Chloe Zhao Wins Directors Guild Award for ‘Nomadland’ – Complete List of Winners

Zhao is now the second woman to win the award, after Kathryn Bigelow for “The Hurt Locker”

Nomadland Chloe Zhao Frances McDormand
Chloe Zhao, right, with Frances McDormand on the set of 'Nomadland' / Photo by Joshua James Richards / Searchlight

Chloé Zhao was named the best director of 2020 at the 73rd annual Directors Guild Awards, which were presented on Saturday in a virtual ceremony.

Zhao’s win for her quiet road film “Nomadland” makes her the second woman to win the DGA Award for feature film, after Kathryn Bigelow for “The Hurt Locker” in 2010. Only 10 women have ever been nominated in the category, with this year marking the first time that two female directors were nominated in the category in one year. (The other was Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman.”)

The win for Zhao comes two weeks after “Nomaldland” also won the Producers Guild Award, making it the only film to win more than one prize from the four major guilds. “The Trial of the Chicago 7” won the Screen Actors Guild’s ensemble award, while “Promising Young Woman” and “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” won Writers Guild Awards. The combination of DGA and PGA honors cements the position that “Nomadland” holds as the Oscar frontrunner for Best Picture, though it’s hard to place too much faith in precedent in this strangest of all awards years.

The Directors Guild Award for feature film has usually been one of the most reliable Oscar predictors, with the winner going on to win the Best Director Oscar 64 times in 72 years. Still, the disagreements between Oscar and DGA voters have happened more often since 2000 than they did in previous years: After differing only four times in the DGA’s first 52 years, the groups have diverged four more times in the last 20 years. One of those occurred last year, when Sam Mendes won the Directors Guild Award for “1917” while Bong Joon Ho took the Oscar for “Parasite.”

The DGA’s record at predicting the Oscar Best Picture winner is also strong, with the film that wins with the guild also taking the top Oscar more than 75% of the time. But over the past decade, as Oscar splits between the director and picture categories have become more common, the DGA has predicted the Oscar best-pic winner five times and failed to do so the other five.

Darius Marder won the award for a first-time film director for “Sound of Metal,” in a category whose other nominees were Regina King for “One Night in Miami,” Florian Zeller for “The Father,” Radha Blank for “The Forty-Year-Old Version” and Fernando Frías de la Parra for “I’m No Longer Here.”

The documentary award went to Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw for “The Truffle Hunters.”

In the television categories, the award for directing in a drama series went to Lesli Linka Glatter for the series finale of “Homeland,” Susanna Fogel won the award for comedy-series directing for “The Flight Attendant” and Scott Frank won the limited series or television movie award for “The Queen’s Gambit.”

Thomas Schlamme, who currently serves as president of the DGA, won the variety-special award for “A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote” and spoke out against voter suppression laws around the country. The variety-series award went to Don Roy King for “Saturday Night Live”; it was his seventh win for “SNL,” and his sixth consecutive win in the category.

A number of lifetime achievement and service awards were also handed out at the show. Paris Barclay received the Life Membership Award, Betty Thomas the Robert B. Alrich Service Award, Brian E. Frankish the Frank Capra Achievement Award and Joyce Thomas the Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award.

Here is the list of DGA nominees. Winners are indicated with *WINNER.

Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
David Fincher, “Mank”
Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland” *WINNER

Radha Blank, “The Forty-Year-Old Version”
Fernando Frías de la Parra, “I’m No Longer Here”
Regina King, “One Night in Miami”
Darius Marder, “Sound of Metal” *WINNER
Florian Zeller, “The Father”

Michael Dweck & Gregory Kershaw, “The Truffle Hunters” *WINNER
Pippa Erhlich & James Reed, “My Octopus Teacher”
David France, “Welcome to Chechnya”
Amanda McBaine & Jesse Moss, “Boys State”
Benjamin Ree, “The Painter and the Thief”

Jason Bateman, “Ozark”: “Wartime”
Jon Favreau, “The Mandalorian”: “Chapter 9: The Marshal”
Vince Gilligan, “Better Call Saul”: “Bagman”
Lesli Linka Glatter, “Homeland”: “Prisoners of War” *WINNER
Julie Anne Robinson, “Bridgerton”: “Diamond of the First Water”

Zach Braff, “Ted Lasso”: “Biscuits”
MJ Delaney, “Ted Lasso”: “The Hope that Kills You”
Susanna Fogel, “The Flight Attendant”: “In Case of Emergency” *WINNER
Erin O’Malley, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”: “The Surprise Party”
Jeff Schaffer, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”: “The Spite Store”

Susanne Bier, “The Undoing”
Scott Frank, “The Queen’s Gambit” *WINNER
Thomas Kail, “Hamilton”
Matt Shakman, “WandaVision”
Lynn Shelton, “Little Fires Everywhere”: “Find a Way”

Paul G. Casey, “Real Time With Bill Maher”: Episode 1835
Jim Hoskinson, “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: “#1025 Live Show Following Capitol Insurrection”
Don Roy King, “Saturday Night Live”: “Dave Chappelle; Foo Fighters” *WINNER
David Paul Meyer, “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”: “President Obama: Inspiring Future Leaders & ‘A Promised Land’”
Christopher Werner, “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”: “Trump & Election Results”

Stacey Angeles, “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Presents Remembering RBG: A Nation Ugly Cried with Desi Lydic”
Marielle Heller, “What the Constitution Means to Me”
Jim Hoskinson, “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: “Stephen Colbert’s Election Night 2020: Democracy’s Last Stand: Building Back America Great Again Better 2020”
Spike Lee, “American Utopia”
Thomas Schlamme, “A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote” *WINNER

David Charles, “Eco Challenge”: “3,2,1…Go!”
Jon Favreau, “The Chef Show”: “Tartine”
Ken Fuchs, “Shark Tank”: 1211
Joseph Guidry, “Full Bloom”: “Petal to the Metal” *WINNER
Rich Kim, “Lego Masters”: “Mega City Block”

Kabir Akhtar, “High School Musical: The Musical – The Series”: “Opening Night”
Larissa Bills, “On Pointe”: “Showtime!”
Dean Israelite, “The Astronauts”: “Countdown”
Richie Keen, “The Healing Powers of Dude”: “Second Step: Homeroom”
Amy Schatz, “We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest” *WINNER

Steve Ayson, “The Great Chase,” Nike
Nisha Ganatra,” #wombstories,” Bodyform/Libresse
Niclas Larsson, “See the Unseen,” VW Touareg; The Parents, Volvo XC60
Melina Matsoukas, “You Love Me,” Beats by Dr. Dre *WINNER
Takia Waititi, “The Letter,” Coca-Cola


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