Taylor Hackford was elected President of the Directors Guild of America on Saturday, replacing Michael Apted.
Additionally, 135 delegates representing nearly 14,000 members of the DGA elected a new slate of officers and members of the National Board of Directors.
Steven Soderbergh was re-elected National Vice President; Gil Cates, a former DGA president, was re-elected Secretary-Treasurer.
Hackford’s credits include "An Officer and a Gentleman," "Against All Odds," "White Nights," "Everybody’s All-American," "Dolores Claiborne," "The Devil’s Advocate," "Proof of Life" and "Ray." His documentaries include "Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock n’ Roll" and "When We Were Kings."
Hackford was nominated for a DGA award and a best director Oscar for "An Officer and a Gentleman" in 1983 and for "Ray" in 2005. He won the Academy Award for live-action short "Teenage Father" in 1979.
He joined the DGA in 197 and began his service to the DGA as a member of the Special Projects Committee. He was elected to the Western Directors Council in 1996, became a member of the National Board in 2002 and was elected Third Vice President of the National Board in 2005.
In 2007, the Guild honored Hackford with the Robert B. Aldrich Achievement Award for extraordinary service to the DGA and its membership.
“This guild has worked for nearly three quarters of a century to advance the economic and creative rights of its members, always addressing new challenges with a firm and steady hand,” said Hackford. “I’m extraordinarily proud of what the DGA has accomplished, and I hope to continue that great legacy of leadership.”
In addition to the work of negotiating and enforcing the collective bargaining agreements, Hackford added that the DGA’s top legislative priority will be protecting the work of its members in this new digital age.
“We have to be aware of the challenges we’re facing in protecting our work on the Internet. What’s euphemistically called ‘Internet Piracy,’ I choose to call by its true name, ‘Internet Theft,’ he said. “It threatens the future of our economic lives: our employment, residuals and pension and health plans. Solutions won’t come easy, but they must be found, if we are going to survive as professional filmmakers.”
“I believe that Taylor’s experience and enthusiasm, combined with the political connections he’s forged, make him the right person,” said Soderbergh, who placed Hackford’s name in nomination.
“The guild will be in extremely capable hands with Taylor, who has already served in different capacities for years,” said Apted.