Alfonso Cuarón took the top feature film award for Roma at tonight’s 71st Annual DGA Awards, fellow feature film nominee Adam McKay took the TV drama series nod for Succession and Bo Burnham snagged the first-time director nod for Eighth Grade.
“Roma simply doesn’t exist without the generosity of spirit and effortless grace of Yalitza (Aparicio) and Marina (De Tavira). They somehow with the rest of my beautiful cast managed to bring to life this film from my memory,” Cuarón said in accepting the award for his film that is an homage to his childhood.
The guild award has been a top bellwether for the best directing Oscar. Last year’s winner Guillermo del Toro, who presented tonight’s award to Cuarón, went on to win the Academy Award in directing for The Shape of Water. The film won four Oscars in all, including best picture. The guild and Oscars have differed only seven times since the DGA started giving awards in 1949.
Burnham won the first-time feature award for Eighth Grade. “I really didn’t think this was mathematically possible, so please forgive my lack of preparation,” a clearly surprised Burnham said in accepting the award.
The documentary feature award went to Tim Wardle for Three Identical Strangers. This was Wardle’s first DGA nomination. He thanked the families of the triplets who were incredibly separated at birth. The film was cut in 18 weeks. “My wife is convinced we were having an affair, we spent so much time in the edit together,” he said.
On the TV side, Ben Stiller nabbed first DGA win in the Limited Series category for Escape at Dannemora. “Nobody else wanted to take a chance on it,” Stiller says of his limited series, even though Showtime might not have known that when they picked it up. I want to thank my agent for lying to Showtime,” he said, getting a good laugh.
Bill Hader took the comedy series trophy for HBO’s Barry for the “Chapter One: Make Your Mark” episode. This was Hader’s first DGA nomination.
Don Mischer received the guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Achievement in Television Direction. The veteran live TV-helmer and former DGA national board member has amassed 40-plus Primetime Emmys nominations and won more than a dozen — including two in the same year three different times — and won 10 DGA Awards. He has produced 15 Primetime Emmys telecasts, directed and produced the 2011 and 2012 Academy Awards and produced three consecutive Tony Awards among dozens of live awards-show credits. He relayed the story of seeing his first live TV broadcast at age of 9. “It was rimmed with dozens of television sets on which we could see the live broadcast as it was happening. I was riveted and it planted a seed for me that lasted a lifetime,” he said in accepting the award.
FX Networks, behind such series as Atlanta, Pose, Mayans M.C. and Snowfall, was honored with the guild’s 2019 Diversity Award which has been bestowed only a handful of times in the DGA Awards’ long history. “In the most recent television season, 53% of their directors were women and people of color, ” Paris Barclay, a previous DGA president, said in presenting the award.
“Real change is possible, you just have to do it,” said John Landgraf, CEO, FX Networks
Kathleen McGill and Mimi Deaton were honored with special awards tonight. McGill, a unit production manager, received the Frank Capra Achievement Award, and Deaton, an associate director, received the Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award. Both awards are given in recognition of career achievement and service to the guild.
WINNERS OF THE 71st DGA Awards:
Unit Production Manager: Ana Hernandez
First Assistant Director: Frederic Henocque Albino
Second Assistant Director: Patrick Heyerdahl
Second Second Assistant Directors: Luis Fernando Vásquez, Julián ‘Chico’ Valdés, Arturo Garcia
FIRST-TIME FEATURE FILM DIRECTOR
First Assistant Director: Dan Taggatz
Second Assistant Director: Vic Coram
Second Second Assistant Director: Evelyn Fogleman
Three Identical Strangers
(Neon and CNN Films)
Mr. McKay’s Directorial Team:
• Unit Production Manager: Regina Heyman
• First Assistant Director: Amy Lauritsen
• Second Assistant Director: Scott Bowers
• Second Second Assistant Director: Nicholas Notte
• Location Managers: Michael Kriaris, Patty Carey
Barry, “Chapter One: Make Your Mark”
Mr. Hader’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Managers: Mark Tobey, Aida Rodgers
First Assistant Director: Dale Stern
Second Assistant Director: Michelle Gritzer
Second Second Assistant Director: Chris Riddle
Additional Second Assistant Director: Gary Cotti
MOVIES FOR TELEVISION AND LIMITED SERIES
Escape at Dannemora
Mr. Stiller’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Managers: Adam Brightman, Bill Carraro
First Assistant Directors: Lisa M. Rowe, Lyda Blank, Phillip A. Patterson
Second Assistant Director: Kevin R. Shields
Second Second Assistant Director: Luke A. Crawford
Location Manager: Hyo Park
VARIETY/TALK/NEWS/SPORTS – REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING
DON ROY KING
Saturday Night Live, “Adam Driver; Kanye West”
Mr. King’s Directorial Team:
Associate Directors: Michael Mancini, Michael Poole, Bob Caminiti
Stage Managers: Gena Rositano, Chris Kelly
VARIETY/TALK/NEWS/SPORTS – SPECIALS
LOUIS J. HORVITZ
The 60th Grammy Awards
Mr. Horvitz’s Directorial Team:
Associate Directors: Richard A. Preuss, Ron Andreassen, Kate Hollanda, Sabrina Rufo Mishler, Booey Kober
Stage Managers: Garry Hood, Doug Smith, Benny Almont, Joey Despenzero, Peter Epstein, John Esposito, Andy Feigin, Doug Fogel, Tyler Goldman, Jeffry Gitter, Phyllis Digilio Kent, Arthur Lewis, Julie Lorusso, Jeff Markowitz, Seth Mellman, Cyndi Owgang, Jeff Pearl, Alfonso Pena, Annette Powlis, Kyle Ramdeen, Lauren Schneider, Eddie Valk, Karen Tasch Weiss
The Final Table, “Japan”
Mr. Norman’s Directorial Team:
Associate Director: Carrie Havel
Lead Stage Manager: Jonathan Marks
Stage Managers: Daniel Curran, Mickel Picco
Sesame Street, “When You Wish Upon a Pickle: A Sesame Street Special”
Mr. Jameson’s Directorial Team:
Associate Director: Ken Diego
Stage Managers: Shawn Havens, Mike Walker, Theresa Anderson
Welcome Home, Apple Homepod – TBWA \ Media Arts Lab
• Unit Production Managers: Vincent Landay, Natalie Hill
• First Assistant Director: Thomas Smith
• Second Assistant Directors: Robert Kay, Nadeem Ashayer, Dave Marnell
• Second Second Assistant Director: Jeff Tavani