Will the DGA's New Awards Date Alter 2013 Oscar Race?

The Directors Guild of America moved the date of its annual awards to Feb. 2, 2013, a move that could change the dynamics of the Oscar race.

The Directors Guild of America has announced on that its 65th annual awards date will be Feb. 2, 2013. Last month, DGA had slated the awards for Jan. 26, 2013 -- the day before the Screen Actors Guild Awards, which remain on Jan. 27. The DGA explained the reason for the switch in an oddly vague statement: "The decision to move the date by one week was made during the process of securing the venue."

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With the DGA awards coming the week after SAG, perhaps each will get more press coverage and influence in the frantic days leading up to the 2013 Oscars, which are slated for Feb. 24 at the Hollywood & Highland center. The DGA feature film award is the best predictor of who will win the Oscar for best director: only six Oscar winners since 1948 didn't win a DGA. Even a DGA nomination is so coveted that when David O. Russell got one for The Fighter in 2011, he told The Hollywood Reporter, "I started to cry." (He got an Oscar nomination too.)

Moving the DGA date closer to the Oscars could make potential recipients cry even harder. "Whatever the DGA's official reason is, the reason most awards get attention is their proximity to the Oscars -- believe me, I know," says former New York Film Critics Circle chair John Anderson, who sparked controversy by moving his group's awards date last year to increase its Oscar impact. "The closer it is to the voting deadline the bigger the influence." In Anderson's opinion, DGA's influence on Academy voting "will probably be more than what it already is, which is considerable."

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The 2013 DGA awards will be announced at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland in Los Angeles. The SAG Awards will be at the Shrine Exposition Center.

Email: Tim.Appelo@thr.com

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