomberg • DuArt Film & Video • IATSE Local 52 • Magna Carta Companies • NBC Universal • Wolf Films • Silver Tribute Sponsors: Bernstein Real Estate • Bush, Gottlieb, Singer, Lopez, Kohanski, Adelstein & Dickinson • DIRECTV • IATSE International • Screen Actors Guild • The Walt Disney Company/ABC • Warner Bros. • Variety • Bronze Tribute Sponsors: The Bank of New York Mellon • CBS • Eastman Kodak Company • IngleDodd Publishing • JVC Professional Products Company • Larry Flynt Publications • Local 817 • Latham & Watkins • Nigro, Karlin, Segal & Feldstein • Stacks • Washington Council/Ernst & Young