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Directors Guild Awards Documentary and TV Nominations: ‘RBG,’ ‘Free Solo,’ and ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ Remain Steady as Frontrunners


Leading up to the Oscar nominations, the major guilds have started to announce their respective list of honorees. Today, the Directors Guild of America (or DGA) joined the season by releasing its first batch of nominees in the documentary and television fields. Their feature film choices will be announced tomorrow morning.

Among their five picks for Documentary Feature, the one critical favorite left out was “Minding the Gap.”  Aside from that omission, their nominees mostly included the usual suspects: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” “Three Identical Strangers,” and “Free Solo.” RaMell Ross’ experimental film “Hale Country This Morning, This Evening,” also seems to be gaining momentum following its surprise win at the Gothams.

On the TV side, several of actors-turned-directors were singled out for their work behind the camera: Jason Bateman (“Ozark”), Bill Hader (“Barry”), and Donald Glover (“Atlanta”), and Adam McKay, who is also directed the film race with “Vice,” earned a nomination for HBO’s “Succession.” Take a look at the key DGA Awards categories below.

Wont You Be My Neigbor 1

Directors Guild of America 2019 Nominees


  • “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” Directed by Morgan Neville; Focus Features
  • “Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” Directed by Ramell Ross; Idiom Film and Louverture Films)
  • “Free Solo,” Directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi & Jimmy Chin; National Geographic Documentary Films
  • “Three Identical Strangers,” Directed by Tim Wardle; Neon and CNN Films
  • “RBG,” Directed by Betsy West & Julie Cohen; Magnolia Pictures


  • “Ozark” “Reparations”), Directed by Jason Bateman; Netflix
  • “Homeland” (“Paean to the People”), Directed by Lesli Linka Glatter; Showtime
  • “The Americans” (“START”), Directed by Chris Long; FX
  • “Succession” (“Celebration”), Directed by Adam McKay; HBO
  • “The Handmaid’s Tale” (“Holly”), Directed by Daina Reid; Hulu


  • “Atlanta” (“FUBU”), Directed by Donald Glover; FX
  • “Barry” (“Chapter One: Make Your Mark”), Directed by Bill Hader; HBO
  • “Atlanta” (“Teddy Perkins”), Directed by Hiro Murai; FX
  • “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (“We’re Going to the Catskills!”), Directed by Daniel Palladino; Amazon
  • “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (“All Alone”), Directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino; Amazon


  • “Maniac,” Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga; Netflix
  • Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert,” Directed by David Leveaux and Live Television Direction by Alex Rudzinski; NBC
  • “Paterno,” Directed by Barry Levinson; HBO
  • “Escape at Dannemora,” Directed by Ben Stiller; Showtime
  • “Sharp Objects,” Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée; HBO

What do you think of this first batch of DGA nominees? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below! 

Check out the Oscar Predictions and see where your favorite films rank – All in THE CIRCUIT HUB

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Written by Carlos Aguilar

Originally from Mexico City, Carlos Aguilar was chosen as one of 6 young film critics to partake in the first Roger Ebert Fellowship organized by, the Sundance Institute and Indiewire in 2014. Aguilar’s work has appeared in prestigious publications such as The Wrap, Indiewire, Vulture,, MovieMaker Magazine, Remezcla Filmmaker Magazine, Variety Latino, Slate, Bustle, Americas Quarterly, among others.

Besides his work in journalism, Aguilar regularly works as a screener for the Sundance Film Festival and a screenplay reader for Sundance’s Screenwriters Lab. Carlos Aguilar has also been on the jury at renowned festivals such the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the Gasparilla International Film Festival, the Louisiana International Film Festival, and the Los Angeles Indian Film Festival.

Aguilar currently co-hosts, One Week Only, a weekly podcast highlighting independent and international cinema. He also regularly participates in panel discussions about the importance of people of color in film criticism and his experience as a DACA recipient working in the film industry.


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