The 70th Directors Guild of America Awards

The 70th Directors Guild of America Awards

On Saturday, the Directors Guild of America handed out their awards, further complicating the Oscar race. First a quick recap of the night. Instead of taking on the sexual misconducts of Hollywood, host Judd Apatow and presenters focused on gender. They expressed their disappointment in lack of women behind the camera, pointing out the great female films of the year as proof of what female filmmakers are capable of. Even though the film category lacked any female winners, the DGA made some strides in the television categories, with woman winning 3 of them. However, there is still a long way to go.

Jordan Peele and Guillermo del Toro were the big winners of the night. Peele received a standing ovation for his win in the First-Time Feature Film category for directing Get Out. Even before his win, Peele became the first director in DGA’s history to be nominated for both Feature Film and First-Time Feature Film categories in the same year. This win was just icing on the cake of the incredible year he has had, and I can’t wait to see what he does in the future, especially now that he has gone the way of Daniel-Day Lewis and is retiring from acting to focus on writing, producing, and, of course, directing.

Del Toro continues his road to the Oscars with his win for Feature Film for directing The Shape of Water. His odds are increasing with this win since 13 out of the last 14 DGA winners have gone on to win the Oscar for directing. In fact, only 7 times since its inception in 1948 has the winner of the Feature Film category not gone on to win the Oscar. Those 7 that didn’t win were because they weren’t even nominated for the Oscar, the most recent being Ben Affleck for Argo in 2013. The film that the DGA winner directed has also gone on to win the Oscar for Best Picture 2 out of 3 times, so The Shape of Water is pulling away from the pack and now only really competing against Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri for the top prize. However, if last year’s ceremony is any indication, anything is possible. One thing The Shape of Water has against it is the lack of a Screen Actors Guild Award’s Ensemble nomination. The winner of the Oscar’s Best Picture is always at least nominated for the SAG Ensemble, which Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri won. Since the Academy decided to change and diversify its membership, they have been more inclined to share the wealth when it comes to the top prizes (which is a good thing, in my opinion). While del Toro may be pulling ahead in the directing category, his film may be stuck as runner up for Best Picture.

Check out the list of winners below!

Film Categories

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film:

Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water – WINNER

Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird

Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk

Jordan Peele, Get Out


Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary:

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, The Vietnam War

Bryan Fogel, Icarus

Matthew Heineman – City of Ghosts – WINNER

Steve James, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

Errol Morris, Wormwood


Outstanding Directorial Achievement in First-Time Feature Film:

Geremy Jasper, Patti Cake$

William Oldroyd, Lady Macbeth

Jordan Peele – Get Out – WINNER

Taylor Sheridan, Wind River

Aaron Sorkin, Molly’s Game

Television Categories

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series:

The Duffer Brothers, Stranger Things, “Chapter Nine: The Gate”

Reed Morano – The Handmaid’s Tale, “Offred” – WINNER

Jeremy Podeswa, Game of Thrones, “The Dragon and the Wolf”

Matt Shakman, Game of Thrones, “The Spoils of War”

Alan Taylor, Game of Thrones, “Beyond the Wall”


Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series:

Aziz Ansari, Master of None, “The Thief”

Mike Judge, Silicon Valley, “Server Error”

Melina Matsoukas, Master of None, “Thanksgiving”

Beth McCarthy-Miller – Veep, “Chicklet” – WINNER

Amy Sherman-Palladino, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”


Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series:

Scott Frank, Godless

Barry Levinson, The Wizard of Lies

Kyra Sedgwick, Story of a Girl

Jean-Marc Vallee – Big Little Lies – WINNER

George C. Wolfe, The Immortal Life of Henriette Lacks


Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Regularly Scheduled Programming:

Andre Allen, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, “#2061”

Paul G. Casey, Real Time with Bill Maher, “#1527”

Jim Hoskinson, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, “Joe Biden/Elton John”

Don Roy King – Saturday Night Live, “Host: Jimmy Fallon” – WINNER

Paul Pennolino,  Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, “French Elections”


Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Specials:

Stan Lathan, Dave Chappelle: The Age of Spin

Linda Mendoza, Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize Honoring David Letterman

Paul Pennolino, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee Presents Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

Amy Schumer, Amy Schumer: The Leather Special

Glenn Weiss – The 89th Annual Academy Awards – WINNER


Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Reality Programs:

Hisham Abed, Encore!, “Pilot”

John Gonzalez, Live PD, “Episode 50”

Brian Smith – MasterChef, “Vegas Deluxe & Oyster Shucks” – WINNER

Adam Vetri,  Dare to Live, “Chainsmokers”

Kent Weed, Spartan: The Ultimate Team Challenge, “Season Premiere”


Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children’s Programs:

Niki Caro – Anne with an E, “Your Will Shall Decide Your Destiny” – WINNER

Benjamin Lehmann, The Magical Wand Chase: A Sesame Street Special

Lily Mariye, Just Add Magic, “Just Add Meddling”

Alison McDonald, An American Girl Story: Summer Camp, Friends for Life

Matthew O’Neill and Thalia Sodi, 15: A Quinceanera Story: Zoey


Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials:

Martin de Thurah – Festival and Machines, StubHub; Mad World, Wealth Simple – WINNER

Alma Har’el, Love Without Bias, P&G

Hoffman/Metoyer, Anthem, KitchenAid; Go Further, Ford

Miles Jay, Alive, Bose QuietComfort 35 Headphones; Calling, Squarespace; Who is, Squarespace

Isaiah Seret, Growing Up, Samsung Galaxy; I Love You, Samsung Great; Never Too Composed, Kohler