DGA Announces Special Award Winners for 69th Annual DGA Awards

DGA Awards Thomas Schlamme Marie Cantin

December 7, 2016

Los Angeles – Directors Guild of America President Paris Barclay today announced the recipients of two special DGA Awards recognizing extraordinary contribution to the Guild: Thomas Schlamme and Marie Cantin will be honored at the 69th Annual DGA Awards on Saturday, February 4, 2017.

  • Thomas Schlamme will receive the DGA’s 2017 Robert B. Aldrich Award for extraordinary service to the Directors Guild of America and to its membership.
  • Marie Cantin will receive the DGA’s 2017 Frank Capra Achievement Award, which is given to an Assistant Director or Unit Production Manager in recognition of career achievement in the industry and service to the Directors Guild of America.

“From the boardroom to the bargaining table, Thomas Schlamme exemplifies the service and dedication upon which our Guild was founded – all while maintaining a successful and demanding career,” said Barclay. “For more than a decade and a half, we have all benefited from his laser-focus on the creative and economic rights of directors. We couldn’t be more proud to honor him for his steadfast commitment to our members and extraordinary contributions ranging from his leadership in our negotiations as co-chair, to his service on our National Board and Western Directors Council.”

“Since the moment she was elected to her first Guild post in 2003, Marie Cantin has been a staunch advocate and proud representative of her fellow Guild members who have also benefited tremendously from her unwavering commitment to education,” added Barclay. “We are thrilled to recognize her service and accomplishments.”

The special awards will be presented at the 69th Annual DGA Awards Dinner on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. 

Thomas SchlammeThomas Schlamme

Thomas Schlamme is the DGA’s Third Vice President, and has been on the Guild’s National Board since 2005. He previously served as Fifth Vice President. Schlamme is the 2017 BA/FLTTA Negotiations Committee Co-Chair along with Michael Apted, and served in that same role in 2014. He was also a member of the Negotiations Committee in 2008. He has been a member of the Western Directors Council since 2003, a member of the Creative Rights Committee since 2001, and is also a founding member of the DGA Political Action Committee’s Leadership Council. 

Mr. Schlamme, who is known for his groundbreaking work in television dramas, has been a DGA member since 1978. He began his career directing cutting-edge music videos and concert films for Bette Midler in the 1980s, moving from there to directing Whoopi Goldberg and Robert Klein comedy specials for HBO.

His feature film directing credits include So I Married an Axe Murderer, starring Mike Myers; You So Crazy, starring Martin Lawrence; and Miss Firecracker, starring Holly Hunter and Tim Robbins. Telefilm credits include Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long, starring John Goodman; and Crazy from the Heart, starring Christine Lahti, both for TNT.

Shifting to episodic television, Mr. Schlamme produced and directed Tracey Ullman’s critically acclaimed series Tracey Takes On..., for which he received an Emmy Award, after which he began directing numerous episodes of such hit television series as Mad About You, Friends, Ally McBeal, The Practice, Chicago Hope, and ER, for which he won an Emmy nomination for direction of his remarkable live episode. Mr. Schlamme’s long lasting and productive collaboration with writer Aaron Sorkin led to his directing and executive producing three shows together: West Wing, Sports Night, and Studio 60.

Mr. Schlamme directed and is credited with creating the look of such hit series as Spin City, The Larry Sanders Show, and Parenthood, along with Invasion, Boston Public, Mr. Sunshine, Sports Night, The West Wing, Studio 60, Jack & Bobby, Murder in the First, Pan Am and Manhattan. In addition to directing episodes of other TV dramas such as The Americans, and the mini-series When We Rise for ABC, he continues to develop projects under his company Shoe Money Productions. His latest project SNOWFALL will premiere on FX in 2017.

Mr. Schlamme has won three DGA Awards, having been nominated eight times, and has won nine Emmy Awards.


Marie CantinMarie Cantin

Marie Cantin’s service to the Guild began in 2001 as a member of the AD/UPM Council West's UPM Committee. In 2003, she was elected by her peers to serve as an alternate on the AD/UPM Council West and has since served consecutive terms on the Council in various elected positions including Secretary/Treasurer, Second Vice Chair, and First Vice Chair. She most recently completed her fourth term as Council Chair, during which time she spearheaded numerous educational initiatives. Cantin also served on the Negotiations Committee for the 2011, 2014 and 2017 negotiations cycles.

A DGA member since 1988, Cantin has worked as a Unit Production Manager and Producer on a number of features including: Dante’s Peak; Collateral; Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead, which screened at the Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard; Big Fat Liar; Save The Last Dance; A Night At the Roxbury; and the film version of the Broadway play Torch Song Trilogy. As an educator, Cantin recently served as the Associate Dean, Thesis Production & Post Production at the American Film Institute Conservatory in Los Angeles. During her tenure, she was also a member of the producing faculty and mentored more than 185 graduate thesis projects that won numerous distinctions including DGA Student Film Awards, an Oscar nomination, Student Academy Awards and College Television Awards. Cantin has also lectured and taught film production at UCLA Extension, UC Santa Cruz, California State University Los Angeles, San Diego State University, and Western Carolina University; and has led workshops for the Finnish Film Foundation in Helsinki, the Maine Film Workshops, the Association of Film Commissioners International, and the National Park Service.

Nominations for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film will be announced on January 12, 2017. Nominations for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Television, Commercials, and Documentary will be announced on January 11, 2017.

BMW is the Exclusive Automotive Sponsor of the 69th Annual DGA Awards. 

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Past recipients of the DGA Robert B. Aldrich Award:

  • Steven Soderbergh (2014)
  • Michael Apted (2013)
  • William M. Brady (2009)
  • Paris Barclay (2007)
  • Taylor Hackford (2007)
  • Jeremy Kagan (2004)
  • Jud Taylor (2003)
  • Edwin Sherin (2002)
  • Robert Butler (2001)
  • Tom Donovan (2001)
  • Arthur Hiller (1999)
  • Martha Coolidge (1998)
  • Delbert Mann (1997)
  • Daniel Petrie (1996)
  • Max A. Schindler (1995)
  • Burt Bluestein (1994)
  • Gene Reynolds (1993)
  • John Rich (1993)
  • Jack Shea (1992)
  • Larry Auerbach (1991)
  • Milt Felsen (1991)
  • George L. Schaefer (1990)
  • Gilbert Cates (1989)
  • Sheldon Leonard (1988)
  • George Sidney (1986)
  • Elliot Silverstein (1985)
  • Robert E. Wise (1984)

Past recipients of the DGA Frank Capra Achievement Award:

  • Mary Rae Thewlis (2016)
  • Phillip Goldfarb (2015)
  • Lee Blaine (2014)
  • Susan Zwerman (2013)
  • Katy E. Garretson (2012)
  • Cleve Landsberg (2010)
  • Kim Kurumada (2009)
  • Liz Ryan (2008)
  • Jerry H. Ziesmer (2006)
  • Herb Adelman (2005)
  • Stephen Glanzrock (2004)
  • Yudi Bennett (2003)
  • Burt Bluestein (2002)
  • Cheryl R. Downey (2000)
  • Tom Joyner (1999)
  • Bob Jeffords (1998)
  • Peter A. Runfolo (1994)
  • Willard H. Sheldon (1993)
  • Howard W. Koch (1991)
  • Stanley Ackerman (1990)
  • Alex Hapsas (1988)
  • Henry E. “Bud” Brill (1987)
  • Jane Schimel (1985)
  • Abby Singer (1985)
  • William Beaudine Jr. (1983)
  • William C. Gerrity (1983)
  • Wallace Worsley (1982)
  • David Golden (1982)
  • Francisco “Chico” Day (1981)
  • Emmett Emerson (1980) 

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