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Directors Guild of America Announces Its Nominees

Wednesday, January 10----The Directors Guild of America (DGA), which represents film and television directors, announced its five nominess for the DGA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Feature Film at a ceremony in Los Angeles yesterday. DGA President Michael Apted made the announcement. Aside from being a highly prized award determined by one’s peers, the DGA Award has traditionally been one of the industry's most accurate barometers for who will win the Best Director Academy Award.

Veteran director Martin Scorsese received his seventh DGA Award nomination for his work on the crime thriller THE DEPARTED. He was previously nominated for THE AVIATOR (2004), GANGS OF NEW YORK (2002), THE AGE OF INNOCENCE (1993), GOODFELLAS (1990), RAGING BULL (1980) and TAXI DRIVER (1976)….but never won. In 1999, Scorsese was presented with the Filmmaker Award at the inaugural DGA Honors Gala and he won the DGA's highest artistic honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.

The four other directors are all first-time DGA Award nominees. The list includes: Bill Condon for the musical extravaganza DREAMGIRLS; the husband-and-wife team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris for the indie hit LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE; UK director Stephen Frears for his behind-the-scenes look at the British Royal Family in THE QUEEN; and Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for the multi-character, multiple location BABEL.

"Each of these five nominees has demonstrated a remarkable ability to blend craft and vision in the pursuit of masterful storytelling," Michael Apted commented. "What makes it truly meaningful to directors is that this award is decided solely by their peers - the men and women who know first hand the passion, sweat and fear that goes into creating feature films.” The winner will be announced at the 59th Annual DGA Awards Dinner on Saturday, February 3, 2007 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.

Directors who glaringly did not make the cut: Clint Eastwood for FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS and LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA; Paul Greengrass for the 9-11 drama UNITED 93; Alfonso Cuaron for the futuristic thriller CHILDREN OF MEN; Guillermo del Toro for the fantasy film PAN’S LABYRINTH; Todd Field for the suburban drama LITTLE CHILDREN; and Pedro Almodovar for the femme fest VOLVER.

Since the inception of the DGA Award in 1949, only six DGA winners did NOT win the Oscar that same year. Can you name them? Oh well, here they are:

Oscar: Carol Reed, OLIVER!

DGA: Francis Ford Coppola, THE GODFATHER
Oscar: Bob Fosse, CABARET

DGA: Steven Spielberg, THE COLOR PURPLE
Oscar: Sydney Pollack, OUT OF AFRICA

DGA: Ron Howard, APOLLO 13
Oscar: Mel Gibson, BRAVEHEART.

Oscar: Steven Soderbergh, TRAFFIC

DGA: Rob Marshall, CHICAGO
Oscar: Roman Polanski, THE PIANIST

For more information about the DGA Awards, including past winners, visit: Directors Guild of America .

Sandy Mandelberger
Awards Watch Editor

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