(John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)


The Directors Guild has announced nominees for outstanding directing in a film for 2018, along with its annual first-time director noms. This year’s list includes a double mention for Bradley Cooper, who made his directorial debut with Warner Bros’ musical drama A Star Is Born, and Spike Lee, who gets his first DGA nom ever for Focus Features’ BlacKkKlansman. That may be a shocking statistic about Lee, but he has also never been nominated for the directing Oscar either. This year reps his best chance to break that curse.

The list, which also includes Alfonso Cuarón for Roma, Peter Farrelly for Green Book and Adam McKay for Vice, does not contain huge surprises but it is especially important as the guild has been a savvy prognosticator on who will be the eventual Oscar winner — in fact it has differed only seven times since the DGA started giving awards in 1949. Interestingly this list also matches exactly Sunday’s Golden Globe nominees in the directing category, which perhaps indicates the sometimes-derided HFPA choices may be more on point than people give them credit for. Cuarón won that contest, but Farrelly’s Green Book took a key Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical award and led the field of film winners with three overall.

Of course, Bohemian Rhapsody took the other big Globes prize, Best Motion Picture – Drama, but no one expected its credited director, Bryan Singer, to be among today’s DGA nominees. Among those also missing the DGA endorsement today are Ryan Coogler for Black Panther, Yorgos Lanthimos for The Favourite, Damien Chazelle for First Man, John Krasinski for A Quiet Place, Jon Chu for Crazy RIch Asians, Barry Jenkins for If Beale Street Could Talk, Rob Marshall for Mary Poppins Returns, and any woman who made a feature film this year.

Coming off a big disappointment at the Globes, today’s double nominations for Cooper (who is also included in the first-time feature directing category) has to erase the sting since A Star Is Born had been considered a nominal frontrunner. He easily will be considered the likely winner in that first-timer category, but no one has won both since the DGA established the freshman category in 2015.

Although the DGA choices are often in lockstep with those of Oscar’s directorial branch, they often differ in at least one of the nominees. Only twice in this century has the DGA not foretold the eventual winner of the directing Oscar (in 2002, when Marshall and Chicago lost to Roman Polanski and The Pianist, and in 2012, when Ben Affleck wasn’t even nominated for the directing Oscar for Argo).

DGA will be revealed February 2 at the DGA Awards ceremony.

Here’s the list:



A Star is Born (Warner Bros. Pictures)

  • Unit Production Manager: Robert J. Dohrmann
  • First Assistant Director: Michele “Shelley” Ziegler
  • Second Assistant Director: Xanthus Valan
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Matthew R. Milan


Roma (Netflix)

  • Unit Production Manager: Ana Hernandez
  • First Assistant Director: Frederic Henocque Albino
  • Second Assistant Director: Patrick Heyerdahl
  • Second Second Assistant Directors: Luis Fernando Vásquez, Julián ‘Chico’ Valdés, Arturo Garcia


Green Book (Universal Pictures)

  • Unit Production Managers: Alissa M. Kantrow, John Brister, Franses Simonovich (New York Unit)
  • First Assistant Directors: J.B. Rogers, Alejandro Ramia (New York Unit)
  • Second Assistant Directors: Paul B. Uddo, Jack McKenna (New York Unit)
  • Second Second Assistant Directors: Gerson Paz, Jonathan Warren
  • Location Manager: Louis Zuppardi


BlacKkKlansman (Focus Features)

  • Unit Production Manager: Marcei A. Brown
  • First Assistant Director: Mike Ellis
  • Second Assistant Director: Tracey Hinds
  • Second Second Assistant Directors: Jason Perez, Christina Ann Walker, Anastasia Folorunso


Vice (Annapurna Pictures)

  • Unit Production Managers: Julie Hartley, Jeff Waxman
  • First Assistant Director: Matt Rebenkoff
  • Second Assistant Director: Joann Connolly
  • Second Second Assistant Directors: Yarden Levo, Dave Vogel (Washington D.C. Unit)



Eighth Grade (A24)

  • First Assistant Director: Dan Taggatz
  • Second Assistant Director: Vic Coram
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Evelyn Fogleman


A Star is Born (Warner Bros. Pictures)

  • Unit Production Manager: Robert J. Dohrmann
  • First Assistant Director: Michele “Shelley” Ziegler
  • Second Assistant Director: Xanthus Valan
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Matthew R. Milan


Blindspotting (Summit Entertainment)

  • Assistant Director: La Mar Stewart
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Dominic Martin
  • Additional Second Second Assistant Director: Armin Houshmandi


A Private War (Aviron Pictures)

  • Unit Production Manager: Louise Killin
  • First Assistant Directors: George Walker, Peter Freeman (Jordan Unit)
  • Second Assistant Directors: Tom Mulberge (UK Unit), Tom Browne (Jordan Unit)
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Tarik Afifi (Jordan Unit)


Sorry to Bother You (Annapurna Pictures)

  • Production Manager: Chris Martin
  • First Assistant Director: Brian Benson
  • Second Assistant Director: Hilton Jamal Day
  • Second Second Assistant Directors: Sam Purdy, Nick Alvarez


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