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DGA Noms: PTA, Coens, Penn, Schnabel and Gilroy are best of the year

The 60th Annual DGA Awards have announced those who will be the honored guests at the upcoming dinner distinguishing outstanding directorial achievement in what was a splendid year of eye candy. Notably absent from this year’s 5-list is of course David Fincher and his film Zodiac and Joe Wright for Atonement, but for the most part the nominees are  a very much deserving pack. The winner will be announced January 26th – an interesting stat: only six times since the DGA Awards began in 1949 has the winner not gone on to win an Academy Award.

Prez Michael Apted (from the 7-up films) had this to say about the cream of the cream…”2008 marks the 60th Anniversary of the DGA Awards,” said Apted. “We are very proud to have today’s five nominees join the illustrious list of directors that have been nominated for directorial excellence in feature filmmaking over the past 59 years. What makes this award truly meaningful to directors is the knowledge that only this one is decided by their peers – the men and women who know first-hand the passion, sweat and fear that goes into each production.”

Here are the five nominees (in alphabetical order with information provided by the DGA):


Paul Thomas Anderson, “There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage)
Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Daniel Lupi
First Assistant Director: Adam Somner
Second Assistant Directors: Eric Lasko, Ian Stone, Richard Oswald
Second Second Assistant Director: Jenny Nolan

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, “No Country For Old Men” (Miramax Films and Paramount Vantage)
Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Robert J. Graf
First Assistant Director: Betsy Magruder
Second Assistant Director: Bac DeLorme
Second Second Assistant Director: Jai James

Tony Gilroy, “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)
Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Christopher Goode
First Assistant Director: Steve Apicella
Second Assistant Director: Michael Pitt
Second Second Assistant Directors: Matt Power, Jason Ivey

Sean Penn, “Into The Wild” (Paramount Vantage)
Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: John J. Kelly
First Assistant Director: David Webb
Second Assistant Director: Dylan Hopkins
Second Second Assistant Directors: John R. Saunders, Ian Calip

Julian Schnabel, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (Miramax Films)
Directorial Team:
Unit Production Managers: Stephan Guillemet, A.F.R., Jon Kilik
First Assistant Director: Stephane Gluck, A.F.A.R.
Second Assistant Director: Mathilde Cavillan

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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