By Peter Knegt | Indiewire January 8, 2008 at 6:16AM
Director's Guild of America president Michael Apted announced the nominees for the organization's 60th annual award for outstanding directorial achievement in 2007 from the DGA headquarters in Los Angeles Tuesday morning. The nominees were Paul Thomas Anderson for "There Will Be Blood," Joel and Ethan Coen for "No Country For Old Men," Tony Gilroy for "Michael Clayton," Sean Penn for "Into The Wild" and Julian Schnabel for "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly." The winner in the Feature Film category will be announced at the 60th Annual DGA Awards Dinner on Saturday, January 26, 2008 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel.
All of the nominees, with the exception of the Coens (nominated for "Fargo" eleven years ago), received their first DGA nomination. Notably missing from the list were Joe Wright for "Atonement," Tim Burton for "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," Jason Reitman for "Juno" and Sidney Lumet for "Before The Devil Knows You're Dead."
The Director's Guild of America is made up of 13,439 film and television directors. Their annual award for feature film work has historically been one of the most accurate predictor of the Academy Award for best director. Only six times since the DGA Awards began in 1949 has the winner not gone on to win an Academy Award. Two of these instances have occurred in the past decade, in 2001 (when Ang Lee won the DGA for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and Steven Soderbergh won the Oscar for "Traffic") and in 2003 (when Rob Marshall won the DGA for "Chicago" and Roman Polanksi won the Oscar for "The Pianist").
"2008 marks the 60th Anniversary of the DGA Awards," said Apted. "We are very proud to have today's five nominees join the illustrious list of directors that have been nominated for directorial excellence in feature filmmaking over the past 59 years. What makes this award truly meaningful to directors is the knowledge that only this one is decided by their peers - the men and women who know first-hand the passion, sweat and fear that goes into each production."
The nominees are (in alphabetical order with information provided by the DGA):
Paul Thomas Anderson, "There Will Be Blood" (Paramount Vantage)
Unit Production Manager: Daniel Lupi
First Assistant Director: Adam Somner
Second Assistant Directors: Eric Lasko, Ian Stone, Richard Oswald
Second Second Assistant Director: Jenny Nolan
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, "No Country For Old Men" (Miramax Films and Paramount Vantage)
Unit Production Manager: Robert J. Graf
First Assistant Director: Betsy Magruder
Second Assistant Director: Bac DeLorme
Second Second Assistant Director: Jai James
Tony Gilroy, "Michael Clayton" (Warner Bros.)
Unit Production Manager: Christopher Goode
First Assistant Director: Steve Apicella
Second Assistant Director: Michael Pitt
Second Second Assistant Directors: Matt Power, Jason Ivey
Sean Penn, "Into The Wild" (Paramount Vantage)
Unit Production Manager: John J. Kelly
First Assistant Director: David Webb
Second Assistant Director: Dylan Hopkins
Second Second Assistant Directors: John R. Saunders, Ian Calip
Julian Schnabel, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (Miramax Films)
Unit Production Managers: Stephan Guillemet, A.F.R., Jon Kilik
First Assistant Director: Stephane Gluck, A.F.A.R.
Second Assistant Director: Mathilde Cavillan