The Directors Guild of America weighed in with its picks for the best directing of this year’s films and television. Sam Mendes took home the night’s top award for Feature Film for his WWI epic, 1917. Big winners on the TV side include Nicole Kassel for Drama Series for HBO’s Watchmen and Bill Hader in Comedy Series for directing that wild episode of Barry.

For awards pundits, all eyes were on the film side, where the winner of Outstanding Directing – Feature Film can tell us a lot about not just who might win the Oscar for Best Director, but which film might win Best Picture.

Credit: François Duhamel/Universal

This is because, since 1950, the winner of this award at the DGAs has also gone on to win the Best Director prize at the Oscars in all but seven years, or almost 90 percent of the time(!). When it comes to Best Picture, the link is a little more tenuous but still very impressive: In that same time period, the winner of the DGA Award has seen their film go on to win the Oscar for Best Picture all but 16 times, or just over 76 percent of the time.

The link between Best Director and Best Picture has been a little shakier in recent years though, as four out of the last eight years have seen the two honors go to two different films. Last year saw such a split, with DGA winner Alfonso Cuaron winning Best Director at the Oscars for Roma, but Green Book ultimately prevailing as the Best Picture winner. With Mendes winning, he adds to his other major wins this season, including Best Director and Best Drama at the Golden Globes, and the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures at the Producers Guild of America Awards. Could the Oscar be next?

See the full list of winners below.


Feature Film
Bong Joon Ho – Parasite
WINNER: Sam Mendes – 1917
Martin Scorsese – The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Taika Waititi – Jojo Rabbit

WINNER: Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert – American Factory
Feras Fayyad – The Cave
Alex Holmes – Maiden
Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska – Honeyland
Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang – One Child Nation

First-Time Feature Film
Mati Diop – Atlantics
WINNER: Alma Har’el – Honey Boy
Melina Matsoukas – Queen & Slim
Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz – The Peanut Butter Falcon
Joe Talbot – The Last Black Man in San Francisco


Drama Series
WINNER: Nicole Kassell – Watchmen for “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice”
Mark Mylod – Succession for “This Is Not for Tears”
David Nutter – Game of Thrones for “The Last of the Starks”
Miguel Sapochnik – Game of Thrones for “The Long Night”
Stephen Williams – Watchmen for “This Extraordinary Being”

Comedy Series
Dan Attias – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel for “It’s the Sixties, Man!”
WINNER: Bill Hader – Barry for “ronny/lily”
David Mandel – Veep for “Veep”
Daniel Palladino – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel for “Marvelous Radio”
Amy Sherman-Palladino – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel for “It’s Comedy or Cabbage”

Movies for Television and Limited Series
Ava DuVernay – When They See Us
Vince Gilligan – El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Thomas Kail – Fosse/Verdon for “Nowadays”
WINNER: Johan Renck – Chernobyl
Minkie Spiro – Fosse/Verdon for “All I Care About Is Love”
Jessica Yu – Fosse/Verdon for “Glory”

Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Regularly Scheduled Programming
Paul G. Casey – Real Time with Bill Maher for “#1730”
Nora S. Gerard – CBS Sunday Morning for “40th Anniversary”
Jim Hoskinson – The Late Show with Stephen Colbert for “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez/Incubus”
WINNER: Don Roy King – Saturday Night Live for “Eddie Murphy/Lizzo”
Paul Pennolino and Christopher Werner – Last Week Tonight with John Oliver for “SLAPP Suits”

Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Specials
WINNER: James Burrows and Andy Fisher – Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s All in the Family and The Jeffersons
Spike Jonze – Aziz Ansari: Right Now
Stan Lathan – Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones
Linda Mendoza – Wanda Sykes: Not Normal
Glenn Weiss – The 91st Annual Academy Awards

Reality Programs
Hisham Abed – Queer Eye for “Black Girl Magic”
WINNER: Jason Cohen – Encore! for “Annie”
Jon Favreau – The Chef Show for “Hog Island”
Ashley S. Gorman – First Responders Live for “#103”
Patrick McManus – American Ninja Warrior for “#1116: Las Vegas National Finals Night 4”

Children’s Programs
Dean Israelite – Are You Afraid of the Dark? for “Part One: Submitted for Your Approval”
Jack Jameson – Sesame Street’s 50th Anniversary Special
Luke Matheny – Ghostwriter for “Ghost in Wonderland: Part 1”
WINNER: Amy Schatz – Song of Parkland
Barry Sonnenfeld – A Series of Unfortunate Events for “Penultimate Peril: Part 1”


Fredrik Bond – Hewlett-Packard’s “Lighter Than Air,”, Coca-Cola’s “Take it Lightly”, and Apple’s “Nap”
WINNER: Spike Jonze – Squarespace’s “Dream It” and MedMen’s “The New Normal”
Mark Molloy – Apple’s “Underdogs”
Ridley Scott – Hennessy’s “The Seven Worlds”
Dougal Wilson – AT&T’s “Train”

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1917 (2019 Movie)
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