Directors Guild Awards: Michel Hazanavicius Of 'The Artist', Patty Jenkins 'The Killing', Robert Weide 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'

Coverage from The Deadline Team’s Nikki Finke and Ray Richmond.

Los Angeles – The Directors Guild of America tonight announced the DGA Awards for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in film, television, and commercials for the year 2011 at the 64th Annual DGA Awards Dinner in the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland. The DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film has traditionally been one of the industry’s most accurate barometers for who will win the Best Director Academy Award. Only 6 times has the DGA Award winner not won the Oscar for Best Director (1968/Carol Reed for Oliver!; 1972/Bob Fosse for Cabaret; 1985/Sydney Pollack for Out of Africa; 1995/Mel Gibson for Braveheart); 2000/Steven Soderbergh for Traffic; 2002/Roman Polanski for The Pianist).

DGA President Taylor Hackford made welcoming remarks and led the room in a toast to the late Gil Cates, the celebrated director and guild leader.

Master of Ceremonies Kelsey Grammer got off several uneven one-liners: “Last year’s awards were so long, the directors cut is two hours shorter… They renamed it Occupy Kodak Center. Even James Cameron said it was too long… The only reason Carl Reiner isn’t hosting this year’s awards is he’s still hosting last year’s awards… Taylor’s been busy lately in Washington DC, where having a beard means an entirely different thing.”

Here are the winners:

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2011:
MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS – The Artist (The Weinstein Company)
Hazanavicius said in his acceptance speech: “Thank you to the DGA. This may be the highest recognition that I could ever get. I really love directors. I really have respect for directors. So this is really very moving and touching for me. I also want to say that, best director, I don’t really know what that is. Every one of us is so different. So to try to say which one is the best is very difficult. But I really appreciate this and thank you very much.”
Mr. Hazanavicius’ Directorial Team:
• Unit Production Manager: Antoine De Cazotte
• Production Manager (FR): Ségoléne Fleury
• First Assistant Director (FR): James Canal
• First Assistant Director (US): David Cluck
• Second Assistant Director (US): Dave Paige
• Second Second Assistant Directors: Karla Strum, Ricky Robinson
This is Mr. Hazanavicius’ first DGA Feature Film Award nomination.

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary:
JAMES MARSH – Project Nim
Red Box Films, Passion Pictures, HBO Documentary Films, Roadside Attractions, BBC Films, UK Film Council
This is Mr. Marsh’s second DGA Award nomination. He was previously nominated in this category for Man on Wire in 2008.
– Though Project Nim made the Academy Of Motion Picture Ats & Sciences’s shortlist for Best Feature Documentary, it failed to get nominated among the final five films in that category this year.

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series:
JON CASSAR – The Kennedys (Reelz Channel)
This is Mr. Cassar’s third DGA Award nomination. He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series in 2006 for 24 – “7:00 AM-8:00 AM” and was nominated in this category in 2003 for the episode of 24 also titled “7:00 AM-8:00 AM.”

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series:
PATTY JENKINS – The Killing, “Pilot” (AMC)
Ms. Jenkins is also nominated this year in the Movies for Television and Mini-Series category for her segment of Five.

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series:
ROBERT B. WEIDE – Curb Your Enthusiasm, “Palestinian Chicken” (HBO)
Mr. Weide’s Directorial Team:
• Associate Director: Dale Stern, Tim Gibbons
• Stage Managers: Jonathan Harris, Jerri Churchill, Dana Jackson
This is Mr. Weide’s second DGA Award nomination. He was previously nominated in this category for Curb Your Enthusiasm – “The Carpool Lane” in 2004.
– Weide said backstage: “Modern Family wins everything. So as much as people may have liked my show, I just didn’t think this was going to happen because Modern Family is unstoppable. They’re a favorite these days. And I really expected it would be them. So it really is a surprise.”

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Musical Variety:
GLENN WEISS – 65th Annual Tony Awards (CBS)
Mr. Weiss’ Directorial Team:
• Associate Directors: Ken Diego, Robin Abrams, Debra Gelman, Ricky Kirshner
• Stage Managers: Garry Hood, Peter Epstein, Andrew Feigin, Lynn Finkel, Doug Fogel, Jeffry Gitter, Phyllis Digilio-Kent, Arthur Lewis, Jeff Markowitz, Joey Meade, Tony Mirante, Cyndi Owgang, Jeff Pearl, Elise Reaves, Lauren Class Schneider, Annette Powlis
This is Mr. Weiss’ eighth DGA Award nomination. He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Musical Variety in 2007 and 2010 for the 61st and 64th Annual Tony Awards. He was previously nominated in this category in 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2008, all for the 55th, 56th, 59th, 60th, and 62nd Annual Tony Awards.

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Reality Programs:
NEIL P. DEGROOT – Biggest Loser, “Episode #1115″ (NBC)
Mr. DeGroot’s Directorial Team
• Associate Director: Andy Nelson
This is Mr. DeGroot’s first DGA Award nomination.

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Daytime Serials:
WILLIAM LUDEL – General Hospital, “Intervention” (ABC)
Ludel’s acceptance speech: “I’ve won two of these before, but this one means the most because my guess is we won’t be around much longer… It’s just the reality.”
Mr. Ludel’s Directorial Team:
• Associate Directors: Christine Magarian Ucar, Denise Van Cleave, Penny Pengra, Peter Fillmore, RC Cates, David MacLeod
• Stage Managers: Craig McManus, Crystal Craft
• Production Associates: Christine Cooper, Andrea Compton
This is Mr. Ludel’s seventh DGA Award nomination and all for his direction of General Hospital. He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Daytime Serials for General Hospital “Episode #9801″ in 2001 and “Episode #8248″ in 1995; and was previously nominated for General Hospital “Macho Men” in 2009, “Luke in Purgatory” in 2008, “Episode #11177″ in 2006 and for “Episode #7922″ in 1994.

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children’s Programs:
AMY SCHATZ – A Child’s Garden of Poetry (HBO)
This is Ms. Schatz’s sixth DGA Award nomination. She won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children’s Programs in 2008 for Classical Baby (I’m Grown Up Now) “The Poetry Show,” in 2001 for ‘Twas the Night’ and in 1999 for Goodnight Moon & Other Sleepy Time Tales. She was previously nominated in this category for Hard Times for an American Girl: The Great Depression in 2009 and Through a Child’s Eyes: September 11, 2001 in 2002.

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials:
NOAM MURRO (Biscuit Filmworks)
Handlebar Moustache, Heineken Premium Light- Wieden & Kennedy/NY
• Unit Production Manager: James Powell Veal
• First Assistant Director: Tommy Gormley
• Second Assistant Director: Ian Robert Calip
• Second Second Assistant Director: Michael King
Hot House, DirecTV – Grey/NY
• Unit Production Manager: James Powell Veal
• First Assistant Director: Scott C. Harris
• Second Assistant Directors: Mark Robinson, Brady Sloan
Pinata, Volkswagen Tiguan – Deutsch/LA
• Unit Production Manager: James Powell Veal
• First Assistant Director: Scott M. Metcalfe
• Second Assistant Director: Ty Arnold
Is It Real?, EA Battlefield 3 – Wieden & Kennedy/Portland
• First Assistant Director: Michael David Salven
• Second Assistant Director: Erv E. Gentry
• Second Second Assistant Director: Eric Schneider
This is Mr. Murro’s sixth DGA Award nomination in this category. He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials for Carry (Adidas), Glen (Starbucks), and Toy Boat (eBay) in 2004. He was also nominated in this category in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2007.

Three special DGA Awards already were announced recognizing lifetime career achievement and extraordinary contribution to the Guild for Ed Sherin, Katy Garretson, and Dennis Mazzocco. Sherin will receive the DGA’s 2012 Honorary Life Member Award, in recognition of outstanding creative achievement, leadership in the industry, contribution to the Guild or to the profession of directing. Garretson will receive the 2012 Frank Capra Achievement Award, which is given to an Assistant Director or Unit Production Manager in recognition of career achievement. Mazzocco will receive the 2012 Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award, which is given to an Associate Director or Stage Manager in recognition of career achievement.

  1. the entire directing team was a perfect example of the kind of people you want running your show. Dave Paige in particular – one couldn’t find a more driven, postive, intelligent & kind person in the biz.

  2. The PGA and DGA also jointly selected Apollo 13, Saving Private Ryan, and Brokeback Mountain, and the Academy chose someone else for Best Picture, so while The Artist is definitely the frontrunner, there’s still time for some intense campaigning to convince Oscar voters to choose another picture.

  3. For the third year in a row, the academy has chosen simplicity over substance. Am I the only one who thinks the artist is overrated? Anyways, the last time there was a shift in the academy awards was when the show was in march– when the pianist nearly overtook Chicago. If the academy moves to january or any earlier it will only be a carbon copy of what everyone is feeling now. The academy doesn’t think that the voters should have time to see the films and also did the audience to see the films. Last year, it was now when people got a chance to see the kings speech, black swan and the fighter and this year, it’s the artist and extremely loud. If the academy goes sooner, people will not see the movies that are nominated when they are up against the December blockbusters but maybe the academy about losing credibility

  4. If The Artist is going to win everything.. let the viewing audience know. If this is going to be another Slumdog.. I can tune out.

    Just funny how the last few Oscar winners have vanished from the mind of the viewers. I never hear anyone talking about any of them.

    Slumdog winning was major NO.. and The Artist is an interesting film.. but not the best of the year. Even the people in France don’t want to see it. And word of mouth is not adding to the BO like it did for The Kings Speech.

    Sorry but I don’t get the overhype of the film at all.

    Good does not equal BEST

  5. Hopefully they won’t — The Atrist is the only true contender this year. Everything else was phoned in. I’m looking at you, Payne and Spielberg.

  6. Soderbergh actually did win the Oscar for TRAFFIC, but did not win the Oscar or DGA for ERIN BROKOVICH the same year.

  7. I attended the DGA Awards last night. Not many surprises with the winners, but there were some great speeches and nice moments. George Clooney did a hilarious routine in his speech on behalf of Alexander Payne. Kudos to Kelsey Grammer, who was impressive and very funny as the host.

  8. THE ARTIST was very successful overseas according to one person I know, over there, selling out screenings and grossing more than its costs, more than HUGO can say. It also just won 10 awards in the Cesar awards. Not remembering immediate Oscar winners is nothing new, read the 1/29/42 Jimmy Fidler column posted in today’s The Daily Mirror blog.

  9. Regarding Robert Weide’s comments on “Modern Family”, keep in mind Mr. Weide that while “Modern Family” is one of those “best in a generation” sitcoms, in “Palestinian Chicken” you sir directed one of the all-time great episodes in television history. Kudos to you.

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