DGA Nominations and Snubs

DGA Awards

The Directors Guild of America (DGA) announced the five nominees for the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2018.

Once again, no women have been nominated.  I cannot stress this enough.  While Greta Gerwig was nominated for Lady Bird last year, you’d have to go back to Kathryn Bigelow’s nomination for The Hurt Locker (2009) and Zero Dark Thirty (2012).  Before this, the most recent nomination had been Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation (2003).  This comes in a year in which there have been some very strong contenders.  Unfortunately, it’s just not enough to make it into the pantheon of DGA nominations or quite possibly an Oscar nomination.  Critics of Bohemian Rhapsody‘s absence should be pleased because it’s hard to win Best Picture without a DGA nomination or win.

Once thought to be among the front runners, what does today mean for Black Panther director Ryan Coogler?  Similarly, The Favourite‘s Yorgos Lanthimos and If Beale Street Could Talk‘s Barry Jenkins were also snubbed by today’s announcement.  Other directors are also among the snubs.  It doesn’t mean that it’s the run of the run for their chances but the DGA award is one of the strongest prognosticators by far.

Since the first award in 1949, their winner has gone on to repeat at the Oscars all but seven times.  It is possible to still win Best Picture without winning Best Director.  This has happened sixteen times in Oscar history where the DGA winner did not direct the Oscar winner for Best Picture.  Most recently, this occurred when Damien Chazelle was both the DGA and Oscar for La La Land but Moonlight won Best Picture.  Prior to this, Spotlight won Best Picture while Alejandro G. Iñárritu won Best Director for The Revenant.

Time is running out on the directors who were once perceived to be a front runner or a major threat.  Oscar nomination voting ends on January 14, 2019.



A Star is Born (Warner Bros. Pictures)

  • Unit Production Manager: Robert J. Dohrmann
  • First Assistant Director: Michele “Shelley” Ziegler
  • Second Assistant Director: Xanthus Valan
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Matthew R. Milan


Roma (Netflix)

  • 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


Green Book (Universal Pictures)

  • Unit Production Managers: Alissa M. Kantrow, John Brister, Franses Simonovich (New York Unit)
  • First Assistant Directors: J.B. Rogers, Alejandro Ramia (New York Unit)
  • Second Assistant Directors: Paul B. Uddo, Jack McKenna (New York Unit)
  • Second Second Assistant Directors: Gerson Paz, Jonathan Warren
  • Location Manager: Louis Zuppardi


BlacKkKlansman (Focus Features)

  • Unit Production Manager: Marcei A. Brown
  • First Assistant Director: Mike Ellis
  • Second Assistant Director: Tracey Hinds
  • Second Second Assistant Directors: Jason Perez, Christina Ann Walker, Anastasia Folorunso


Vice (Annapurna Pictures)

  • Unit Production Managers: Julie Hartley, Jeff Waxman
  • First Assistant Director: Matt Rebenkoff
  • Second Assistant Director: Joann Connolly
  • Second Second Assistant Directors: Yarden Levo, Dave Vogel (Washington D.C. Unit)



Eighth Grade (A24)

  • First Assistant Director: Dan Taggatz
  • Second Assistant Director: Vic Coram
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Evelyn Fogleman


A Star is Born (Warner Bros. Pictures)

  • Unit Production Manager: Robert J. Dohrmann
  • First Assistant Director: Michele “Shelley” Ziegler
  • Second Assistant Director: Xanthus Valan
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Matthew R. Milan


Blindspotting (Summit Entertainment)

  • Assistant Director: La Mar Stewart
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Dominic Martin
  • Additional Second Second Assistant Director: Armin Houshmandi


A Private War (Aviron Pictures)

  • Unit Production Manager: Louise Killin
  • First Assistant Directors: George Walker, Peter Freeman (Jordan Unit)
  • Second Assistant Directors: Tom Mulberge (UK Unit), Tom Browne (Jordan Unit)
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Tarik Afifi (Jordan Unit)


Sorry to Bother You (Annapurna Pictures)

  • Production Manager: Chris Martin
  • First Assistant Director: Brian Benson
  • Second Assistant Director: Hilton Jamal Day
  • Second Second Assistant Directors: Sam Purdy, Nick Alvarez

The 71st Annual DGA Awards on Saturday, February 2, 2019 at the Hollywood and Highland Center’s Ray Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.