Championing the creative, economic and contractual rights of professional screen directors.
To be the leading rights association for directors, championing the art of audiovisual screen direction. Forging a world in which directors’ creative voices are respected, authorial vision is valued and fairly paid.
Collaboration. Respect. Empowerment. Professionalism. Integrity. Being progressive.
Directors UK is the professional association of directors working with the moving image in the UK, with over 8,000 members.
Film and TV are a great British success story, and directors are crucial to that success. Directors UK exists to ensure that the importance of directors and their work is recognised, and to give directors a powerful and united voice at the centre of the industry. Directors are authors of their work under copyright law.
Directors work in a multitude of ways. Some write, some produce, some make feature films, some make television programmes, some direct music videos, others are involved in commercials and games. What unites directors is vision. We make things happen: the position, status, and security of directors is not simply good for us, it is also good for the industry.
We work with them at every stage in their career to protect and enhance directors’ creative rights - this means ensuring their control of their material, protecting them from bad working practices, supporting them collectively.
We negotiate, collect, and manage the right to receive payment for the use of their work for all directors working in the UK. Working with broadcasters and our international partners we operate a sophisticated monitoring, collection and royalty distribution system.
We are the voice of directors at every level. We represent directors and directing to Government in the UK and in Europe, to broadcasters, to regulators, to other industry bodies and to the media.
We provide valuable services and benefits to our members and ensure they are involved in the profession and as a community. Directors UK unites directors, creates opportunities, and works to support and strengthen every member. Central to our purpose is the encouragement, protection and development of our members. While directors work alone, it is our role to bring members together.
Directors UK originated from the Directors’ and Producers’ Rights Society (DPRS), initially established in 1987 by the Directors Guild of Great Britain (DGGB) for the purpose of collecting payments due to directors under other European legislation. In 1992 it became a separate organisation.
- Establishing the right of the ‘principal director’ of a British film or television programme to be identified as an author of their work.
- Securing agreements with European collecting societies to collect and distribute payments.
- Following a major campaign in 2001, securing an agreement with British broadcasters and producers for secondary rights payments for television directors.
Over the years DPRS and Directors UK have collected and distributed millions of pounds to British directors as a result of these agreements.
In 2006 a group of leading film and television directors got together to discuss the challenges facing their industry, and the need to improve working conditions, fees and remuneration for directors in the UK. Over the next two years this group worked closely with the Board of DPRS to create the current organisation - Directors UK, which was launched in June 2008.
In November 2011 Directors UK launched its new Membership Scheme, open to all directors whether or not they have works that are receiving payments from the collecting society. Find out more about becoming a member here.
Read a full history of Directors UK, written to celebrate our 25th anniversary in 2017.