By Ray Pride

2011 DGA Award Nominees

LOS ANGELES, CA: On January 9, 2012, DGA President Taylor Hackford announced the five nominees for the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2011.

“The directors nominated this year for the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film Award have each demonstrated an inspired command of the medium.  The fact that their prodigious talents have been recognized by their peers is the highest honor a director can achieve,” said Hackford.  “I offer my most sincere congratulations to each of the nominees.”

The winner will be named at the 64th Annual DGA Awards Dinner on Saturday, January 28, 2012, at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood and Highland.

The nominees are (in alphabetical order):

Woody Allen


Midnight in Paris
(Sony Pictures Classics)

Mr. Allen’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Managers:  Matthieu Rubin, Helen Robin
  • First Assistant Director:  Gil Kenny
  • Second Assistant Director:  Delphine Bertrand

This is Mr. Allen’s fifth DGA Feature Film Award nomination.  He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for Annie Hall (1977), and was previously nominated in that category for Manhattan (1979), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989).  Mr. Allen was honored with the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996.

David Fincher


The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
(Columbia Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures)

Mr. Fincher’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager:  Daniel M. Stillman
  • First Assistant Director:  Bob Wagner
  • Second Assistant Director:  Allen Kupetsky
  • Production Manager (Sweden Unit): Karolina Heimburg
  • Second Assistant Directors (Sweden Unit): Hanna Nilsson, Pontus Klänge
  • 2nd Second Assistant Director (Sweden Unit): Niklas Sjöström
  • 2nd Second Assistant Director (U.S. Unit):  Maileen Williams
  • Unit Production Manager (Zurich Unit): Christos Dervenis
  • Unit Production Manager (U.K. Unit): Lara Baldwin
  • Second Assistant Director (U.K. Unit): Paul Taylor

This is Mr. Fincher’s third DGA Feature Film Award nomination.  He was previously nominated in this category last year for The Social Network and for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in 2008.  He previously won the DGA Commercial Award for Speed Chain (Nike), Gamebreakers(, and Beauty for Sale (Xelibri Phones) in 2003 and was nominated in that category again in 2008.

Michel Hanavicius


The Artist
(The Weinstein Company)

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:  Dave Paige
  • Second Second Assistant Directors: Karla Strum, Ricky Robinson

This is Mr. Hazanavicius’ first DGA Feature Film Award nomination.

Alexander Payne


The Descendants
(Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Mr. Payne’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager:  George Parra
  • First Assistant Director:  Richard L. Fox
  • Second Assistant Director:  Scott August
  • Second Second Assistant Director:  Amy Wilkins Bronson

This is Mr. Payne’s second DGA Feature Film Award nomination.  He was previously nominated in that category for Sideways in 2004.

Martin Scorsese


(Paramount Pictures)

Mr. Scorsese’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Managers:  Charles Newirth, Georgia Kacandes, Angus More Gordon
  • First Assistant Director:  Chris Surgent
  • Second Assistant Director:  Richard Graysmark
  • Second Assistant Directors:  Tom Brewster, Fraser Fennell-Ball
  • Production Managers (Paris Unit): Michael Sharp, Gilles Castera
  • First Assistant Director (Paris Unit): Ali Cherkaoui

This is Mr. Scorsese’s ninth DGA Award nomination.  He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film in 2006 for The Departed, and was previously nominated in that category for Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990), The Age of Innocence (1993), Gangs of New York (2002), and The Aviator (2004). Mr. Scorsese also won the DGA Award last year for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Television forBoardwalk Empire.  In 1999, Mr. Scorsese was presented with the Filmmaker Award at the inaugural DGA Honors Gala, and he was honored with the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.

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 six times since the DGA Awards began in 1948 has the Feature Film winner not gone on to win the corresponding Academy Award.

The six exceptions are as follows:

  • 1968: Anthony Harvey won the DGA Award for The Lion in Winter while Carol Reed took home the Oscar® for Oliver!
  • 1972: Francis Ford Coppola received the DGA’s nod for The Godfather while the Academy selected Bob Fosse for Cabaret.
  • 1985: Steven Spielberg received his first DGA Award for The Color Purple while the Oscar® went to Sydney Pollack for Out of Africa.
  • 1995: Ron Howard was chosen by the DGA for his direction of Apollo 13 while Academy voters selected Mel Gibson for Braveheart.
  • 2000: Ang Lee won the DGA Award for his direction of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon while Steven Soderbergh won the Academy Award for Traffic.
  • 2002: Rob Marshall won the DGA Award for Chicago while Roman Polanski received the Academy Award for The Pianist.

The winner in the Feature Film category will be announced at the 64th Annual DGA Awards dinnerand ceremony on Saturday evening, January 28, 2012, at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland.  The DGA Awards will be hosted by director/actor/producer Kelsey Grammer.

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One Response to “2011 DGA Award Nominees”

  1. Patryk says:

    Hope Mr. Grammer keeps his politics to himself. Or maybe he’ll bring Michelle Bachmann as his date. Woody and Marty would love to meet her.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon