AASC Lee Daniels Event 0816

An Evening with Lee Daniels: Building an Empire

August 11, 2016 A DGA African American Steering Committee Event:

On August 11, DGA members and guests gathered in the Guild’s Los Angeles Theater for the African American Steering Committee (AASC) special event, An Evening with Lee Daniels: Building an Empire. The evening featured an in-depth conversation with Daniels as he discussed his directing process and gave insights on his approach to creating projects such as the DGA and Academy Award nominated feature Precious: Based on the Novel by Sapphire, and his work in co-creating the Fox network’s mega-hit series Empire, a show for which he wrote and directed the pilot and additional episodes and continues to serve as producer.

After a welcome from DGA Associate National Executive Director G. Bryan Unger and a congratulatory video message from DGA President Paris Barclay, AASC Co-Chairs Jeff Byrd and John Singleton introduced the evening’s honoree, Director Lee Daniels.

Daniels then sat down with Director Anthony Hemingway (The People v O.J. Simpson) to discuss his film and television career and what goes into building successful shows like Empire and his latest series, STAR. Daniels then joined with the attendees for a reception in the DGA lobby.

Since making his feature directorial debut with the action-drama Shadowboxer in 2005, Lee Daniels has continued to make his mark in the industry as a director, writer and producer. His other feature directing credits include his 2012 thriller The Paperboy and his 2013 biographical drama Lee Daniels’ The Butler. His 2009 feature Precious: Based on the Novel by Sapphire, was nominated for six Academy Awards including “Best Motion Picture of the Year” and “Best Achievement in Directing.” The film also made history as Daniels became the first African-American to be nominated for the DGA’s Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film Award.

His work in the realm of producing includes Marc Forster’s 2001 feature, Monster’s Ball, Nicole Kassell’s 2004 feature The Woodsman and Aaron Woodley’s 2008 feature Tennessee. In 2015, Daniels expanded his influence into the world of television by co-creating the Fox network’s mega hit series Empire. He is currently in development on his latest series, STAR, set to premiere on Fox in early 2017. In addition to his successful film career, Lee is a passionate advocate and philanthropist. He joined the DGA in 2007.


About the Committee:

The African American Steering Committee (AASC) was born of a desire to address the specific needs of the African-American members of the Directors Guild. One of the primary goals of the Committee is to establish a productive line of communication between African-American members and the creative community. The Committee meets monthly to plan events throughout the year celebrating the achievements of African-Americans, as well as forums with industry executives to proactively address what can be done to hire more African-Americans. The AASC’s current Co-Chairs are Jeff Byrd, Courtney Franklin and John Singleton.

The event was organized by the AASC Activities Subcommittee, co-chaired by Abdul Malik Abbott and Redelia Shaw. The Subcommittee Members are: R. Dianne Bartlow, Reginald Brown, Imhotep Coleman, Nicci Freeman, Fay Hauser-Price, Derek Hubbard, Reginald Hunter, Anthony Kinniebrew, Sandra Middleton, Scott Sudduth, and Mykelti Williamson.

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DGA Quarterly Summer 2011 Independent Voice Lee Daniels
Independent Voice