June 27, 2012
Los Angeles – Directors Guild of America President Taylor Hackford today announced the appointment of Michael Stevens as the chair of the 65th Annual DGA Awards Dinner taking place at Hollywood and Highland in Los Angeles on February 2, 2013. Stevens is an Emmy Award-winning producer, director and writer of more than 30 prime-time event and concert specials. In addition to his work on live events, concerts and awards shows for television, Stevens has produced and directed several critically acclaimed dramatic films and a Grammy nominated album.
Stevens has been producing and writing for the Kennedy Center Honors for nearly a decade. In 2009, he wrote and produced We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial. Stevens directed, wrote and produced the seven 75th Anniversary Game-Changer short films that debuted in 2011 and he was also nominated for a 2011 DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Miniseries for Thurgood.
“We are so pleased to have Michael join us to celebrate the best in filmmaking at the Annual DGA Awards Dinner,” said Hackford. “Michael directed and produced seven stellar short films celebrating the Guild’s 75th anniversary, which debuted at the DGA Awards two years ago. They beautifully recounted the key game-changing moments of Guild history for our membership, our community and the public at large. Michael’s proven talent in live-event production will be a tremendous asset in the creation of our 65th Annual Awards.”
The DGA has been a part of Stevens’ family for over six decades; Michael Stevens is the grandson of three-term Guild president George Stevens and the son of director member George Stevens, Jr. Michael Stevens’ role as chair will bring full circle a family legacy at the DGA Awards that began in 1948 when his grandfather George Stevens was one of the first Guild service Award recipients at the inaugural DGA dinner.
"It is an honor to have received President Hackford's invitation and continue my family's service to the Guild,” said Stevens. “Recognition from your peers, based on mastery of technique only, is what makes the DGA Award unique, and I will do all I can to support its standing in our community."
This will be Stevens’ first time chairing the Awards Dinner. Howard Storm had previously chaired the Dinner for 17 years. “Howard played a significant role in developing the DGA Awards Dinner into the tremendous celebration that it is today – we couldn’t have done it without him – and we thank him for his dedication and the many, many hours he put into making the Awards Dinner the best it could be,” added Hackford.
Michael Stevens is an award winning producer-director-writer of over 30 primetime event television specials, and director-producer of two independent feature films. His 19-year career also transcends into the world of Broadway and recorded music.
Stevens was born into an entertainment family. His paternal grandfather, George Stevens, was a legendary film director, producer, screenwriter and cinematographer. His father, George Stevens Jr., is an award-winning film and television writer, director, producer, and founder of the American Film Institute. Other family members include actors Alice Howell and Yvonne Howell, and the theatre critic, Ashton Stevens. Stevens represents the fifth generation of his family to work in either theatrical or filmed entertainment.
Since 2002, Stevens has been a writer and producer of the annual Kennedy Center Honors. His productions of the TV special of the Honors event have secured the show an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special in five consecutive years – 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 – winning the award in the latter three years.
Stevens’ concern for human rights and upbringing in a show biz family where humanitarianism was always prevalent were his motivation in part for producing and directing the television adaptation of the Broadway play, Thurgood, about the life of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, which was nominated for three Emmy Awards, a SAG Award and Directors Guild of America Award.
Stevens embraced the opportunity to expand his creative horizons into music production when he discovered Bettye LaVette in 2008. Stevens conceived and produced the Bettye LaVette album Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Outstanding Contemporary Blues album in 2011.
In 2009 he wrote and produced We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration. He was awarded an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for this special.
Additional Stevens' television producing credits include The American Film Institute Salutes… from 1993-1998, which was nominated for an Emmy in 1995. His first production in 1993, The Great Ones: The National Sports Awards, was also nominated for an Emmy. For the past seven years, he has directed and written the TNT cable network production of Christmas in Washington.
His feature film credits include Bad City Blues, which he produced and directed. Stevens worked as an associate producer for Terrence Malick on the acclaimed film The Thin Red Line, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards.
In 1999, he produced Steven Spielberg’s film history of the 20th century, The Unfinished Journey. It had its premiere on the CBS broadcast of America’s Millennium, the three-hour live television special which he also produced with Quincy Jones and George Stevens, Jr.
In addition, Stevens is the recipient of two Writers Guild of America nominations, and an NAACP Image Award.
His most recent feature film is Sin – a modern-day western set in Reno that stars Gary Oldman and Ving Rhames. It was sold to Columbia Pictures/Screen Gems at the Sundance Film Festival. He is currently working on a biographical documentary of the famed political cartoonist, Herblock, set for release in 2013.