Ridley Scott: DGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Motion Picture Direction

DGA Awards Specials

December 16, 2016

On November 29, 2016, DGA President Paris Barclay announced that Ridley Scott will receive the Guild’s top honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Achievement in Motion Picture Direction. The Award, which will be presented at the 69th Annual DGA Awards on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. The Award is selected by the present and past presidents of the Guild. In the Guild’s 80-year history, just 34 directors have been recognized with this honor.

See video of Ridley Scott's speech below.

“Masterful in any genre, Ridley’s granodiorites methods and peerless directing instincts have brought to life some of the most memorable films of our time, capturing the resilience of the human spirit and captivating the hearts and minds of audiences around the world,” said Barclay. “Stunning visuals, immersive worlds and powerful performances underpin his diverse body of work which ranges from Alien, Blade Runner and Thelma & Louise to Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, and, most recently, The Martian. Over the course of four decades, his trailblazing career has demonstrated the impact and importance of the director’s singular vision. For these reasons, and so many more, we are honored to present the Lifetime Achievement Award in Feature Film to Ridley Scott.”

Scott is a world-renowned director whose films have earned countless accolades. He was honored with DGA and Academy Award Best Director nominations for his work on Black Hawk Down (2001), Gladiator (2000) and Thelma & Louise (1991) – as well as a DGA Award nomination for his most recent film, The Martian (2015). His films have also garnered numerous Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA awards and nominations across multiple categories.

Asked how he feels to receive his Guild’s highest honor, Scott responded, “Of all the directors who have been the recipients of this important award, many on this exclusive list were the absolute reason why I wanted to be a film director. I’m very honored to be included among them.”

In 1977 Scott made his feature-film directorial debut with The Duellists, for which he won the Best First Film Award at the Cannes Film Festival. He followed with the blockbuster science-fiction thriller Alien. In 1982 Scott directed the landmark film Blade Runner. Considered a sci-fi classic, the futuristic thriller was added to the U.S. Library of Congress’ National Film Registry in 1993 and a director’s cut was released to renewed acclaim in 1993 and again in 2007.

Additional film credits include: Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Counselor, Prometheus, Legend, Someone to Watch Over Me, Black Rain, 1492: Conquest of Paradise, White Squall, G.I. Jane, Hannibal, Body of Lies, A Good Year, Kingdom of Heaven, Matchstick Men, and Robin Hood – which marked his fifth collaboration with star Russell Crowe.

Scott is currently in post-production on Alien: Covenant, the sequel to Prometheus and will next helm Wraiths of the Broken Land.

A powerful force in film and television for many years, Scott began his directing career in advertising, and has directed numerous well-known spots including Apple’s famous “1984” commercial. He and his late brother Tony formed the commercial production company RSA in 1967, which today has an established reputation for creating innovative and ground-breaking commercials for some of the world’s most recognized corporate brands.

In 1995 the Scott brothers formed the film and television production company Scott Free. With offices in Los Angeles and London, the Scotts produced such films as In Her Shoes, The A-Team, Cyrus, The Grey and the Academy Award-nominated drama The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. On television, Scott executive produced the Emmy, Peabody and Golden Globe-winning hit The Good Wife for CBS and the critically-acclaimed series adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s classic The Man in the High Castle for Amazon.

Scott has also been an executive producer on the company’s long-form projects, including the Starz miniseries The Pillars of the Earth, the A&E miniseries The Andromeda Strain, the TNT miniseries The Company, the award-winning HBO movies RKO 281, The Gathering Storm, and Into the Storm and the hit National Geographic Channels’ telefilms Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, and Killing Jesus.

In 2003 Scott was awarded a knighthood from the Order of the British Empire, in recognition of his contributions to the arts. He received the 30th American Cinematheque Award at the organization’s annual gala in 2016.

photo by Scott Council

Scott accepts Lifetime Achievement Award in Motion Picture Direction

Past recipients of the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Achievement in Motion Picture Direction: 
  • Miloš Forman (2013)
  • Norman Jewison (2010)
  • Clint Eastwood (2006)
  • Mike Nichols (2004)
  • Martin Scorsese (2003)
  • Steven Spielberg (2000)
  • Francis Ford Coppola (1998)
  • Stanley Kubrick (1997)
  • Woody Allen (1996)
  • James Ivory (1995)
  • Robert Altman (1994)
  • Sidney Lumet (1993)
  • Akira Kurosawa (1992)
  • Ingmar Bergman (1990)
  • Robert E. Wise (1988)
  • Elia Kazan (1987)
  • Joseph L. Mankiewicz (1986)
  • Billy Wilder (1985)
  • Orson Welles (1984)
  • John Huston (1983)
  • Rouben Mamoulian (1982)
  • George Cukor (1981)
  • William A. Wellman (1973)
  • David Lean (1973)
  • Fred Zinnemann (1970)
  • Alfred Hitchcock (1968)
  • William Wyler (1966)
  • Frank Borzage (1961)
  • George Stevens (1960)
  • Frank Capra (1959)
  • King Vidor (1957)
  • Henry King (1956)
  • John Ford (1954)
  • Cecil B. DeMille (1953)