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‘Space Jam’ and Commercial Director Joe Pytka Named DGA Lifetime Achievement Honoree

Renowned helmer directed iconic 'Bo Knows' and 'Clydesdales' commercials.

Joe Pytka: 'Space Jam' Director Named
Courtesy of Joachim Ladefoged

The Directors Guild of America (DGA) announced Monday that celebrated commercial director Joe Pytka will receive this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Achievement in Television Directing.

“When it comes to commercials, there is no higher bar than the one set by the incomparable Joe Pytka,” said DGA president Paris Barclay. “So many of his over 5,000 projects – which include more than 80 Super Bowl commercials – are part of the nation’s zeitgeist, from his iconic, generation-defining Pepsi ads to Nike’s ‘Bo Knows’ and Budweiser’s ‘Clydesdales’ to the unforgettable ‘Your Brain on Drugs’ PSA. For these reasons and so many more, we’re thrilled to present this top Guild honor to Joe.”

While the honor is specifically geared toward his work in commercials and television, Pytka also directed the feature films “Let It Ride,” with Richard Dreyfuss, and “Space Jam,” with Michael Jordan. He also directed music videos for Michael Jackson, including “The Way You Make Me Feel” and “Dirty Diana.”

The award will be presented at the 68th annual DGA Awards on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016.