The Directors Guild of Canada Announces Special Award Recipients

by NationTalk on March 7, 2012537 Views

Toronto, March 7, 2012 – The Directors Guild of Canada is delighted to announce the recipients of three special career acknowledgments for 2012. The three individuals were selected at a meeting of the DGC’s National Executive Board, held in Toronto. These awards will be presented at the annual DGC Awards Gala on Saturday, October 20, 2012 at the historic Fairmont Royal York Hotel.

“It is inspiring to celebrate these individuals and recognize their body of work, their passions and above all their contributions to our industry,” stated Sturla Gunnarsson, President, DGC.DGC Lifetime Achievement Award


The Don Haldane Distinguished Service Award


The Honourable Life Member Award


The DGC Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the Member’s full career and body of work. This year’s recipient Michael Anderson is an Academy Award winning director whose career began in 1949 with the war film The Dam Busters (1955). The Dam Busters made good use of limited special effects and is often cited as an inspiration for the climax of the first Star Wars film. He directed the first cinema adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984 (1956) and Around the World in 80 Days (1956), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for his direction. Other films he has directed include Yangtse Incident (1957), All the Fine Young Cannibals (1960), Flight from Ashiya (1964), The Quiller Memorandum (1966). He also directed the 1968 film The Shoes of the Fisherman and a film adaptation of Conduct Unbecoming (1975). He settled in Hollywood, California, making such science fiction offerings as Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze (1975) and Logan’s Run (1976). Logan’s Run was a box-office success, earning $50 million worldwide. It has gone on to enjoy a cult status. He also directed Orca (1977). Anderson’s later work was mostly made-for-television miniseries, including The Martian Chronicles (1980), Sword of Gideon (1986) and Young Catherine (1991). In 1988, he directed Bottega dell’orefice (The Jeweler’s Shop), based on the 1960 play written by Karol Wojtyła (later Pope John Paul II). Michael Anderson has retired from filmmaking and is living in Gibsons, BC. He is currently the oldest individual still living that was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director.

The Don Haldane Distinguished Service Award is presented to a DGC Member in recognition of outstanding service to the membership of the Directors Guild of Canada. This year’s recipient John Houston was born in 1954 and spent the first years of his life in the Canadian Arctic in Cape Dorset on Baffin Island. His early involvement in Inuktitut and Inuit culture has affected his entire life. While attending schools in England, Ottawa, and later Pickering College in Ontario, John continued to think of the north as his home, visiting during several summers to spend time out on the land with Inuit friends. On a summer break from college he took his first job in filmmaking as a coffee boy on the 1973 Paramount Pictures’ production of White Dawn, the first novel by his father, James A. Houston. John Houston worked on Never Cry Wolf (Disney, 1981) with Carroll Ballard as First Assistant Director. Many films followed throughout the world, from Singapore to Siberia including rejoining Ballard to film Fly Away Home (Columbia, 1996). He is currently a Senior Directors Guild of Canada member; National Directors Division Board member. He was also a founding director of DGC Atlantic Regional Council and Founding member and Past President of Ajjiit Nunavut Media Association, a non-profit group advocating the growth of a Film/Television/Digital Media industry for Nunavut, and representing all its stakeholders.

The Honourable Life Member Award is presented to a non-Guild member whose outstanding contribution to the industry has had a major beneficial impact on the Guild and Guild members. This year’s recipient Peter Grant is Counsel and past chair of McCarthy Tetrault’s Technology, Communications and Intellectual Property Group in Toronto. He pioneered the field of communications law in Canada, and his practice is substantially devoted to this field, including broadcasting and cable television licensing, satellite services, copyright negotiations, mass media and press law, cultural industries and telecommunications regulation. From 1974 to 1978, Mr. Grant was seconded by the firm to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) under an Executive Exchange Agreement. During this period, Mr. Grant acted as a Special Counsel to the Commission and performed duties as Commission counsel in numerous broadcasting and telecommunications regulatory proceedings. He has acted as a consultant to UNESCO, Paris, on the Declaration on the Role of the Mass Media and was a member of the Canadian delegation to UNESCO, Paris in 1974, and to the G-7 conference on the Information Society in Brussels in 1995. Mr. Grant is a past national chair of the Media and Communication Section of the Canadian Bar Association and a former chair of the CBA Special Committee on Freedom of Information. Mr. Grant acts as the Broadcasting Arbitrator for Canada, an office held under the Canada Elections Act, with the approval of all of the political parties in the Canadian House of Commons. In this capacity, he supervised the allocation of paid and free broadcast time to the parties in the last five federal general elections. Mr. Grant has been named the Best Lawyers’ 2011 Toronto Entertainment Lawyer of the Year.

For further information:

Alejandra Sosa – Director, Communications
416.482.6640 ext. 243 or

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