2018 DGA Honors to Recognize Leadership In Film and Television Industry

DGA Honors 2018

August 15, 2018

Los Angeles – The Directors Guild of America (DGA) today announced that Director Ang Lee, Fox Searchlight Chairman Nancy Utley, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), SAG-AFTRA Senior Advisor John McGuire, and Costume Designer Ann Roth will be honored at the 2018 DGA Honors, to be held at the DGA Theater in New York City on Thursday, October 18, 2018. 

DGA Honors recognizes individuals and institutions that have made distinguished contributions to American culture through the world of film and television, and recognizes the diversity of achievement—in business, government, and labor —required to produce the best entertainment in the world. 

“There is nowhere more fitting to celebrate the confluence of entertainment, labor and politics than New York, our cultural epicenter,” said DGA President Thomas Schlamme. “It’s where a legendary director like Ang Lee, as a budding Taiwanese filmmaker, came to get started – and costume designing great Ann Roth made her mark in film and on Broadway. The success of creators is made possible by collaborative business leaders who support and elevate their creative visions like Fox Searchlight chair Nancy Utley, labor leaders who fight for their rights like SAG-AFTRA senior advisor John McGuire, and lawmakers like Senator Amy Klobuchar who advocate for them and safeguard their work. Our culture is enriched by such a critical support system, resulting in the best film and television in the world.”

“DGA Honors in New York is a special evening,” said DGA National Vice President Vincent Misiano. “Once again, we’ll gather with friends and colleagues to recognize outstanding contributions to our industry and to our shared culture. Our honorees come from very different disciplines, but all of them have collaborated to leave an indelible mark, and we’re looking forward to celebrating their achievements.”

Past DGA Honors recipients have included influential filmmakers Ron Howard, Nora Ephron, Robert Altman, Jonathan Demme, Milos Forman, Curtis Hanson, Spike Lee, Mike Nichols, Arthur Penn, Sydney Pollack, and Martin Scorsese; as well as leaders in entertainment, labor, and politics such as Law & Order creator/producer Dick Wolf, Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels, Sopranos creator David Chase, HBO Documentary Films President Sheila Nevins, Robert De Niro, Danny Glover, Jane Alexander, former Paramount Pictures CEO Sherry Lansing, IATSE International President Matthew Loeb, former AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, Senator Charles Schumer, Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Olympia Snowe, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Past presenters and hosts have included Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise, Halle Berry, Helen Mirren, Julianne Moore, Alan Cumming, Jude Law, Richard Belzer, Dave Chapelle, Sam Waterston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ellen DeGeneres, Matt Dillon, Hank Azaria, and Francis Ford Coppola.

The 2018 DGA Honors will begin with red carpet arrivals at 6 p.m., followed by the event itself at 7 p.m. and a VIP after-party at Nobu 57 at 9:00 p.m. 

Honoree Biographies

Ang LeeAng Lee

World-renowned director Ang Lee is receiving the DGA Honor for his tremendous contributions to the industry as a pioneering filmmaker. 

Lee is widely recognized for his artistic risk-taking, and filmmaking achievements across a wide array of genres. His directing credits include Brokeback Mountain, for which he won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement and the Academy Award in 2005; Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, for which he won the DGA Award in 2000; Life of Pi, for which he won the Academy Award and was nominated for the DGA Award in 2012; Sense and Sensibility, for which he was nominated for the DGA Award in 1995; the technologically groundbreaking Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, which was shot at 120 frames per second and combined 3D and 4K technology; and Lust Caution, which swept Asia’s Golden Horse Awards in 2007. Lee’s other films include Pushing Hands, The Wedding Banquet, Eat Drink Man Woman, Hulk, Taking Woodstock, Ride with the Devil, and Ice Storm. His upcoming film Gemini Man will be released in October 2019.

Lee earned his Masters of Fine Arts degree in film production from New York University. His short film Fine Line won Best Director and Best Film awards at the annual NYU Film Festival.

Nancy UtleyNancy Utley

Fox Searchlight Pictures’ Nancy Utley, who was appointed Chairman in 2018, is receiving the DGA Honor for her longstanding support for independent film and directors’ creative visions and her extensive philanthropic efforts. She jointly manages all aspects of the company including production, acquisitions, marketing and distribution alongside fellow Chairman Stephen Gilula. Ms. Utley has overseen many of Fox Searchlight’s most successful films to date, with a total of 106 Golden Globe® and 137 Oscar® nominations, including Best Picture winners The Shape Of Water, 12 Years A Slave, Birdman and Slumdog Millionaire.

Upcoming releases include The Old Man & The Gun, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, The Favourite, The Aftermath, Wendy, Tolkien and Jojo Rabbit. Other past successful films include Isle Of Dogs, Super Troopers 2, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Gifted, Jackie, Brooklyn, Wild, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Beasts Of The Southern Wild, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Descendants, The Tree Of Life, Black Swan, 127 Hours, 500 Days Of Summer, The Wrestler, Juno, Once, Little Miss Sunshine, Sideways and Napoleon Dynamite.

Prior to joining Fox Searchlight in 1999, Ms. Utley served in a variety of capacities for Twentieth Century Fox Film – most recently as Executive Vice President of Marketing – where she developed campaigns for films such as Independence Day, There’s Something About Mary, Mrs. Doubtfire and The Star Wars Trilogy.

Ms. Utley serves on the Lupus LA, AMPAS and Film Independent Boards of Directors. Additionally, she has been a mentor for the Hollywood Reporter / Big Brothers Big Sisters Women in Entertainment mentorship program and has volunteered as a mentor for Film Independent’s Project: Involve. Ms. Utley holds a Master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and has been inducted into the Medill School of Journalism Hall of Achievement.

Amy KlobucharSenator Amy Klobuchar

Senator Klobuchar is being recognized with a DGA Honor for her longstanding commitment to fighting for creators’ rights and safeguarding the content created by DGA members and the entertainment industry.

Senator Klobuchar has been unwavering in her dedication to protecting creators’ rights and preserving the value of copyright. She has introduced and co-sponsored past bills seeking to prevent unauthorized streaming of copyrighted material and to give copyright holders tools to curb online access to pirated material.

Senator Klobuchar is the first woman elected to represent the State of Minnesota in the United States Senate. Currently serving her second term, she is the Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee, and also sits on the Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committees. She has built a reputation of putting partisanship aside to help strengthen the economy and support families, workers and businesses.

John McGuireJohn McGuire

John McGuire is the Senior Advisor of SAG-AFTRA. He is being recognized for his nearly five decades of work on behalf of performers, and as a New York leader fighting for the rights of all industry workers and the health of the entertainment community. McGuire has long worked alongside DGA representatives in his various leadership roles at SAG-AFTRA.

Prior to his role as Senior Advisor, McGuire held the position of Associate National Executive Director for the Screen Actors Guild from 1983 to 2001, and before that as SAG’s New York Executive Director beginning in 1969 when he started with the union.

In addition to assisting in SAG-AFTRA’s major contract negotiations, McGuire has represented the guild internationally at meetings with performer organizations around the world. McGuire presently holds the following positions in entertainment-related organizations: Trustee, SAG-Producers Pension & Health Plans; VP and Founding Director, Museum of the Moving Image; President, Council of Motion Picture & Television Unions of New York City; Secretary, Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund; Trustee, SAG Foundation; Board Member, Industry Advancement & Cooperative Fund; General Vice-President, Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO. McGuire graduated from Fordham College with a B.A. degree in History and earned a J.D. degree in law from Fordham Law School.

Ann Roth Ann Roth

Costume designer Ann Roth is receiving the DGA Honor for her trailblazing career.

By her own account, Ann Roth’s extensive career has been threaded with multiple collaborations with directors who became dear friends. Ms. Roth is noted for her rigorous attention to detail and her collaborative work with directors to create indelible characters. She has worked repeatedly with such filmmakers as Mike Nichols, Sidney Lumet, Stephen Daldry, Anthony Minghella, Brian De Palma, John Schlessinger, Sidney Pollack, George Roy Hill, and Noah Baumbach. Roth has designed costumes for a wide variety of genres and historical periods, with such diverse films as Midnight Cowboy (1969), The Day of the Locust (1975), Hair (1979), The World According to Garp (1982), The Birdcage (1996), The Hours (2002), Cold Mountain (2003), Mamma Mia! (2008), Julie & Julia (2009), and The Post (2017).

With over 100 film and television credits, Roth has earned numerous accolades for her diverse career, with four Academy Awards nominations including an Oscar for The English Patient in 1996 and nominations for The Hours (2003), The Talented Mr. Ripley (2000), and Places in the Heart (1985). Roth is a five-time Costume Designers Guild Award nominee, and received the CDG’s 2003 Career Achievement in Film Award. She is also a three-time Emmy Award nominee for Mildred Pierce (2011), Angels in America (2004), and Roanoak: Part I (1986). Roth won the 2013 Tony Award for The Nance, and has eight Tony nominations – including three nominations in 2018. She was the recipient of the Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000 and was inducted in the Theater Hall of Fame in 2011.


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About the DGA:

In the eight decades since its founding in 1936, the DGA has fought for the economic and creative rights of its members; protected their ability to financially benefit from the reuse of their work; established strong pension and health plans; and established jurisdiction in new technologies and distribution platforms. Today we represent more than 17,000 directors and members of the directorial team working in film, television, commercials, new media and other audiovisual media.


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