TV and short-film director Beryl Richards has been elected the new chair of Directors UK, the British analogue of the Directors Guild of America. Richards will take over from the outgoing Charles Sturridge, who has led the organization since its official launch in 2008.
Directors UK represents the creative, economic and contractual interests of over 5,500 film and television directors. Richards helped set up and chaired the org’s Women Directors’ Working Group. She is also the winner of three BAFTAs, an RTS, a British Comedy Award, the Prix Jeunesse, and two International Emmy nominations for directing.
“Charles is leaving the organization in fantastic shape and I am excited to be taking up the challenge of leading Directors UK on the next stage of our journey,” commented Richards in a statement. “I joined the Board in 2011 and have been heavily involved in the women directors’ campaign, which has shown me just how much it is possible to achieve when directors — and industry — work together. I am now looking forward to working with the Board on a new set of issues and shaping how we campaign and change things for the better. Looking to the future of our industry I want to make sure the directors creative voice is heard and respected.”
A 2014 study by Directors UK found that women made up only 14% of the TV directing workforce in the United Kingdom. The organization announced that it would seek to raise that number to 30% by 2017.