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DGA makes history and gives their top prize again to Alejandro G. Iñárritu for “The Revenant”

directors guild of america logo 600x338
Yes, the Directors Guild of America made history over the weekend at their annual awards ceremony. They decided to award Alejandro G. Iñárritu again this year, making him the first filmmaker to win back to back honors from DGA. His win for The Revenant obviously shakes up the Oscar race in a big way, but it also just shows how respected Iñárritu is by his peers. Many pundits, myself included, had considered him the third or fourth most likely winner, and yet…here he is. Now, it seems like Iñárritu and The Revenant is surging at the perfect time to make a big showing in a few weeks with the Academy.

In giving the prize once again to Iñárritu, members of this guild opted not to make a coronation for either The Big Short/Adam McKay or Spotlight/Tom McCarthy. Likewise, they also more or less killed George Miller’s chances of taking home the Best Director Academy Award for his work on Mad Max: Fury Road. At the moment, it seems like Iñárritu has all but locked up the Oscar. Now, I suspect it’ll come down to BAFTA either putting The Revenant and Iñárritu ahead for good (with The Big Short and Spotlight likely to split the two WGA prizes) or allowing The Big Short or Spotlight to surge ahead at the last minute in Best Picture, with the former being more likely than the latter, though realistically it could be a done deal for The Revenant. The prime competition will be from The Big Short, but Iñárritu’s film is peaking at just the right time.

Birdman Alejandro González Iñárritu Michael Keaton
Here now are all the winners from the Directors Guild of America Awards:

Feature Film

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu – The Revenant (WINNER)

Tom McCarthy – Spotlight

Adam McKay – The Big Short

George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road

Ridley Scott – The Martian

{This is Iñárritu’s fourth DGA Award nomination. He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film in 2014 for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). He was also nominated in this category for Babel in 2006. He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials for “Best Job” (Procter & Gamble) in 2012.}


Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi — Meru

Liz Garbus – What Happened, Miss Simone?

Alex Gibney – Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

Matthew Heineman – Cartel Land (WINNER)

Asif Kapadia – Amy

{This is Mr. Heineman’s first DGA Award nomination.}

First-Time Feature Film Director

Fernando Coimbra – A Wolf at the Door

Joel Edgerton – The Gift

Alex Garland – Ex Machina (WINNER)

Marielle Heller – The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Laszlo Nemes – Son of Saul

{This is Garland’s first DGA Award nomination.}

Dramatic Series

Michael Engler – Downton Abbey, Episode 8

Leslie Linka Glatter – Homeland, The Tradition of Hospitality

David Nutter – Game of Thrones, Mother’s Mercy (WINNER)

Steven Soderbergh – The Knick, Williams and Walker

Matthew Weiner – Mad Men, Person to Person

{This is Mr. Nutter’s sixth DGA Award nomination. He was previously nominated in this category in 2013 for the Game of Thrones episode “The Rains of Castamere” and in 2006 for The Sopranos episode “Join the Club.” He was also nominated in the Comedy Series category for Entourage episodes “The Resurrection” (2007) and “Lose Yourself” (2010); and in the Movies for Television and Mini-Series category for The Pacific “Basilone” in 2010.}

Comedy Series

Chris Addison – Veep, Election Night (WINNER)

Louis C.K. – Louie, Sleepover

Mike Judge – Silicon Valley, Binding Arbitration

Gail Mancuso – Modern Family, White Christmas

Jill Soloway – Transparent, Kino Hora

{This is Mr. Addison’s first DGA Award nomination.}

Movies for TV and Miniseries

Angela Bassett – Whitney

Laurie Collyer – The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe

Paul Haggis – Show Me a Hero

Kenny Leon, Matthew Diamond – The Wiz Live!

Dee Rees – Bessie (WINNER)

{This is Ms. Rees’s first DGA Award nomination.}

Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Regularly Scheduled Programming

Paul G. Casey – Real Time with Bill Maher, #1334

Dave Diomedi – The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, episode #325 (WINNER)

Don Roy King – Saturday Night Live, Host: Tracy Morgan/Musical Guest: Demi Lovato

Ryan McFaul and Amy Schumer – Inside Amy Schumer, 12 Angry Men

Chuck O’Neil – The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Episode #20142

{This is Mr. Diomedi’s third DGA Award nomination. He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Regularly Scheduled Programming in 2014 for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, “Episode #1.” He was previously nominated in this same category in 2013 for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, “#799.”}

Variety/Talk/News/Sports — Specials

Sofia Coppola – A Very Murray Christmas

Hamish Hamilton – The 87th Academy Awards

Don Roy King – Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special (WINNER)

Beth McCarthy Miller – Adele Live in New York City

Chris Rock – Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo

{This is Mr. King’s tenth DGA Award nomination. He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Regularly Scheduled Programming in 2013 for Saturday Night Live “Host: Justin Timberlake” and was previously nominated for Saturday Night Live episodes in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. He is also nominated in the Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Specials category this year for Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special.}

Reality Programs

Brady Connell — The Great Christmas Light Fight, Episode 304

Ken Fuchs – Shark Tank, 702

Steve Hryniewicz — Cutthroat Kitchen, Superstar Sabotage Finale: It’s Raining Ramen

Bertram Van Munster – The Amazing Race, Bring the Fun, Baby

Adam Vetri – Steve Austin’s Broken Skull challenge, Gods of War (WINNER)

{This is Mr. Vetri’s second DGA Award nomination. He was previously nominated in this category in 2014 for Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge, “Welcome to the Gun Show.”}

Children’s Programs

Paul Hoen – Invisible Skull

Joseph Mazzarino – Sesame Street, The Cookie Thief

Kenny Ortega – Descendants – (WINNER)

Amy Schatz – Saving My Tomorrow, Part 3

Sasie Sealy — Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street, Gortimer and the Vengeful Violinist

{This is Mr. Ortega’s third DGA Award nomination. He previously won in this category in 2006 for High School Musical, and was nominated in this category in 2007 for High School Musical 2.}


Juan Cabral, MJZ

Miles Jay, Smuggler

Tom Kuntz, MJZ

Andreas Nilsson, Biscuit Filmworks (WINNER)

Steve Rogers, Biscuit Filmworks

{This is Mr. Nilsson’s first DGA Award nomination.}

Stay tuned to see if Iñárritu can pull off back to back wins with the Academy as well!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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