Oscar 2007: Directors Guilrd Reasserts Ban on Screeners to Members

August 24, 2007: The Directors Guild of America (DGA) has reasserted its ban on studios sending screeners to guild members. A press release today, which announces the timetable for the guild's 60th annual awards, includes brief statement that screeners will not be allowed.

The move comes after the DGA allowed, then rescinded, the mailing of titles in December 2006. The new decision also revokes its December 20, 2006 that the guild would allow screeners this season.

The press release said: “The DGA recognizes that this decision is different from what was stated last year, bcloser examination” revealed a need for the ban to maintain a 'level playing field' during the upcoming awards season.

During the awards campaigning last year, the DGA gave Paramount-DreamWorks permission to send out “Dreamgirls” screeners to the 13,400 DGA members, and competing studios and indies protested that the DGA had never allowed such a mailing.

The DGA insisted that no one had asked for permission previously and asserted its policy allowed for screeners to be sent to members — following notification of competing studios and indies.

In the wake of protests by rival studios, the DGA rescinded its permission a week later on the “Dreamgirls” DVDs, even though thousands of the screeners were ready to ship. The guild apologized for the mixed signals and asserted that it would allow screeners during the next awards season.

Today's announcement of the policy reversal means that the DGA's probably managed to avert further controversy over the screener issue long before the upcoming awards season heats up.

Press release also said, “Maintaining a level playing field for all feature directors and their films in contention is of paramount importance to the guild.”

The DGA announced its schedule for the awards season, setting the awards dinner for January 26. Feature ballots will be mailed Dec. 3 with a Jan. 7 deadline. Nominees will be announced January 8.

TV ballots will be mailed Dec. 12 with a Jan. 3 deadline; smallscreen, commercials and docu nods will be disclosed on January 10.

The DGA winner in the feature category has matched the director Oscar winner in 53 of the last 59 years, including Martin Scorsese this year for “The Departed.”