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Tuesday, 04 December 2012 12:39

DGA to Honor Director Milos Forman

Written by  Lauren Waldron
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milas formanDirectors Guild of America President Taylor Hackford announced that acclaimed Director Milos Forman will receive the Guild’s top honor. The filmmaker will be presented with the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Achievement in Motion Picture Direction at the 65th Annual DGA Awards in Los Angeles, Calif. on February 2. “It is a tremendous privilege to present the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award for feature film to one of the greatest filmmakers of our time, Milos Forman,” said Hackford. “No matter what subject or genre he tackles, Milos finds the universality of the human experience in every story, allowing us, his rapt audience, to recognize ourselves within the struggle for free expression and self-determination that Milos so aptly portrays on the silver screen.” 

The Lifetime Achievement Award winner is selected by the Guild’s present and past presidents, and only 33 other directors have been recognized with the honor. Best known for directing One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus, Forman has twice won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film. His films have garnered 13 Academy Awards and 33 nominations, and he has won two Best Director Oscars. A graduate of the University of Prague’s Film Institute, Forman directed his first feature Black Peter in 1963, and its film festival success led to Forman’s first trip to the United States. His next two films, Loves of a Blonde and Fireman’s Ball, were both nominated for Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. Forman then moved to New York to make his first American film Taking Off. In 1973, Producers Michael Douglas and Saul Zaentz asked Forman to direct Cuckoo’s Nest, which was followed by the films Hair and Oscar-nominated Ragtime. In 1984, his film Amadeus brought more critical acclaim and eight Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Picture. Forman’s later films include Valmont, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Man in the Moon and Goya’s Ghosts. He has also spent many years teaching and running Columbia University’s film studies program.

Forman joined the DGA in 1970 and served two terms on the National Board. A longtime champion of artist’s rights, he got involved with the issue of unauthorized film alteration after his film Hair was broadcast with the unauthorized removal of half of its musical scenes. He has also served as a Charter Benefactor of the Artists Rights Foundation, a Governor of the Artists Rights Education and Legal Defense Fund Council at the Film Foundation, and a member of the DGA President’s Committee on Film Preservation. Forman was awarded the John Huston Award for Artists Rights in 1997 and the DGA Honor in 2008. And in 2009, Forman gave the keynote address at the CISAC World Copyright Summit in Washington, D.C. on behalf of the DGA, expressing his concern about how rampant digital theft would impact compensation for the artists’ work.

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