The Directors Guild Announces 65th Annual DGA Award Nominees

Tuesday, 08 January 2013 11:49 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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The Directors Guild Announces 65th Annual DGA Award Nominees

Awards season, the longest season of the year, continues on.  Today, the Directors Guild of America announced the five nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2012, meaning that statistically, one of these five people will almost undoubtedly win the Best Director Oscar when the Academy Awards put an end to this season of pomp and circumstance.

The nominees are: Ben Affleck for Argo, Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty, Tom Hooper for Les Misérables, Ang Lee for Life of Pi, and Steven Spielberg for Lincoln.

Not too many directors get a DGA nomination for their third film behind the camera, and even fewer do it within a decade peak overexposure as actors and walking punchlines.  Hats off to Affleck, who is definitely the greenest of this bunch, insofar as awards go.  In fact, he's the only one of these five helmers who has not, in fact, won a Best Director Oscar before. 

And that's where a lot of the DGA Award's cache comes from, as there are only six instances in which the winner of this award has not gone on to take home a Best Director statue the same year.  The exceptions are listed in the official announcement below, marking a rare instance in which an award declares its own importance principally as a predictor of another award.  Come on DGA, respect yourself.

Of course, that's secondary to the fact that this is a professional award, so just being nominated means achieving a rare standard of respect from other directors.  We'll find just which of these five directors gets the actual award on February 2nd.

Here's the press release:

LOS ANGELES, CA: On January 8, 2013, DGA President Taylor Hackford announced the five nominees for the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2012.

“DGA members have chosen an incredibly rich and varied group of filmmakers to nominate for this year’s Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film Award. These directors represent the highest standard of filmmaking, and their films are a testament to artistic achievement, innovative storytelling and the passion that filmmakers share with their audiences,” said Hackford. “Being nominated by their peers is what makes this award particularly meaningful for directors, and I congratulate all of the nominees for their outstanding work.”

The winner will be named at the 65th Annual DGA Awards Dinner on Saturday, February 2, 2013, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland.

The nominees are (in alphabetical order):

  • Ben Affleck for Argo
  • Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty
  • Tom Hooper for Les Misérables
  • Ang Lee for Life of Pi
  • Steven Spielberg for Lincoln

The DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film has traditionally been one of the industry’s most accurate barometers for who will win the Best Director Academy Award. Only six times since the DGA Awards began in 1948 has the Feature Film winner not gone on to win the corresponding Academy Award.

The six exceptions are as follows:

  • 1968: Anthony Harvey won the DGA Award for The Lion in Winter while Carol Reed took home the Oscar® for Oliver!
  • 1972: Francis Ford Coppola received the DGA’s nod for The Godfather while the Academy selected Bob Fosse for Cabaret.
  • 1985: Steven Spielberg received his first DGA Award for The Color Purple while the Oscar® went to Sydney Pollack for Out of Africa.
  • 1995: Ron Howard was chosen by the DGA for his direction of Apollo 13 while Academy voters selected Mel Gibson for Braveheart.
  • 2000: Ang Lee won the DGA Award for his direction of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon while Steven Soderbergh won the Academy Award for Traffic.
  • 2002: Rob Marshall won the DGA Award for Chicago while Roman Polanski received the Academy Award for The Pianist.

The winner in the Feature Film category will be announced at the 65th Annual DGA Awards dinner and ceremony on Saturday evening, February 2, 2013, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland.  The DGA Awards will be hosted by director/actor/producer Kelsey Grammer.

And because you've earned it, here's a 2003 episode of Jon Favreau's IFC series Dinner for Five, featuring future big time directors Affleck and Favreau in conversation with Kevin Smith, Colin Farrell, and future Mrs. Affleck Jennifer Garner.

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