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Directors Guild of America 2021 Film Nominees: Chloé Zhao, Emerald Fennell, and More

Zhao won Best Director honors at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards.

Chloe Zhao

The Directors Guild of America has announced its nominations for the 2021 awards season, a big deal considering what a bellwether the DGA Awards are for the Best Director race at the Academy Awards. Prior to the 2020 DGA Awards ceremony, the last six DGA winners all went on to repeat at the Academy Awards: Alfonso Cuaron for “Roma,” Guillermo del Toro for “The Shape of Water,” Damien Chazelle for “La La Land,” and Alejandro G. Iñárritu for both “The Revenant” and “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).” Sam Mendes won the 2020 DGA Award for “1917,” but it was Bong Joon Ho who prevailed at the Oscars for “Parasite.”

The Directors Guild of America started to award a prize for first-time feature filmmaking beginning in 2015 and have done so again in 2021. The five winners of the DGA’s first-time prize are Alex Garland for “Ex Machina,” Garth Davis for “Lion,” Jordan Peele for “Get Out,” Bo Burnham for “Eighth Grade,” and Alma Ha’rel for “Honey Boy.”

As previously announced this week, the Directors Guild of America nominated the following five movies for its Best Documentary prize: Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw for “The Truffle Hunters” (Sony Pictures Classics), Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed for “My Octopus Teacher” (Netflix), David France for “Welcome to Chechnya” (HBO Max), Benjamin Ree for “The Painter and the Thief” (Elevation Pictures), and Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss for “Boys State” (Apple / A24).

The 73rd Annual DGA Awards will take place on Saturday, April 10, 2021. Check out the nominations in the film categories below. Click here for nominations in the television categories.

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2020
Lee Isaac Chung
“Minari”
(A24)

Emerald Fennell
“Promising Young Woman”
(Focus Features)

David Fincher
“Mank”
(Netflix)

Aaron Sorkin
“The Trial of the Chicago 7”
(Netflix; DreamWorks Pictures)

Chloé Zhao
“Nomadland”
(Searchlight Pictures)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director for 2020
Radha Blank
“The Forty-Year-Old Version”
(Netflix)

Fernando Frías de la Parra
“I’m No Longer Here”
(Netflix)

Regina King
“One Night in Miami”
(Amazon Studios)

Darius Marder
“Sound of Metal”
(Amazon Studios)

Florian Zeller
“The Father”
(Sony Pictures Classics)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a Documentary Feature for 2020
Michael Dweck & Gregory Kershaw
“The Truffle Hunters” (Sony Pictures Classics)

Pippa Ehrlich & James Reed
“My Octopus Teacher” (Netflix)

David France
“Welcome to Chechnya” (HBO Max)

Amanda McBaine & Jesse Moss
“Boys State” (Apple / A24)

Benjamin Ree
“The Painter and the Thief” (Elevation Pictures)

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