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HomeAwardsChristopher Nolan Wins First DGA Award at 76th Annual Ceremony

Christopher Nolan Wins First DGA Award at 76th Annual Ceremony

On Saturday, Feb. 10, the Directors Guild of America (DGA) announced the winners of its 76th Annual DGA Awards in theatrical feature, television and other categories at a ceremony taking place at the Beverly Hills Hilton in Beverly Hills. They are the first official industry guild awards to be announced, the ceremony taking at the same time as the Art Directors Guild (ADG) Awards across town.

Fifth time was the charm for Oppenheimer director Christopher Nolan, who had been receiving nominations from the DGA going back to his 2002 film, Memento, finally won the DGA’s top honor for his blockbuster biopic. By comparison, Nolan had only been nominated twice by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences‘ directing branch, which nominated him again this year, as well as Nolan receiving two other Oscar nominations. The film received 13 nominations in total, the most for any film released in 2023.

The DGA has often been a reliable precursor for a movie’s chance at the Oscars, as well as a director’s chance at winning that particular Oscar. Last year, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert aka Daniels won the DGA Award on the way to their film, Everything Everywhere All at Once, winning Best Picture. Earlier Best Picture winners that began their run at DGA include NomadlandThe Shape of Water, and Birdman or (The Unexpected Value of Ignorance). Ben Affleck famously won the DGA Award for Argo, which won Best Picture despite Affleck not being nominated for his directing by the Academy. Two of this year’s DGA nominees – Greta Gerwig and Alexander Payne – were noticeably missing from the Oscar nominations in the directing category in favor of international filmmakers, Justin Triet and Jonathan Glazer.

First-time feature director, Celine Song, received the prestigious Michael Apted Award (named after the late former DGA President) for her film, Past Lives, although she, too, was not nominated by the Academy for her directing of that Best Picture nominee.

Peter HoarChristopher Storer, and Sarah Adina Smith received DGA Awards for their directing work on episodes of popular shows, The Last of Us and The Bear, and the limited series Lessons in Chemistry respectively.

You can read the complete list of winners below:

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film

Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer (Universal)

Directorial Team: Unit Production Managers: Thomas Hayslip, Nathan Kelly, Rafael Lima (New Jersey / New York Unit)
First Assistant Director: Nilo Otero
Second Assistant Director: Andrew Stahl
Second Second Assistant Director: Jesse Carmona
Additional Second Assistant Directors: Dixon McPhillips, Richard Molloy (New Jersey / New York Unit), AJ Jackson (New Jersey / New York Unit)
Location Manager: Patty Carey Perazzo (New Jersey / New York Unit)

Michael Apted Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in First-Time Theatrical Feature Film

Celine SongPast Lives

Directorial Team: Unit Production Manager: Kerry Johnson
First Assistant Director: Ben Kahn
Second Assistant Director: Geraldine Schubert
Second Second Assistant Director: Dan Levy

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series for 2023

Peter HoarThe Last of Us, “Long, Long Time”

Directorial Team: Unit Production Manager: Cecil O’Connor; First Assistant Director: Bethan Mowat

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series

Christopher Storer, The Bear, “Fishes”

Directorial Team: Unit Production Managers: Tyson Bidner, Carrie Holt de Lama; First Assistant Directors: Duccio Fabbri, Pablo Gambetta; Second Assistant Director: Larissa Malarek; Second Second Assistant Directors: Olivia Dame, Hiro Taniguchi; Location Manager: Maria C. Roxas

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Limited Series

Sarah Adina Smith, Lessons in Chemistry, “Her and Him”
Nzingha Stewart, Daisy Jones & The Six, “Track 10: Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide”

Directorial Team: Unit Production Manager: Steven Brown; First Assistant Director: Kristofer Kolpek; Second Assistant Director: Deborah Chung

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

Michael Mancini and Liz Patrick, Saturday Night Live, “Pedro Pascal / Coldplay”

Directorial Team: Associate Directors: Janine DeVito, Michael Poole, Laura Ouziel-Mack; Stage Managers: Gena Rositano, Chris Kelly, Eddie Valk

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

Paul Miller, Carol Burnett: 90 Years of Laughter + Love

Directorial Team: Associate Director: Sara Niimi; Stage Managers: Gary Natoli, Alissa Levisohn Hoyo, Christopher McDonald, Jackie Stathis

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Reality Programs

Niharika Desai, Rainn Wilson and the Geography of Bliss, “Happiness is a Bottle of Cod Liver Oil”

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children’s Programs

Amy Schatz, Stand Up & Shout: Songs From a Philly High School

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials

Kim Gehrig (Somesuch)
Run This Town, Apple Music – Apple (Client Direct) | First Assistant Director: David Webb
The Travelers, Expedia – Wieden & Kennedy | First Assistant Director: Zaida Fakih

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary

Mstyslav Chernov, 20 Days in Mariupol

Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas has written about movies for print and the internet for over 20 years, specializing in box office analysis, reviews, and interviews. Currently, he writes features for Below the Line and Above the Line, acting as Associate Editor for the former and Interim Editor for the latter.
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