Directors Guild of America embraces women, minorities in awards nominations

January 12, 2018 - 9:37 AM

LOS ANGELES | Hollywood directors nominated a woman and two people of color for their 2018 movie awards on Thursday in a line-up that favored newcomers over veterans like Steven Spielberg.

“Lady Bird” director Greta Gerwig was among four first-time nominees announced by the Directors Guild of America (DGA), one of the most influential groups in Hollywood because many of its members also are voters in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which chooses the Oscars.

Only one woman – Kathryn Bigelow – has ever won a best director Oscar despite efforts by women to make inroads into behind the camera positions in Hollywood in recent years. Several Latino men and Taiwan’s Ang Lee have won the award.

African-American first-time director Jordan Peele earned a nod for racial horror satire “Get Out,” becoming only the fourth black filmmaker to be recognized by the DGA after Lee Daniels (“Precious”), Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”), and Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”).

Gerwig, 34, and Peele, 38, were joined by Mexican Guillermo del Toro for “The Shape of Water.” Two Britons round out the nominees: Martin McDonagh for dark comedy “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” and Christopher Nolan (his fourth DGA nomination) for his war drama “Dunkirk.”

Spielberg, whose press freedom movie “The Post” attracted strong Oscar buzz last month, “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins, and Italian Luca Guadagnino, whose gay romance “Call Me by Your Name” is high on critics’ list, were all passed over by the DGA.

Peele got a second nomination in the first-time director category for “Get Out,” along with “West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin, who made his directorial feature film debut with drama “Molly’s Game.”

All five of the DGA Best Director nominees also won nods last week from the Producers Guild of America (PGA), which also has a track record of honoring the movie that goes on to win best picture at the Academy Awards, the industry’s top prize.

In addition, the PGA recognized ”The Post“, ”The Big Sick,“ ”Wonder Woman, “I, Tonya,” “Molly’s Game” and “Call Me by Your Name” on its 2018 nominations list.

The DGA announces its winners on Feb 3. Oscar nominations are announced on Jan. 23 and the Academy Awards ceremony takes place in Hollywood on March 4.