The Directors Guild of America has awarded Michael Apted its DGA honorary life member award in recognition of leadership, contribution to the guild and the profession of directing, and outstanding career achievement.
The award will be presented to Apted, who currently serves as DGA secretary-treasurer, at the 70th Annual DGA Awards Dinner on Feb. 3 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
“Michael is a game changer for our guild and our industry,” said DGA President Thomas Schlamme. “Whether having the foresight as a young man to conceptualize the revolutionary documentary series “7 Up” — still going on decades later — or guiding Hollywood through a digital revolution, he is a fearless, visionary leader, and we are all the beneficiaries.”
Schlamme noted that Apted has served as either president or co-chair for every major new media and SVOD negotiation.
“Michael has skillfully navigated the DGA through times of great change, setting the path for our members and our industry to flourish. His search for the truth and what’s right is evident in all that he endeavors — from negotiating directors’ creative and economic rights, to rallying our industry’s fight against piracy and runaway production, to advocating for independent filmmakers and inclusion,” he added. “All the while, he has taken the time to lend a hand to those behind him. As a mentor to so many, myself included, Michael has activated leadership in others and inspired us all to be more engaged in our guild.”
Apted served as DGA president for three terms from 2003-2009, the longest consecutive presidential service since George Sidney in the 1960s.
His directing credits include “Unlocked,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” “Amazing Grace,” “Gorillas in the Mist,” “Coalminer’s Daughter,” “The World is Not Enough,” “Gorky Park,” “Thunderheart,” “Nell,” “Enigma,” “Chasing Mavericks” and “Enough.”
Apted’s documentary credits include “Incident at Oglala,” “Bring on the Night,” “Moving the Mountain,” “Me and Isaac Newton,” and eight “7 Up” documentaries, the latest of which was “56 Up,” which have followed the lives of 14 Britons since the age of seven in seven-year increments. He won the DGA Award in the dramatic series category for directing “Rome.”
Apted received the DGA’s Robert B. Aldrich Award in 2013 for “extraordinary service to the guild and its membership.”