We're only two days away from the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences announcing their nominees for the 2016 Oscars, and while they are the end of the golden statue road, they're not the only awards body around. There are several guilds in the industry that also ask their members to vote on the best filmmaking of the year, and the latest group to do so is the Directors Guild of America.
The DGA has a much, much larger voting body than the Oscar's own director's pool. The guild consists of over 15,000 members, with a demographic base that tends to be younger and more diverse than the 400 people who will vote for Best Director at the Oscars. So that's to say it's not too surprising that the DGA is more inclined to nominate directors who deliver films that are a bit flashier, if not downright more commercial, than the Oscars.
This year's DGA nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Feature Film are:
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant
Adam McKay, The Big Short
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
Ridley Scott, The Martian
There certainly aren't any huge surprises there. All of those names and movies have been in the awards talk for some time now, though it is nice to see the DGA tip their hat to Adam McKay, who found a way to make dense economic material palatable and understandable in a fairly mainstream movie like The Big Short.
What's cool about the DGA, though, is that in recent years they've added a second awards category, Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Filmmaker. They're one of the few guild groups that now honors someone who isn't even a member (yet). And even better, they've got some pretty great taste, too. Each one of these names is someone who not only made a remarkable film in 2015, but someone we hope to see many more films from in the coming years.
Fernando Coimbra, A Wolf at the Door
Joel Edgerton, The Gift
Alex Garland, Ex Machina
Marielle Heller, The Diary of a Teenage Girl
László Nemes, Son of Saul
The DGA will announce their winners on February 6, 2016.