When Taylor Hackford, the Third Vice President of the Directors Guild of America, announced the nominees for the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2008 he said, "A film is a collaboration, but it is the director's energy and vision that brings the elements of script, performance and production into a satisfying totality. Today's nominees demonstrate how vision, combined with skill and talent, creates magic on the screen. What makes this award truly meaningful to directors is the knowledge that only this award is decided solely by their peers - the men and women who live the passion, sweat and fear that goes into creating feature films."
Keeping those words in mind, on Saturday, January 31, 2009 Hackford and his fellow DGA members honored Danny Boyle with his first DGA Award for his work on Slumdog Millionaire, the touching dramatic movie that has turned out to be 2008's critical darling. Boyle and his Slumdog cast and crew have been stacking up awards, earning everything from Golden Globes to the SAG Award for Ensemble Cast. And now with his DGA win, Boyle has upped his chances at picking up a Best Director Oscar. According to the DGA, only six times in the Guild's 60 year history has the DGA winner not gone on to collect the Best Director Academy Award.*
The 2009 DGA Award Nominees/Winner:
David Fincher for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard for Frost/Nixon
Christopher Nolan for The Dark Knight
Gus Van Sant for Milk
Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire
* The six times when the DGA differed from the Academy Awards are:
1968: Anthony Harvey won the DGA Award for The Lion in Winter while Carol Reed took home the Oscar(R) for Oliver!.
1972: Francis Ford Coppola received the DGA's nod for The Godfather while the Academy selected Bob Fosse for Cabaret.
1985: Steven Spielberg received his first DGA Award for The Color Purple while the Oscar(R) went to Sydney Pollack for Out of Africa.
1995: Ron Howard was chosen by the DGA for his direction of Apollo 13 while Academy voters selected Mel Gibson for Braveheart.
2000: Ang Lee was chosen by the DGA for his direction of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon while Steven Soderbergh won the Best Director Academy Award for Traffic.
2003: Rob Marshall was chosen by the DGA for his direction of Chicago while Roman Polanski won the Best Director Academy Award for The Pianist.
Source: Directors Guild of America