New name, awards for Oz helmers

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SYDNEY -- Members of the Australian Screen Directors Assn. on Friday voted to rename the organization the Australian Directors Guild, bringing it in line with similar directors organizations around the world.

The name change is one of a number of new initiatives the guild is planning that "signal its intent to become even more relevant to directors across the board and to be more responsive to their specific concerns and needs in a changing media environment," according to executive director Richard Harris.

Among those new initiatives will be a peer-voted competitive awards system -- the first to be implemented by and for Australian directors. The new awards will run across all genres -- from television commercials and documentaries to TV dramas and feature films -- and will be scheduled toward the end of the year, alongside other Australian guild awards, the Australian Film Institute awards and the public choice IF Awards.

The new awards will run in addition to the guild's annual outstanding achievement award, which honors a director's body of work rather than one project.

Other changes include a new Web site and branding, a new conference format, a series of seminars focusing on the digital future and the publication of a series of ADG-related codes of practice and rate sheets.

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