Directors Guild of America Logo

DGA to Honor National Executive Director Jay D. Roth With Honorary Life Member Award At 60th Annual Awards Gala

| Source: Directors Guild of America

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 20, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Directors Guild of America President Michael Apted today announced that the Guild's long-time National Executive Director, Jay D. Roth, will be honored with the DGA Honorary Life Member Award at the Guild's 60th Annual DGA Awards on January 26, 2008.

"Jay is a true industry leader, admired and trusted by all sides," said DGA President Michael Apted. "His skill, his intelligence, his energy and his real love of the DGA and what it stands for are priceless assets to our Guild and the entertainment industry. He's a remarkable man with a brilliant mind and great insight. If there's anyone who can find himself in a labyrinth, pick his way through and come out the other side -- it's Jay."

The DGA Honorary Life Member Award is given in recognition of outstanding creative achievement, contribution to the DGA or the profession of directing. Roth is being honored for his exceptional leadership in the entertainment industry for the past 25 years, exemplified by his outstanding stewardship of the Directors Guild of America for 12 years as National Executive Director. Roth, the Guild's second-longest serving National Executive Director, came to the DGA in 1995 after a career practicing labor law in the entertainment industry as Managing Partner of Taylor, Roth, Bush & Geffner where he specialized in representing entertainment Guilds, labor organizations and pension, health and welfare funds.

"Jay Roth is the very best of the breed of executive directors," said Secretary-Treasurer Gilbert Cates. "Savvy technically, an ex-labor lawyer, he is an ardent defender of the Guild's primary mission -- protecting the creative and economic rights of directors and their teams. I have worked with him for going-on 25 years now and no matter how difficult or obscure the situation, it is his laser-sharp ability to slice through to the core of the problem that most often reveals the best solution. The DGA is very lucky to have had him be a part of our family for so long, and now through this Honorary Life Membership Award, he will always be a part of the director's team."

Roth has been a vigorous defender of the economic rights of creators in the entertainment industry, first inside, then outside the courtroom. As a litigator, Roth handled dozens of bankruptcy cases on behalf of directors, writers, actors and industry pension plans, safeguarding the financial interests of the creative community and securing future residual compensation that otherwise might have been lost.

He also handled numerous residual-related disputes, developed the Guild's security interest programs to protect residuals and advised on domestic and international intellectual property matters, frequently representing the Guilds before the World Intellectual Property Organization and in various international trade-related negotiations.

Since accepting the position of National Executive Director of the DGA in 1995, the Guild has successfully negotiated four labor agreements, winning important creative and economic gains for directors and their teams in each contract. During his tenure, Roth has led the DGA's efforts to modernize the Guild, implementing the National Board's direction to reflect organizationally the cutting edge work of DGA directors and their teams. It was Roth's vision to overhaul the Guild's approach to how it manages core functions including: collective bargaining, organizing, jurisdiction and member support. Roth has created new departments to address the Guild's growing member needs including the first Communications, Credits, Diversity, Government Affairs, Organizing and Research Departments. He supervised the efforts to improve the physical infrastructure of the Guild including the renovation of the New York Headquarters Building and Theater, the state-of-the-art projection upgrades to the Guild Los Angeles Theater Complex and the four-year overhaul of the Guild's many separate legacy computer databases into one unified system to track and record residuals, projects, credits and other vital member data.

In addition to his service to the Guild, Roth is treasurer of the Motion Picture & Television Fund; a trustee of the DGA-Producer Pension and Health Plan; a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; a member of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans' Government Liaison Committee; and an honorary member of the Society of Camera Operators. He has served as chair of the Labor Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and as chair of the American Bar Association's Airline-Railway Labor Law Committee. He has also lectured extensively around the world on matters related to entertainment labor law and intellectual property rights.

Roth was born and raised in New York and is a graduate of the University of Vermont and Boston University Law School. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Sherry Grant, and enjoys spending time with his daughter, Gina, her husband, Dan, and his grandson, Jack.

The Honorary Life Member Award will be presented to Roth at the DGA Awards ceremony on Saturday, January 26, 2008 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel.

      Past recipients of the DGA Honorary Life Member Award:

 D.W. Griffith (1938)                 H.C. Potter (1977)
 Mabel Walker Willebrandt (1939)      David Butler (1978)
 Marshall Neilan (1940)               Joseph L. Mankiewicz (1981)
 Frank Capra (1941)                   Elia Kazan (1983)
 Maurice Tourneur (1945)              Robert E. Wise (1983)
 Tod Browning (1948)                  Tom Donovan (1985)
 Rex Ingram (1949)                    Michael H. Franklin (1988)
 J.P. McGowan (1951)                  Sidney Lumet (1989)
 Louis B. Mayer (1952)                Barry Diller (1990)
 Walt Disney (1955)                   Sidney Jay Sheinberg (1990)
 Donald Crisp (1957)                  Elliot Silverstein (1990)
 George Sidney (1959)                 Gilbert Cates (1991)
 Y. Frank Freeman (1961)              Charles Champlin (1992)
 Hobe Morrison (1962)                 Arthur Hiller (1993)
 Joseph C. Youngerman (1964)          Sheldon Leonard (1995)
 Jack L. Warner (1965)                Chuck Jones (1996)
 Darryl F. Zanuck (1968)              Jack Valenti (2001)
 David Lean (1973)                    Delbert Mann (2002)
 Charles Chaplin (1974)               John Rich (2003)
 Lew Wasserman (1975)                 Larry Auerbach (2004)
                                      Carl Reiner (2007)
Directors Guild of America
Sahar Moridani
(310) 289-5334