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DGA Announces Special Award Winners for 75th Annual DGA Awards

Directors Guild of America President Lesli Linka Glatter announced the recipients of two special DGA Awards recognizing extraordinary service to the industry and the Guild. The awards will be presented at the 75th Annual DGA Awards on Saturday, February 18, 2023.

First Assistant Director Mark Hansson will receive the Frank Capra Achievement Award for an Assistant Director or Unit Production Manager in recognition of career achievement in the industry and service to the DGA, and Stage Manager Valdez Flagg will receive the Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award for an Associate Director or Stage Manager in recognition of career achievement in the industry and service to the DGA.

“Mark Hansson and Valdez Flagg have steadfastly worked to support the rights of their fellow members while being two of the top directorial team professionals in our industry for more than 30 years,” said Lesli Linka Glatter. “The Guild thrives when talented members like Mark and Valdez step up and contribute to their Councils, Committees and our Guild priorities for the benefit of all members.”

2023 Frank Capra Achievement Award: First Assistant Director Mark Hansson

A DGA member since 1990, Hansson’s more than 130 Assistant Director credits include work on theatrical feature films such as Christopher Ashley’s Come from Away, Kenny Ortega’s High School Musical 3: Senior Year and Bill Condon’s Dreamgirls; and celebrated movies for television such as Bruce Beresford’s And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself.

His television AD work has been recognized on productions that have received seven DGA Award nominations — Six Feet Under, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Tiger Cruise and American Mall — as well as Emmy and other awards-nominated shows such as Masters of Sex, Glee, Happy Endings, The Boys, Lucifer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and In the Heat of the Night.

As prolific as his professional career has been, so has been his dedication to DGA service which began only a few years after graduating from the Assistant Directors Training Program and joining the Guild.

As a member of the AD/UPM Council, Hansson was able to truly make a difference via his work on committees including serving as Founder and Chair of DGA West Coast 1st AD Committee since 2005, acting as member of the Council’s Education Committee, including its precursors of the Mentor Committee and Information Committee, since 1998; as an appointee to the DGA Safety Committee from 2019-2021, as an originating member of the new LGBTQ+ Committee since 2021, and on six DGA Negotiations Committees where he helped revise the new 2017 Low Budget Agreement for member clarity and also worked as a member of the Proposals Committee to bring attention to other issues that needed to be addressed.

2023 Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award: Stage Manager Valdez Flagg

Flagg joined the DGA in 1987 as a Stage Manager on the variety special, Lou Rawls Parade of Stars Telethon. He would go on to have an illustrious career working on variety and live productions such as the Oscars, American Music Awards, Grammy Awards, ESPY Awards, NFL Honors, Essence Honors, NAACP Image Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Primetime Emmy Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, the Democratic National Convention, and In Performance At the White House for three presidential administrations.

His work has been instrumental to DGA Award-nominated productions with legendary live Directors such as Jeff Margolis, Walter Miller, Bruce Gowers, Louis J. Horvitz, Glenn Weiss and Don Mischer. He has also contributed his skills to three DGA Award-winning productions: Bruce Gowers’ 2004 Variety/Musical Award-winner, Genius: A Night for Ray Charles, Glenn Weiss’ 2017 Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Specials-winner, The Oscars and James Burrows and Andy Fisher’s 2019 Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Specials-winner, Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons.’

Despite his busy career, Flagg has been unwavering in his commitment to serving the Guild. Initially elected in 2007 as an alternate member of the Western AD/SM/PA Council, he would go on to serve 11 terms, elected by the members a record seven times as Council Chair between 2008 and 2019.

Flagg’s DGA service also includes six Negotiation Committees and two terms as an Associate DGA National Board member, including the current term. He has long served as a trustee to the DGA-Producer Pension and Health Plans and has served as a member of the DGA PAC Leadership Council.