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Tuesday, 1 February, 2000, 12:05 GMT
Spielberg's top directing honour

Spielberg has won one of the highest film-making accolades


Hollywood film director Steven Spielberg has been chosen to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Directors' Guild of America.

He will be handed the prestigious honour at the guild's 52nd annual ceremony on 11 March.

'Perfect choice'

The title was originally bestowed, and named, in memory of the movie pioneer DW Griffith.


The award-winning Saving Private Ryan
However, last month the guild changed the tribute to the Lifetime Achievement Award because it believed Griffith's 1915 epic Birth of a Nation fostered "intolerable racial stereotypes".

Spielberg has been honoured by the DGA on three previous occasions for individual movies.

The Color Purple, Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan earned him the guild's award for outstanding directorial achievement.

Commenting on the DGA's decision to give the 52-year-old its top honour, the organisation's president Jack Shea said: "It is truly astonishing that Steven Spielberg, with so many great films still ahead of him, is already such a perfect choice for the ultimate directorial honour."

Cinema's greats

The DGA's lifetime achievement award has been given out 28 times since it was first presented in 1953 to Cecil B De Mille.


The late Stanley Kubrick was a previous winner
Other recipients have included Eyes Wide Shut director Stanley Kubrick and Twelve Angry Men director Sidney Lumet.

Celebrated Swede Ingmar Bergman has also been recognised, along with acting/directing legend Orson Welles and master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock.

Foreign first

Spielberg has been writing, producing, directing, even sometimes acting in, films since the late 1950s. In that time he has won almost 30 awards, including two Oscars and three Emmys.

In 1978, the Writers' Guild of America (WGA) nominated him for its Best Drama Written Directly For The Screen award for his Sci-fi hit Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

The WGA was, on Monday, named French-born screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere as the first foreign-language writer to receive its own highest tribute - The Screen Laurel Award.

Carriere - whose credits over the last 40 years include The Tin Drum, The Return of Martin Guerre and The Unbearable Lightness of Being - will be presented with his trophy on 5 March.

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See also:
12 Aug 99 |  Entertainment
Spielberg's top military honour
22 Oct 99 |  Entertainment
Spielberg's Man of the Year
21 Mar 99 |  The Oscars 1999
Spielberg and Paltrow your Oscar winners
27 Oct 99 |  Entertainment
Spielberg goes online

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