Directors Guild of America President Lesli Linka Glatter today announced the five nominees for the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film for 2023 and they are, with very little surprise, Greta Gerwig for Barbie, Yorgos Lanthimos for Poor Things, Christopher Nolan for Oppenheimer, Alexander Payne for The Holdovers and Martin Scorsese for Killers of the Flower Moon.
The nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Television, Commercials and Documentary for 2023 were revealed yesterday where Succession led the drama nominees with four of the five spots.
“In a year full of so many extraordinary films, DGA members have nominated an incredible group of gifted storytellers,” said Glatter. “Their films fused technical prowess with unique artistic visions that captured the depth of the human experience and left an indelible impact on audiences around the world. Congratulations to these superb directors on their well-deserved nominations.”
Looking at their feature film DGA history, this is Gerwig’s second DGA nomination, the first for Lanthimos, Nolan’s 5th, Payne’s 3rd and Scorsese’s 11th. Scorsese is the only director nominated this year that has previously won. He won for 2006’s The Departed, for which he then earned his Oscar.
But don’t go looking for a 5/5 matchup with Oscar; the directing branch of the Academy hasn’t aligned with the DGA since the first year of the Oscars Best Picture expanded lineup in 2009. Before that it was 2005, 1998, 1981 and 1977. Gerwig, Nolan, Payne and Scorsese made the Golden Globes cut (along with Celine Song for Past Lives, who is nominated for DGA First-Time Director, and Bradley Cooper for Maestro). All earned a spot on the BAFTA longlist and at Critics Choice (which, with six spots, also has Cooper). This could be the year it happens again but odds favor one of these nominees on the outside come Oscar morning.
The Michael Apted Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in First-Time Theatrical Feature Film is always a competitive playground and joining Song there is Cord Jefferson for American Fiction, A.V. Rockwell for A Thousand and One, Noora Niasari for Shayda and Manuela Martelli for Chile ‘76. This is the second year in a row the lineup has gone 4/5 with women directors.
“The renaming of this award was introduced at last year’s ceremony, honoring our late Past-President Michael Apted’s vision in establishing recognition of outstanding debut work in feature film direction,” said Glatter.
Director David Nutter will become the sixth Director to receive one of the Guild’s top accolades, the Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Achievement in Television Direction. The prestigious Award, which recognizes Nutter’s legendary career as an acclaimed Director of episodic television. Previous recipients include Robert A. Fishman, Don Mischer, Joe Pytka, James Burrows and Robert Butler.
Unit Production Manager Janet Knutsen will receive the Frank Capra Achievement Award honoree in recognition of her prolific industry success and dedication to the DGA as an Assistant Director and Unit Production Manager over an acclaimed career, while Stage Manager Gary Natoli will receive the Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award, celebrating his distinguished creative achievements and steadfast Guild service as an Associate Director and Stage Manager.
The winners will be announced at the 76th Annual DGA Awards on Saturday, February 10, 2024 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.
Here are the nominees.
The nominees for OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN THEATRICAL FEATURE FILM FOR 2023 are (in alphabetical order):
GRETA GERWIG for Barbie (Warner Bros. Pictures)
- Unit Production Manager: Michael Sharp
- First Assistant Director: Josh Robertson
- Second Assistant Directors: David Keadell, Matthew Milan (Los Angeles Unit)
YORGOS LANTHIMOS for Poor Things (Searchlight Pictures)
CHRISTOPHER NOLAN for Oppenheimer (Universal Pictures)
- Unit Production Managers: Thomas Hayslip, Nathan Kelly, Rafael Lima (New Jersey / New York Unit)
- First Assistant Director: Nilo Otero
- Second Assistant Director: Andrew Stahl
- Second Second Assistant Director: Jesse Carmona
- Additional Second Assistant Directors: Dixon McPhillips, Richard Molloy (New Jersey / New York Unit), AJ Jackson (New Jersey / New York Unit)
- Location Manager: Patty Carey Perazzo (New Jersey / New York Unit)
ALEXANDER PAYNE for The Holdovers (Focus Features)
- Unit Production Manager: Chris Stinson
- First Assistant Director: Rod Smith
- Second Assistant Director: John Nasraway
- Second Second Assistant Director: Tim LaDue
MARTIN SCORSESE for Killers of the Flower Moon (Apple Original Films / Paramount Pictures)
- Unit Production Managers: Daniel Lupi, Shea Kammer
- First Assistant Director: Adam Somner
- Second Assistant Director: Jeremy Marks
- Second Second Assistant Director: Dominic Pacitti
- Additional Second Assistant Director: Nuekellar Hardy
The nominees forthe Michael Apted Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in First-Time Theatrical Feature Film are (in alphabetical order):
CORD JEFFERSON for American Fiction (Orion Pictures / Amazon MGM Studios)
MANUELA MARTELLI for Chile ‘76 (Kino Lober)
NOORA NIASARI for Shayda (Sony Pictures Classics / ORIGMA 45)
A.V. ROCKWELL for A Thousand and One (Focus Features)
- Unit Production Manager: Jamin O’Brien
- First Assistant Director: Daniel Lugo
- Second Assistant Director: Teena Marie Delerme-Lugo
- Assistant Unit Production Manager: Rob York
- Second Second Assistant Director: Donté Bouyer
- Additional Second Assistant Director: T.J. Hallett
- Location Manager: Joanna Lu
CELINE SONG for Past Lives (A24)
- Unit Production Manager: Kerry Johnson
- First Assistant Director: Ben Kahn
- Second Assistant Director: Geraldine Schubert
- Second Second Assistant Director: Dan Levy
- Location Manager: Joseph Mullaney