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Directors Guild of America Award Winners: Alfonso Cuaron Wins for ‘Roma,’ Burnham Upsets Cooper

The 2019 Directors Guild of America Awards were handed out Saturday night with a few surprises delivered.  Tim Wardle, the outstanding director behind “Three Identical Strangers” won the Documentary prize while Bo Burnham bested some big competition to take the First Time Director trophy for “Eighth Grade.”  The common ground between the two is that they were both omitted from the Oscar nominations last month.

The not-so-surprise winner was Alfonso Cuaron, who picked up his second DGA prize for Netflix’s “Roma.”  After wins at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards, the table seems to be set for the Mexican director to win his second Academy Award.

Wardle’s film, which was distributed by NEON, missed out on a Documentary Feature nomination.  Burnham, who wasn’t expected to make a competitive director category at the Academy Awards, was a favorite to be included in Best Original Screenplay.

The guild also handed out Honorary Awards to Don Mischer (Lifetime Achievement in Television), Kathleen McGill (Frank Capra Achievement Award), Mimi Deaton (Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement), and FX Networks (Diversity Award).

The complete list of winners and nominees are listed below (winners are bolded and highlighted in gold):

Check out the full list of precursor winners from the 2018-2019 awards season HERE.

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film

BRADLEY COOPER, “A Star is Born” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
PETER FARRELLY, “Green Book” (Universal Pictures)
SPIKE LEE, “BlacKkKlansman” (Focus Features)
ADAM MCKAY, “Vice” (Annapurna Pictures)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director

BO BURNHAM, “Eighth Grade” (A24) – WINNER
BRADLEY COOPER, “A Star is Born” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
CARLOS LÓPEZ ESTRADA, “Blindspotting” (Summit Entertainment)
MATTHEW HEINEMAN, “A Private War” (Aviron Pictures)
BOOTS RILEY, “Sorry to Bother You” (Annapurna Pictures)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary

MORGAN NEVILLE, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” (Focus Features)
RAMELL ROSS, “Hale County This Morning, This Evening” (Idiom Film and Louverture Films)
ELIZABETH CHAI VASARHELYI & JIMMY CHIN, “Free Solo” (National Geographic Documentary Films)
TIM WARDLE, “Three Identical Strangers” (Neon and CNN Films) – WINNER
BETSY WEST & JULIE COHEN, “RBG” (Magnolia Pictures)


Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series

JASON BATEMAN, “Ozark” – “Reparations” (Netflix)
LESLI LINKA GLATTER, “Homeland” – “Paean to the People” (Showtime)
CHRIS LONG, “The Americans” – “START” (FX)
ADAM McKAY, “Succession” – “Celebration” (HBO) – WINNER
DAINA REID, “The Handmaid’s Tale” – “Holly” (Hulu)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series

DONALD GLOVER, “Atlanta” – “FUBU” (FX)
BILL HADER, “Barry” – “Chapter One: Make Your Mark” (HBO) – WINNER
HIRO MURAI, “Atlanta” – “Teddy Perkins”(FX)
DANIEL PALLADINO, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” – “We’re Going to the Catskills!” (Amazon)
AMY SHERMAN-PALLADINO, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” – “All Alone” (Amazon)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Limited Series

CARY JOJI FUKUNAGA, “Maniac” (Netflix)
DAVID LEVEAUX (Directed by) ALEX RUDZINSKI (Live Television Direction by), “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” (NBC)
BEN STILLER, “Escape at Dannemora” (Showtime) – WINNER
JEAN-MARC VALLÉE, “Sharp Objects” (HBO)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Regularly Scheduled Programming

PAUL G. CASEY, “Real Time with Bill Maher” – “#1633”(HBO)
JIM HOSKINSON, “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” – “#480” (CBS)
DON ROY KING, “Saturday Night Live” – “Adam Driver; Kanye West” (NBC) – WINNER
PAUL PENNOLINO, “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” – “Episode 502 – Italian Election” (HBO)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Specials

LOUIS J. HORVITZ, “The 60th Grammy Awards” (CBS) – WINNER
TIM MANCINELLI, GLENN CLEMENTS, “The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special 2018” (CBS)
BETH McCARTHY-MILLER, “Bill Maher: Live from Oklahoma” (HBO)
MARCUS RABOY, “Steve Martin & Martin Short ‘An Evening You Will Forget For the Rest of Your Life'” (Netflix)
GLENN WEISS, “The 72nd Annual Tony Awards” (CBS)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Reality Programs

NEIL P. DeGROOT, “Better Late Than Never” – “How Do You Say Roots in German?”(NBC)
EYTAN KELLER, “Iron Chef Gauntlet” – “Episode 201” (Food Network)
PATRICK McMANUS, “American Ninja Warrior” – “Miami City Qualifiers” (NBC)
RUSSELL NORMAN, “The Final Table” – “Japan” (Netflix) – WINNER
BERTRAM VAN MUNSTER, “The Amazing Race” – “It’s Just a Million Dollars, No Pressure” (CBS)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children’s Programs

ALLAN ARKUSH, “A Series of Unfortunate Events” – “Hostile Hospital: Part 1”(Netflix)
JACK JAMESON, “Sesame Street” – “When You Wish Upon a Pickle: A Sesame Street Special” (HBO) – WINNER
GREG MOTTOLA, “The Dangerous Book for Boys” – “How to Walk on the Moon” (Amazon)
BARRY SONNENFELD, “A Series of Unfortunate Events” – “The Vile Village: Part 1” (Netflix)
BO WELCH, “A Series of Unfortunate Events” – “The Ersatz Elevator: Part 1” (Netflix)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials

STEVE AYSON, (MJZ) Getting Ready, Dollar Shave Club – (client direct)
FREDRIK BOND, (MJZ) Harmony, Virgin TV– BBH Take Them All On, BT Sport– AMV BBDO
MARTIN de THURAH, (Epoch Films) Final Breath, Audi RS 5 Coupe– Venables, Bell & Partners
SPIKE JONZE, (MJZ) Welcome Home, Apple Homepod– TBWA \ Media Arts Lab – WINNER
DAVID SHANE, (O Positive) An Alien Abroad, Babbel– Wieden + Kennedy London

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


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72 points
Film Lover

Written by Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times,, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.


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