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DGA Awards 2019 Winners Announced

The 71st Annual DGA Awards are currently underway. The feature film nominees this year are Alfonso Cuaron for “Roma,” Bradley Cooper for “A Star Is Born,” Spike Lee for “BlacKkKlansman,” Adam McKay for “Vice,” and Peter Farrelly for “Green Book.”

Cuaron, in accepting his nomination medallion, took a shot at the Trump Administration in noting that many of the world’s 70 million domestic workers are immigrants. “When we villify them, calling them rapists, we diminish ourselves,” he said.

Cooper gave a passionate reaction to receiving his medallion, saying, “It’s the humanity of making films. I love it so much. I’m never going to stop.”

DGA President Thomas Schlamme opened the ceremonies by sending out wishes for a speedy recovery to DGA member Jussie Smollett, who was attacked on Jan. 29 in Chicago in what law enforcement is investigating as a hate crime. He promised that the DGA, which has 17,000 members, will push for more inclusion of women and minorities.

“Unions are under near-constant threat,” he said. “Our industry is one of the last strongholds of labor. It’s something that we must never take for granted

Aisha Tyler hosted the event at Hollywood & Highland Center, noting, “Last year’s host Judd Apatow has been recast as a 6-foot tall black woman.”

She evoked major laughter on her opening set by saying she was nostalgic for the presidency of George W. Bush, saying, “He was a cute dumb, not a ‘We’re all gonna die’ dumb.”

The first award went to Jack Jameson for children’s programs for “Sesame Street’s” “When You Wish Upon a Pickle: A Sesame Street Special.” The Variety/Talk/News/Sports winner was Don Roy King for “Saturday Night Live: Adam Driver; Kanye West” and the Variety/Talk/News/Sports specials winner is Louis J. Horvitz for “The 60th Grammy Awards.” The Reality programs winner ws Russell Norman for the “Japan” segment of Netflix’s “The Final Table.”

Cooper has also received a DGA nomination for the guild’s first-time director prize, along with Bo Burnham for “Eighth Grade,” Carlos Lopez Estrada for “Blindspotting,” Matthew Heineman for “A Private War,” and Boots Riley for “Sorry to Bother You.”

Cuaron won the DGA Award and directing Academy Award five years ago for “Gravity.” It’s the first DGA nomination for Cooper, Farrelly, and Lee. It’s McKay’s third nom, three years after he received a nod for “The Big Short.” He also received a television drama nomination this year for helming an episode of “Succession.”

The DGA Award is one of the top indicators of Oscar glory, with all but seven of the DGA winners since 1948 going on to take the best director Oscar — including Guillermo del Toro last year for “The Shape of Water.” The last divergence came in 2013 when Ben Affleck won the DGA Award for “Argo,” even though he did not receive an Oscar nom.

About 80% of DGA nominees have gone on to be in the running for an Academy Award in recent years. Cuaron, Lee, and McKay have been nominated for an Oscar this year, along with Yorgos Lanthimos for “The Favourite” and Pawel Pawlikowski for “Cold War.”

In the documentary race, Morgan Neville landed his first DGA nomination for “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” and is competing with Betsy West and Julie Cohen’s “RBG,” Tim Wardle’s “Three Identical Strangers,” Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s “Free Solo,” and Ramell Ross’ “Hale County This Morning, This Evening.”

Netflix’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events” has three nominations in the children’s series category, while “Atlanta” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” have two nods apiece in the comedy series category. Amy Sherman-Palladino, who won the Emmy in September for the show’s pilot, is nominated for the “Mrs. Maisel” Season 2 finale, “All Alone,” while her husband Daniel Palladino is up for the episode “We’re Going to the Catskills!”

Last year’s drama series winner, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” is back with director Daina Reid nominated for “Holly.” Jason Bateman scored his first nom for “Ozark,” along with previous DGA winner Lesli Linka Glatter for “Homeland,” new nominee Chris Long for “The Americans” and McKay for “Succession.”

In the longform division, Cary Joji Fukunaga, previously up in 2014 for “True Detective,” is back for “Maniac,” and will face the “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” team, “Paterno” director Barry Levinson, Ben Stiller for “Escape at Dannemora,” and “Sharp Objects” director Jean-Marc Vallee, who won the category last year for “Big Little Lies.”

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