Directors Guild of Great Britain: directing film and theatre



The Guild has closed its offices and ceased operations. The new Directors Charitable Foundation will continue the charity work of the Guild and the Trust in a new, united cross-media charity for directors of stage and screen. Many thanks to all our supporters and members over thirty fantastic years and we're looking forward to what the new Foundation will bring!

The three UK organisations which support directors in theatre, film and television have joined forces to set up a new charity, the Directors Charitable Foundation.  The Foundation will draw on the experience and resources of the Directors Guild Trust, Directors UK and Stage Directors UK.

A Board comprised of representatives from all three constituent organisations will guide the work of the Foundation. The long-established Directors Guild Trust and the Directors Guild of Great Britain have rolled their functions into the programme of the new Foundation and will therefore cease independent activity.

The Directors Charitable Foundation will focus on helping to train and develop directing talent, on promoting the art and craft of directing to a wide public and on assisting professional directors in financial distress. The Foundation will receive core funding from Directors UK and will actively fundraise.

In a statement, Professor Vladimir Mirodan, Chair of the Directors Guild Trust and Chair-elect of the Directors Charitable Foundation said:

“This exciting new initiative will engage with the public at large to celebrate the craft of directing and raise awareness of the work directors do across all media.  I am delighted that our three organisations have come together in a spirit of generosity and collaboration which embodies the best values of the director’s art.” 

Tom Roberts, Vice-Chair of Directors UK and Vice Chair-elect of the Directors Charitable Foundation added:

“This is an exciting initiative and Directors UK is pleased to be joining colleagues who direct for the stage, radio and other media to create this new charity. One that will enhance the public’s perception of our skills, provide new educational opportunities and look after the welfare interests of the industry.”

Piers Haggard, Chair of the newly-formed Stage Directors UK and Vice Chair-elect of the Directors Charitable Foundation said:

"Stage Directors UK is delighted to be involved in the founding of this new charity to support the varying needs of directors in theatre, film, TV and other media; we look forward to playing our part in shaping the DCF over the coming years."

Press enquiries

The Directors Guild Trust and the Directors Guild of Great Britain worked together to train, promote and celebrate directors and directing across all media: film, television, theatre, radio, opera, commercials, music videos, corporate film, multimedia and new technology. The Guild hosted events and training, produced and sponsored publications, had a respected public voice on arts and media policy and was a forum for members to meet and share experience and skills.   MORE

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 5th Directors Guild Peter Brook Lecture with Adrian Noble, 14th June 2015 Adrian Noble - copyright Ken Howard

THE FIFTH DIRECTORS GUILD PETER BROOK LECTURE was given by ADRIAN NOBLE, Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company 1991-2003, and chaired by BARONESS McINTOSH OF HUDNALL Genista McIintosh, Senior Administrator at the RSC 1986-1990 and Executive Director of the National Theatre 1990-1996 & 1997-2002. Adrian's latest production, The Importance of Being Earnest, starring David Suchet as Lady Bracknell, opens at London's Vaudeville Theatre in June.

More info


The Directors Guild of Great Britain welcomes the formation of Stage Directors UK, which will enable stage directors to campaign alongside those in the recorded media, a position the DGGB has since its foundation considered to be in the best interest of all directors.
The DGGB Trust continues to be proactive in promoting the art and craft of directing. We wish SDUK well and look forward to celebrating its success in supporting stage directors.

Ivor Benjamin - Chair, DGGB
Professor Vladimir Mirodan - Chair, DGGB Trust

THE MEANING OF LIFE + ScreenTalk with Terry Jones
4 NOV 2014, in association with the Barbican

More info


Richard Samuel Attenborough, Baron Attenborough, CBE - actor, film director, film producer, and entrepreneur died 24th August 2014. Equally known and loved for his work spanning 50 years as an actor in theatre and films and as a director and producer of great charm and skill, he helmed some of the most notable British films of all time, including GANDHI, CRY FREEDOM, OH! WHAT A LOVELY WAR, A BRIDGE TOO FAR and CHAPLIN. He is beloved by cinema and television audiences around the world as the lovably misguided John Hammond, founder of JURASSIC PARK and Squadron Leader Roger Bartlett ("Big X") in THE GREAT ESCAPE - among many memorable performances. Richard was a long time member of the Guild, and also President and Patron of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).

Sir Richard Attenborough, Brussels 1988

(29 August 1923 - 24 August 2014). Obituaries: BBC ,The Guardian, The Stage

 DG Peter Brook Lecture Logo Mike Leigh - Peter Brook Lecture DGGB 2013 (photo credit: Simon Mein)  

Writer-director Mike Leigh delivered the fourth annual Directors Guild Peter Brook Lecture to a rapt and packed audience at the British Library on 24th November. Indhu Rubasingham, artistic director of the Tricycle Theatre, chaired the event. The Guild are most grateful to venue partner British Library, sponsor Aon and all of our supporters. More info

ANTONIA BIRD 1959 - 2013

The British film, television and theatre director Antonia Bird was perhaps best-known for her outstanding work with actor Robert Carlyle  on Priest (1994), Face (1997) and Ravenous (1997) she contributed to many famous British programmes, most recently this year'a wonderful BBC series The Village. A multiple BAFTA award winner and a considerable presence in the industry, like many British directors she began her career in the theatre, at the Royal Court, and was also a Guild member for many years. The BBC's drama commissioning controller Ben Stephenson said of Antonia: "She has left us far too soon. She remains an inspiration to us all and her work's indelible impact on British culture is with us for ever."
Obituaries: Guardian  | Telegraph

BRYAN FORBES 1926 - 2013

Bryan Forbes was a gifted and prolific director, producer, actor, writer and factotum of British film and theatre. He was a Directors Guild member from its earliest days and latterly an Honorary Member.

Bryan Forbes  He helped found the Writers Guild of Great Britain and Capital Radio, was President of the National Youth Theatre, ran Elstree Studios and wrote / directed a raft of famous British and Hollywood films, amongst which  Whistle Down the Wind, King Rat and The Stepford Wives stand out as iconic.
His two autobiographies, "Notes for a Life" (1974) and "A Divided Life" (1992) are some of the best critical histories of the British film industry in the 20th century ever written. He is survived by Nanette Newman and their daughters, Emma and Sarah.

Bryan Forbes (John Theobald Clarke), actor, director and writer, born 22 July 1926; died 8 May 2013. Obituaries: Guardian | Telegraph


 Gillian Lynne Congratulations to multi-talented Gillian for a well deserved award! Gillian Lynne's numerous credits include being a leading soloist in the original Sadler's Wells Ballet, star dancer at the London Palladium, acting opposite Errol Flynn in the movies and dancing with all the greats on early TV. Her distinctive jazz dance style led to her groundbreaking work on Cats and Phantom of the Opera. She has done fifty-plus Broadway and West End shows, add to that many opera productions and television direction. In 1997 Gillian's work was recognised with a CBE. Olivier Awards


Congratulations to Alan and all the award winners at the 2013 EE BAFTA Film Awards, Sunday 10th February.

MICHAEL WINNER - 1935-2013
 Michael & Geraldine Winner 2011
Michael & Geraldine Winner, 2011: Link (Daily Mirror)

Outspoken British director, founder member and life-long supporter of the Guild, Michael Winner died on 21st January 2013. He hosted several Guild events, including the 1999 posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award for Stanley Kubrick and the 2004 and 2005 Guild Awards. Between 1985 and 1998 he worked tirelessly against government censorship of film, and was a outspoken critic of James Ferman, the then director of British Board of Film Censors (later British Board of Film Classification).

Director Faynia Williams remembers him: "When Michael started the DGGB Anti-Censorship Committee I complained that there were no women on it. He immediately invited me to join. Going to his house for the first meeting was extraordinary. This controversial character whom I knew only from myth and legend was a welcoming and generous host with an art collection that revealed a deeply-cultured man. Though I disagreed with him on many issues he was inspiring to work with and great fun and he supported the DGGB through thick and thin. You crossed him at your peril, but his larger than life personality was always surprising us with his support of new talent, and his practical generosity. We will miss him."

Notable as one of the most commercially successful British film directors of the 1970s and for the controversial violence of some of his films, over the last 10 years his career moved from films to writing and as a restaurant critic for the Sunday Times he garnered a reputation for no-nonsense and sometimes savage reviews that got him barred from many establishments. He is survived by his wife Geraldine Lynton-Edwards, whom he dated off and on for more than 50 years before they married in 2011.  When Michael proposed, he said he did not drop to one knee. “If I had,” he told The Daily Mail, “I doubt I would have been able to get back up.”

Michael Winner & Charles Bronson on the set of Death Wish 1974 (The Examiner, c. Paramount Pictures)
Michael Winner and Charles Bronson on the set of
"Death Wish (1974):
Link (The Examiner)

Obituaries: Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Los Angeles TimesIMDB

Video: Michael Winner deservedly savaging journalist Richard Littlejohn

 Speaker Peter Brook Lecture 2012Peter Brook Lecture 2012

Sunday 25 Nov 2012 | British Library

The speaker of the Third Annual Directors Guild Peter Brook Lecture was NICHOLAS HYTNER - theatre & film director and producer and current Artistic Director of the National Theatre. TOM MORRIS, Artistic Director of the Bristol Old Vic, interviewed Hytner in front of a crowded auditorium.



The Economic Impact of the UK Film Industry in 2011 - this new report demonstrates that despite the ongoing recession the UK film industry is thriving. With a significant upward trajectory over the last 20 years, the overall picture for the UK film industry is of continued long-term growth. There is a significant and continued investment in infrastructure and the number of jobs is rising, all of which are made possible by robust support from Government.

The report, updated every two years, is commissioned by the BFI and Pinewood Shepperton plc, with support from the British Film Commission and Creative England.
Read the full report HERE.


DGGB HONORARY LIFE MEMBER Paddy Masefield OBE MA FRSA, prolific theatre director, playwright and campaigner for disabled people in the arts, passed away on 13 July 2012 aged 69 after a long battle with cancer and M.E. In 1996 Paddy was awarded an OBE for services to the arts. Paddy was a passionate and influential disability campaigner achieving changes in arts funding and policy; he fought for the condition on Arts Lottery funding that all arts building applications have to include access, both for artists and audience members.



On 19th January, Guild Patron Nic Roeg received The Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film from his friend and collaborator Donald Sutherland at a London ceremony. The award is the London Film Critics' Circle's highest honour, awarded for his contribution to film-making and lasting testament to innovation. More details HERE.

Legendary director and DGGB Honorary Life Member Bryan Forbes was awarded a BFI Fellowship, the BFI's highest honour, on 24 January. Following a screening of WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND the BFI showed an exclusive interview with Simon Callow, which was filmed at Bryan's home the week before the Awards ceremony. Due to Bryan's ill health his daughters accepted the Fellowship on his behalf from BFI Chair Greg Dyke.  More details and video HERE.


Fight director, movie swordsman and Olympic fencer Bob Anderson died 1st January 2012. after 60 years staging some of the most iconic swordfights in modern movie history, including The Princess Bride (1987), The Mask of Zorro (1998), Pirates of the Carribean (2003), Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) and Star Wars (1977). Aged 89, he was still working on Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Hobbit. Read the New York Times obituary.

VACLAV HAVEL - 1936-2011

Vaclav Havel, dissident Czech playwright, jailed by the Communist regime and who went on to become Czech president and a symbol of peace and freedom after leading the bloodless "Velvet Revolution," died at age 75 today, Sunday 18th December. (Reuters) Read the BBC obituary.

KEN RUSSELL - 1927-2011

Director Ken Russell died yesterday, 27/11/2011 aged 84. In his lifetime a naval officer, dancer, photographer and filmmaker, his contribution to British film can never be overestimated. A long-time Guild member, we salute him. Read the last interview with Russell (Guardian) and the Daily Telegraph obituary.

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