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The Directors Guild of America on Tuesday announced the feature-film and first-time director nominees for the 2021 DGA Awards.
Last year, 1917‘s Sam Mendes won the DGA’s feature-film award before losing the best director Oscar to fellow DGA nominee, Parasite‘s Bong Joon Ho.
The first-time director nominees are The Forty-Year-Old Version‘s Radha Blank, I’m No Longer Here Fernando Frías de la Parra, One Night in Miami‘s Regina King, Sound of Metal‘s Darius Marder and The Father‘s Florian Zeller.
The DGA, traditionally one of Hollywood’s most male-dominated guilds, has for the first time nominated two women, Zhao and Fennell, in its feature directing category. Zhao is also the first woman of color nominated in the feature director category.
Before this, the directors guild had nominated a woman in the feature-film category just eight times, the last being Greta Gerwig in 2018 for Lady Bird. This year, two more women, Radha Blank and Regina King, also secured nominations in the DGA’s first-time feature directing category.
The DGA feature nominees often heavily overlap with the Film Academy’s choices in the directing category, with typically at least four of the five contenders repeating in the Oscar nominations. Fifteen of the last 17 winners of the DGA award have gone on to win the Oscar.
Zhao, who won best director at the Golden Globes, and Fincher, who has twice before been nominated for best director, for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Social Network, appear to be the frontrunners in the director race. This year’s DGA nominations elevate Sorkin, long best known for his screenwriting, in the director Oscar race, as well as Fennell, who also collected a best director nomination at the Golden Globes.
Notable absences from the nominations are Paul Greengrass (Universal’s News of the World), Spike Lee (Netflix’s Da 5 Bloods), Shaka King (Warner Bros.’ Judas and the Black Messiah) and George C. Wolfe (Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom).
The group is honoring two people of color among its feature nominees, Korean-American director Chung and Chinese director Zhao, and three people of color among its first-time feature directing nominees, with Black directors Radha Blank and Regina King and Mexican director Fernando Frías de la Parra.
The DGA on Monday announced its nominations in the TV, documentary and commercial categories.
The 73rd annual DGA Awards are set for April 10.
A complete list of the 2021 DGA Awards’ feature-film and first-time director nominees follows.
Outstanding Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film for 2020:
Lee Isaac Chung
Mr. Chung’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Dylan Brodie
First Assistant Director: Jeff Dubray
Second Assistant Director: Ann Laudick
Second Second Assistant Director: Stephen J. Hanan
Promising Young Woman
Ms. Fennell’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Reena Magsarili Raasch
First Assistant Director: Michael T. Meador
Second Assistant Director: Alexander Armero
Second Second Assistant Director: Anthony Manzo
Mr. Fincher’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Allen Kupetsky
First Assistant Director: Richard Goodwin
Second Assistant Director: Samantha McGrady
Second Second Assistant Director: Matt McKinnon
Additional Second Assistant Directors: Jeff Goodell, John Stern, George Williams III
The Trial of the Chicago 7
(Netflix; DreamWorks Pictures)
Mr. Sorkin’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Managers: Charles Miller, Stuart M. Besser, Jonathan Shoemaker
First Assistant Director: Joseph P. Reidy
Second Assistant Director: Rachel Jaros
Second Second Assistant Director: Justin Bischoff
Location Managers: Dennis Voskov, Nick Rafferty (Chicago Unit)
Ms. Zhao’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Mary Kerrigan
First Assistant Director: Mary Kerrigan
Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director:
The Forty-Year-Old Version
Ms. Blank’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: James Price
First Assistant Director: Michael L. Walker
Second Assistant Director: Kenyon Noble
Second Second Assistant Director: Jonathan Santos
Location Managers: Katarina Dedicova, Tim Stacker
Fernando Frías de la Parra
I’m No Longer Here
Mr. Frías’s Directorial Team:
Production Managers: Martín Pérez Valle, Assia Fratz (New York Unit)
First Assistant Director: Carlos Suazo
Second Assistant Directors: Alí Santiago, Alex Burstein (New York Unit)
Second Second Assistant Directors: Karen Alcázar, Anthony James Faure (New York Unit)
One Night in Miami
Ms. King’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Paul O. Davis
First Assistant Director: Mark Anthony Little
Second Assistant Director: Kevin O’Neil
Sound of Metal
Mr. Marder’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Amy Greene
First Assistant Director: Matthew Vose Campbell
(Sony Pictures Classics)
Mr. Zeller’s Directorial Team:
First Assistant Director: George Every
Second Assistant Director: Jamie D. Allen
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