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2006 DGA Nominees

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    Posted: January 09 2007 at 9:09am
DGA Nominates Five
Guild Announces Top Choices for Feature Directing Award
 

By DAVE MCNARY / DAILY VAIETY

'Babel'
BABEL
'Dreamgirls'
DREAMGIRLS
Four first-time nominees will be competing with seven-time nominee Martin Scorsese for the Directors Guild of America's top film prize.

Members of the Directors Guild of America have nominated Scorsese for "The Departed," Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for "Babel," Bill Condon for "Dreamgirls," Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris for "Little Miss Sunshine" and Stephen Frears for "The Queen" for its top feature directing award. (Frears received a telepic nod for "Fail Safe" in 2000).

Though the Oscar race remains wide open, the five DGA nominees appear to be emerging as the awards season leaders: The quintet matched the five films nominated for best pic last week by the Producers Guild of America. Additionally, "Babel," "The Departed," "Dreamgirls" and "Little Miss Sunshine" all received SAG nominations for best ensemble cast.

Among the high-profile contenders excluded by the DGA were Clint Eastwood ("Letters From Iwo Jima" ), Alfonso Cuaron ( "Children of Men"), Todd Field ("Little Children"), Guillermo Del Toro ("Pan's Labyrinth") and Paul Greengrass ("United 93"). Eastwood won the DGA award and Oscar two years ago for "Million Dollar Baby."

Condon told Daily Variety that the support among DGA members for "Dreamgirls" probably stemmed from a recognition of the intricacies of directing a musical.

"It is such a large enterprise and you wind up having to prep for a year," he said. "You wind up having to make the movie before you start shooting."

Frears, speaking from Vienna, where he was helping promote "The Queen," emphasized that the pic's attention to detail appeared to be paying off.

"The real challenge on this was simply taking a deep breath and doing it because it really is a very cheeky film to make since you're dealing with such a well-known history," he added.

Scorsese, received his first DGA nom three decades ago for "Taxi Driver" and was most recently nominated for "The Aviator," said in a statement, "It is a great honor to receive this recognition from my fellow filmmakers. As with all films, the making of 'The Departed' was a group effort, and the opportunity to work alongside its talented cast and crew was a reward in itself. But I am very grateful for the DGA's nomination, which recognizes the contribution of not just myself but my entire directing team." Scorsese has not won a DGA award.

DGA president Michael Apted made the announcement Tuesday morning at guild headquarters in Hollywood. The winner, to be decided by voting among the 13,400 DGA members, will be announced Feb. 3 in ceremonies at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.

Apted said the selections reflect the wide open nature of this year's awards race with no clear front-runner emerging.

"I think it makes it very exciting because it could be anyone," he said. "I found it very difficult voting this year because I sat down and made a list and found that there were 10 films I wanted to vote for."

The winner of the DGA award will be a front-runner for the directing Oscar. The DGA winner and the Oscar winner have matched in 52 of the last 58 years, including last year when Ang Lee won both trophies for "Brokeback Mountain."

The nominees were chosen by DGA members from more than 400 eligible films with a theatrical release in 2006.

Among the nominated films, Warner's "The Departed" is by far the top domestic grosser with $121 million, followed by Fox Searchlight's "Little Miss Sunshine" with $59 million, Paramount's "Dreamgirls" with $54 million, Miramax's "The Queen" with $30 million and Paramount Vantage's "Babel" with $21 million.

The "Dreamgirls" nomination came three weeks after the DGA rescinded its permission for Paramount to send out screeners of the musical and banned all such mailing for this season due to confusion over its policy. The guild will allow screeners next awards season.

AND THE NOMINEES ARE...

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, "Babel" (Paramount Vantage)
   Unit Production Manager: Ann Ruark
   First Assistant Director: Sebastián Silva

Bill Condon, "Dreamgirls" (Paramount)
   Unit Production Manager: Patricia Whitcher
   First Assistant Director: Richard Graves
   Second Assistant Director: Eric Sherman
   Second Second Assistant Director: Renee Hill-Sweet

Martin Scorsese, "The Departed" (Warner Bros.)
   Unit Production Manager: Carol Cuddy
   First Assistant Director: Joseph Reidy
   Second Assistant Director: Amy Lauritsen
   Second Second Assistant Director: John Silvestri

Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris, "Little Miss Sunshine" (Fox Searchlight)
   Unit Production Manager: Michael Beugg
   First Assistant Director: Thomas Patrick Smith
   Second Assistant Director: Gregory Smith
   Second Second Assistant Director: Kate Greenberg

Stephen Frears, "The Queen" (Miramax)
   Production Manager: Sue Claverly
   First Assistant Director: Stuart Renfrew
  Second Assistant Director: Rickay Graysmark
   Third Assistant Director: Lucy Egerton 

©2007, DAILY VARIETY

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