La La Land Director Damien Chazelle Wins Top DGA Award
‘La La Land’ director Damien Chazelle has waltzed off with the top honor at the Directors Guild of America Awards held Saturday in Beverly Hills. At 32-years-old, Chazelle, a first-time nominee, is the youngest ever recipient of the prize. The Directors Guild of America (DGA) win is the next step on the path to the Oscars. Only seven times has the DGA winner not gone on to win the directing prize at the Academy Awards. DGA, the leading industry group representing film and television directors, chose Ezra Edelman as the best documentary maker for ‘O J: Made in America’, which is nominated for the best documentary feature Oscar. Past DGA feature film award winners have often gone on to see their films win best picture from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Australian director Garth Davis won the first-time feature DGA honor for the drama Lion.
Chazelle said, “I’m a movie maker because I’m a movie lover.”
Chazelle was up against Barry Jenkins for ‘Moonlight’, Kenneth Lonergan for ‘Manchester by the Sea’, Garth Davis for ‘Lion’, and Denis Villeneueve for ‘Arrival’. All but Davis are also nominated for the Oscar.
It was Damien’s first DGA win and first nomination for only his third feature film, which scored a record-tying 14 Oscar nominations last month, including best picture and best director for Damien.
So far this year industry awards from the Producers Guild and now the DGA have gone to La La Land, a musical set in Los Angeles starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone which now appears to be the odds-on Oscars favourite.
The Oscars will be handed out in Hollywood on February 26 to producers, directors, actors and actresses in a star-studded television show viewed around the world and among the most-watched TV programs in the United States.
As with other recent award shows such as the Golden Globes, some at the gala addressed recent political events, including policies enacted by President Donald Trump in areas such as immigration which have fomented protests.
“I would not be here without immigrants,” DGA President Paris Barclay said in his opening remarks, which elicited a standing ovation.
In addition to film directors, the DGA also handed out television honors. Becky Martin won for best TV comedy direction for Veep, while Miguel Sapochnik won the award for TV drama series for Game of Thrones.
Directors for both shows won the same categories a year ago.
Steven Zaillian took the prize for television movie or mini-series for the drama The Night Of, while directors of Saturday Night Live and the 70th annual Tony awards won the variety/talk series and variety/talk specials categories, respectively.
Oscar-winning director Ridley Scott was presented with a special lifetime achievement award.
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