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January 8, 2009 8:11 AM
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Directors Guild Announces 2008 Nominees

Ron Howard, David Fincher, Gus Van Sant, Danny Boyle, and Christopher Nolan.

The Directors Guild of America have announced nominations for outstanding achievement in directing for the screen during 2008. The nominees are Danny Boyle for "Slumdog Millionaire," David Fincher for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Ron Howard for "Frost/Nixon," Christopher Nolan for "The Dark Knight" and Gus Van Sant for "Milk." The winner will be announced at the DGA Awards dinner and ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel on Saturday, January 31, 2009.

Last year, four of the five DGA nominees went on to an Oscar nomination: Paul Thomas Anderson, Tony Gilroy, Julian Schnabel and the Coen Brothers. The Oscars chose "Juno"'s Jason Reitman over DGA nominee "Into The Wild"'s Sean Penn.

Only six times since the DGA Award began in 1949 has the winner not won the Academy Award; in 1968 (Anthony Harvey won the DGA for "The Lion in Winter," Carol Reed won the Oscar for directing Oliver!); 1972 (Francis Ford Coppola won the DGA for "The Godfather," Bob Fosse won the Oscar for directing "Cabaret"); 1985 (Steven Spielberg won the DGA for "The Color Purple," Sydney Pollack won the Oscar for directing "Out of Africa"); 1995 (Ron Howard won the DGA for "Apollo 13," Mel Gibson won the Oscar for directing "Braveheart"); 2000 (Ang Lee won the DGA for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," Steven Soderbergh won the Oscar for directing "Traffic"); and 2002 (Rob Marshall won the DGA for "Chicago, Roman Polanski won the Oscar for directing "The Pianist").

This year's nominees are:

DANNY BOYLE
Slumdog Millionaire
(Fox Searchlight Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures)

Mr. Boyle's Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Sanjay Kumar First Assistant Director: Raj Acharya Second Assistant Director: Avani Batra Second Second Assistant Director: Sonia Nemawarkar

This is Mr. Boyle's first DGA Feature Film Award Nomination.


DAVID FINCHER
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
(Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures)

Mr. Fincher's Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Daniel Stillman First Assistant Director: Bob Wagner Second Assistant Director: Allen Kupetsky Second Second Assistant Directors: Pete Waterman, Stephen F. Lonano

This is Mr. Fincher's first DGA Feature Film Award Nomination. He previously won the DGA Commercial Award for Speed Chain (Nike), Gamebreakers (Nikegridiron.com), and Beauty for Sale (Xelibri Phones) in 2003.


RON HOWARD
Frost/Nixon
(Universal Pictures)

Mr. Howard's Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Kathleen McGill First Assistant Director: William M. Connor Second Assistant Director: Kristen Ploucha Second Second Assistant Director: Scott R. Meyers

This is Mr. Howard's fourth DGA Feature Film Award Nomination. He was previously nominated in this category for Cocoon in 1985, and won the Award in 2001 for his direction of A Beautiful Mind, and in 1995 for Apollo 13.


CHRISTOPHER NOLAN
The Dark Knight
(Warner Bros. Pictures)

Mr. Nolan's Directorial Team:
Unit Production Managers: Kevin De La Noy, Susan Towner, Jan Foster First Assistant Director: Nilo Otero Second Assistant Director: Brandon Lambdin Additional Second Assistant Director: Jessica Franks Second Second Assistant Director: Greg Pawlik Location Manager: James R. McAllister

This is Mr. Nolan's second DGA Feature Film Award nomination. He was previously nominated for Memento in 2001.


GUS VAN SANT
Milk
(Focus Features)

Mr. Van Sant's Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Barbara A. Hall First Assistant Director: David Webb Second Assistant Director: John R. Saunders Second Second Assistant Director: Ian Calip Additional Second Assistant Director: Cindy A. Taylor

This is Mr. Van Sant's second DGA Feature Film Award nomination. He was previously nominated for Good Will Hunting in 1997.
Previous DGA nomination history provided by the Directors Guild of America

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