Dwight Williams and Jim Tanker to be Honored For Guild Service and Career Achievement at the 70th Annual DGA Awards

Dwight Williams and Jim Tanker DGA Special Awards Recipients

December 14, 2017

Los Angeles – Directors Guild of America President Thomas Schlamme today announced the recipients of two special DGA Awards recognizing lifetime career achievement and extraordinary contribution to the Guild.

Dwight Williams will receive the 2018 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.

Jim Tanker will receive the 2018 Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award, which is given to an Associate Director or Stage Manager in recognition of career achievement in the industry and service to the Directors Guild of America.  

Williams, a prolific unit production manager and assistant director of hit features and television series, has served for many years on the Guild’s Eastern and Western AD/UPM Councils. Tanker, a longtime Associate Director of high-profile events, news and sports, and reality series, has served on the Guild’s AD/SM/PA West Council for nearly two decades.

“Dwight Williams and Jim Tanker are leaders in their fields who have dedicated themselves to representing the interests of their fellow members and standing up for their creative and economic rights,” said Schlamme. “The Directors Guild draws its strength from the service and dedication of its members, and our special award winners exemplify that spirit at its highest level.”

The awards will be presented at the 70th Annual DGA Awards Dinner on Saturday, February 3, 2018 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. Bios for both recipients are below:

Dwight WilliamsDwight Williams

A DGA member for nearly 50 years, Dwight Williams joined the Guild in 1971 after graduating from the Assistant Director Training Program. He became involved in Guild service soon after with consecutive terms on the Eastern AD/UPM Council from 1972-78, and again from 1985-87. Following a move to the West Coast, Williams served consecutive terms as an alternate on the Western AD/UPM Council from 2008 to the present. He also served for eleven years on the Western UPM Committee, six of them as co-chair, and is an active participant on the Guild’s African American Steering Committee.

Williams has had a prolific career as a first assistant director and unit production manager of such hit features as A Soldier’s Story, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, New Jack City, Eddie Murphy’s Raw, Lean on Me, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Hustle and Flow, The Best Man Holiday, and most recently, Girls Trip. Throughout the years, Williams has also worked extensively in television on projects ranging from Kojack and Perry Mason, to the pilot for the new ABC series The Mayor.

Jim TankerJim Tanker

Jim Tanker joined the DGA 40 years ago, and has been active in the Guild for decades having served as an alternate or member on the AD/SM/PA West Council nearly continuously since 2000 and before that from 1988-90. He was on the DGA Negotiating Committee for the 1987, 2008, 2011, 2014 and 2017 cycles. Tanker has also been the director of the DGA Awards for the past five years.

Tanker’s long career as an Associate Director includes numerous high-profile award shows and events including: the Academy Awards and Oscars Red Carpets, Kennedy Center Honors, Golden Globe Awards, Grammy Awards, Emmy Awards and the opening and closing ceremonies of the summer and winter Olympics in Atlanta and Salt Lake City. He has also worked extensively in sports, news and as a director on the hit reality series Big Brother.

The Feature Film and First-Time Feature Film nominees for the 70th Annual DGA Awards will be announced on Thursday, January 11, 2018. All Television, Commercial and Documentary nominees will be announced on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

To apply for a press credential to cover the DGA Awards, please go to DGA.org/Awards to download an application.

BMW is the Exclusive Automotive Sponsor of the 70th Annual DGA Awards.

Past recipients of the Frank Capra Achievement Award:
  • Marie Cantin (2017)
  • 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) 
Past recipients of the Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award:
  • Tom McDermott (2016)
  • Julie Gelfand (2015)
  • Vince DeDario (2014)
  • Dency Nelson (2013)
  • Dennis W. Mazzocco (2012)
  • Maria Jimenez Henley (2010)
  • Scott Berger (2009)
  • Barbara J. Roche (2008)
  • Terry Benson (2007)
  • Donald E. Jacob (2006)
  • Stanley Faer (2005)
  • Peery Forbis (2004)
  • Esperanza “Candy” Martinez (2003)
  • Anita Cooper-Avrick (2002)
  • Robert N. Van Ry (2001)
  • Scott L. Rindenow (2000)
  • Robert Caminiti (1999)
  • C.J. Rapp-Pittman (1998)
  • Joseph L. Dicso (1997)
  • Don Lewis Barnhart (1996)
  • Larry Carl (1995)
  • James E. Wall (1994)
  • James “Woody” Woodworth (1993)
  • Marilyn Jacobs-Furey (1992)
  • Chester O’Brien (1991)
  • Mortimer O’Brien (1991)
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