A familiar face will host at this year’s Directors Guild Awards (DGA Awards). Judd Apatow (“The Return”) will helm the 70th annual ceremony, taking over from previous host Jane Lynch with veteran awards-show producer Don Mischer as awards chair, according to Deadline. Michael Apted (“Rome”) will also receive the DGA Honorary Life Member Award in a nod to his contributions to directing, the Directors Guild of America, and the world of film.
The announcements come just before the DGA’s nominations for the best in film in 2017, which are set to be released on Wednesday and Thursday this week. DGA president Thomas Schlamme praised Apatow, noting his impact as a “multi-hyphenate force in our industry” and his “lifelong love of film and television [which] underline his ability to entertain with heart” no matter whether he’s behind the camera or entertaining a live crowd. Apatow has made his name in Hollywood with a solid oeuvre of comedic films and TV series, including “Freaks and Geeks,” “This is 40,” “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up” and “Trainwreck.” He recently returned to stand-up comedy with Netflix’s “The Return,” which was released last month. Apatow has been a member of the DGA for two decades.
Apted, a previous DGA president and current secretary-treasurer, has been a major driving force behind the guild’s evolution since joining in 1978. Along with helming hits like “21 Up,” “Enigma” and “Gorillas in the Mist,” Apted served as a three term DGA president, the longest run since George Sidney (“The Eddy Duchin Story”), and served alongside current president Schlamme as co-chair on the 2014 DGA negotiating committee for the 2014 and 2017 contract negotiations. According to Deadline, the negotiations resulted in what the DGA says is “unprecedented gains in subscription video on demands residuals which set the pattern for the industry. Schlamme said of Apted:
“Michael is a game-changer for our guild and our industry. 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…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. 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.”
The DGA nominations will roll in on Wednesday and Thursday this week, in preparation for the DGA Awards on Feb. 3 at the Beverly Hilton.