This year the Directors Guild of America gave us no surprises, going with the expected top five (all men) who are considered the leaders in the Oscar race. Last year’s DGA and Oscar winner for "Birdman," Alejandro G. Iñárritu, nabs his second DGA nomination in a row, after "The Revenant" took home three big wins including Best Director at the Golden Globes on Sunday. The other four nominees are listed below. Statistically, the eventual directing Oscar winner will come from this group.
Oscar nominations will be announced on Thursday morning January 14. The largely male DGA voters can be more mainstream than the smaller, more idiosyncratic and demanding Academy directors.
The Oscar race is getting heated, as "The Revenant" is currently taking off at the box office, and Adam McKay’s political comedy "The Big Short" is gaining support from guild nominations. Don’t count out indie darling Tom McCarthy’s "Spotlight," though, which is still a popular favorite among Oscar voters. Todd Haynes’ "Carol" and Steven Spielberg’s "Bridge of Spies," which led the field at the BAFTA nominations with nine apiece, did not make the DGA cut in an intensely competitive year. Steady as they go are George Miller’s "Mad Max: Fury Road," which may score the most nominations on Thursday, followed closely by "The Revenant" and Ridley Scott’s "The Martian."
Nominees in the DGA’s inaugural first-time feature film director category include actor-director Joel Edgerton ("The Gift"), Marielle Heller ("The Diary of a Teenage Girl" and Hungarian László Nemes, whose short-listed foreign language Oscar entry "Son of Saul" won the Golden Globe Sunday.
Winners will be announced at the 68th Annual DGA Awards on Saturday evening, February 6, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, hosted by actor Jane Lynch. DGA nominations for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Television, Commercials, and Documentaries will be announced on Wednesday, January 13, 2016.
“What makes this year different is the unbridled ambition of the five nominated films – in theme, in production, in visual imagination,” said DGA President Paris Barclay. “What makes this year the same is that the films were all chosen by the directors’ peers, and it’s clear our members love when people use their vision and skill to push the media to new heights. Congratulations to all of the nominees for their incredible work.”
The nominees for OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN FEATURE FILM FOR 2015 are (in alphabetical order):
ALEJANDRO G. IÑÁRRITU
(20th Century Fox)
Mr. Iñárritu’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Managers: Drew Locke, James W. Skotchdopole, Doug Jones
First Assistant Director: Scott Robertson
Second Assistant Directors: Megan M. Shank, Matthew Haggerty, Jeremy Marks
Unit Production Manager: Gabriela Vazquez (Argentina, California, and Montana Unit)
First Assistant Director: Adam Somner (Argentina, California, and Montana Unit)
Second Assistant Directors: Trevor R. Tavares, Jasmine Marie Alhambra (Argentina, California, and Montana Unit)
Second Second Assistant Directors: Brett Robinson, Kasia Trojak (Argentina, California, and Montana Unit)
This is Mr. 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.
(Open Road Films)
Mr. McCarthy’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Managers: D.J. Carson, Michael Bederman
First Assistant Director: Walter Gasparovic
Second Assistant Director: Penny Charter
Assistant Unit Production Manager: Danielle Blumstein (Boston Unit)
First Assistant Director: Christo Morse (Boston Unit)
Second Assistant Directors: Conte Matal, Kristina Mariko Peterson, Annie Tan, Andrea O’Connor (Boston Unit)
Second Second Assistant Directors: Phil Robinson, Mark Romanelli (Boston Unit)
Additional Second Assistant Director: Scooter Perrotta (Boston Unit)
This is Mr. McCarthy’s first DGA Feature Film Award nomination.
The Big Short
Mr. McKay’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Louise Rosner
First Assistant Director: Matt Rebenkoff
Second Assistant Director: Amy Lauritsen
Second Second Assistant Director: Cali Pomés
Second Second Assistant Director: Josh Muzaffer (New York Unit)
Location Manager: Michael Kriaris
This is Mr. McKay’s first DGA Feature Film Award nomination.
Mad Max: Fury Road
Mr. Miller’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Dean Hood
First Assistant Director: PJ Voeten
Second Assistant Directors: Samantha Smith, Wendy Croad, Chris O’Hara
Second Assistant Directors: Eddie Thorne (Syndey Unit), Emma Jamvold (Syndey Unit)
Second Second Assistant Directors: Danielle Blake (Syndey Unit), Joshua Watkins (Syndey Unit)
This is Mr. Miller’s first DGA Feature Film Award nomination.
(20th Century Fox)
Mr. Scott’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Managers: Francesca Cingolani, Miklós Tóth
First Assistant Director: Raymond Kirk
Second Assistant Directors: Sarah Hood, Bogi Móricz
Second Second Assistant Director: Nick Thomas
This is Mr. Scott’s fourth DGA Award nomination. He was nominated in this category in 1991 for Thelma and Louise, in 2000 for Gladiator, and in 2001 for Black Hawk Down.
A new DGA Award category recognizing emerging talent in feature film
In addition, Mr. Barclay also announced the five nominees for a new category recognizing the achievement of first-time feature film directors. First announced by Steven Spielberg at last year’s DGA Awards, the Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director is a new DGA Award that was created to showcase the feature film talent of the future.
“There’s a first time for every feature filmmaker, but not every first time offers fresh viewpoints in storytelling that are imperative in this industry,” said Barclay. “The first-time feature directors we’re recognizing with this inaugural award we hope will develop successful and lengthy careers. We are excited and invigorated by all they have to offer.”
The nominees for OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT OF A FIRST-TIME FEATURE FILM DIRECTOR FOR 2015 are (in alphabetical order):
A Wolf at the Door
Mr. Coimbra’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Clara Machado
First Assistant Director: Suzy Milstein
Second Assistant Director: Raquel Toledo
This is Mr. Coimbra’s first DGA Award nomination.
Mr. Edgerton’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Luc Etienne
First Assistant Director: Michael J. Moore
Second Assistant Director: Matt Haggerty
Second Second Assistant Director: Dillon Neaman
This is Mr. Edgerton’s first DGA Award nomination.
Mr. Garland’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Sara Desmond
First Assistant Director: Nick Heckstall‑Smith
Second Assistant Director: Ray Kenny
This is Mr. Garland’s first DGA Award nomination.
The Diary of a Teenage Girl
(Sony Pictures Classics)
Ms. Heller’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Molly Salz
First Assistant Director: Brian Benson
Second Assistant Director: Jerremy Stewart
Second Second Assistant Director: Alex Gilbert
This is Ms. Heller’s first DGA Award nomination.
Son of Saul
(Sony Pictures Classics)
Mr. Nemes’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Gábor Szántó
First Assistant Director: István Kolos
Second Assistant Directors: Zoltán Gyovai, Edina Galgócz
This is Mr. Nemes’s first DGA Award nomination.
Eligible directors for this award must have released his or her first feature-length film theatrically in Los Angeles or New York in 2015. Foreign films are eligible and the director does not need to be a DGA member.