2021 DGA Awards: 'Nomadland' Takes the Top Prize at Another Awards Ceremony

Surprise, surprise, Nomadland took home another top prize at another awards ceremony. And in doing so, the film set another historic record, with director Chloé Zhao becoming the first woman of color to win the DGA’s Feature Directing award. At this point, it feels redundant to repeat that Nomadland is the Oscar frontrunner this season, but at least it’s well-deserved.

At this past Saturday’s 2021 Directors Guild Awards, Chloé Zhao received the top prize, accepting her award at a virtual ceremony that has become the norm in this unusual pandemic awards season. In addition to Zhao’s win, another exciting success was Darius Marder for First-Time Feature Director for Sound of Metal.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, DGA president Thomas Schlamme opened the ceremony with an ode to the power of films amid tough times. “Storytelling prevailed,” Schlamme said at the guild’s theater on Sunset Boulevard. “Your work provided comfort and escape to audiences… and we overcame the daunting task of getting our industry back to work.”

Zhao made history as the first woman of color who was nominated for, and won, the Feature Directing award, with this year’s 73rd annual ceremony marking the first time two women (Zhao and Fennel for Promising Young Woman) were nominated for the category. On the TV side, a number of female directors were nominated, including the late Lynn Shelton for her work on Little Fires Everywhere.

Below is the complete list of winners at the 2021 DGA Awards.

Outstanding Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film for 2020:

CHLOÉ ZHAO | Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures) (WINNER)

LEE ISAAC CHUNG | Minari (A24)

EMERALD FENNELL | Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)

DAVID FINCHER | Mank (Netflix)

AARON SORKIN | The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix; DreamWorks Pictures)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director:

DARIUS MARDER | Sound of Metal (Amazon Studios) (WINNER)

RADHA BLANK | The Forty-Year-Old Version (Netflix)

FERNANDO FRÍAS DE LA PARRA | I’m No Longer Here (Netflix)

REGINA KING | One Night in Miami (Amazon Studios)

FLORIAN ZELLER | The Father (Sony Pictures Classics)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series

LESLI LINKA GLATTER | Homeland, “Prisoners of War” (Showtime) (WINNER)

JASON BATEMAN | Ozark, “Wartime” (Netflix)

JON FAVREAU | The Mandalorian, “Chapter 9: The Marshal” (Disney+)

VINCE GILLIGAN | Better Call Saul, “Bagman” (AMC)

JULIE ANNE ROBINSON | Bridgerton, “Diamond of the First Water” (Netflix)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series

SUSANNA FOGEL | The Flight Attendant, “In Case of Emergency” (HBO Max) (WINNER)

ZACH BRAFF | Ted Lasso, “Biscuits” (Apple TV+)

MJ DELANEY | Ted Lasso, “The Hope that Kills You” (Apple TV+)

ERIN O’MALLEY | Curb Your Enthusiasm, “The Surprise Party” (HBO)

JEFF SCHAFFER | Curb Your Enthusiasm, “The Spite Store” (HBO)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Limited Series

SCOTT FRANK | The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix) (WINNER)

SUSANNE BIER | The Undoing (HBO)

THOMAS KAIL | Hamilton (Disney+)

MATT SHAKMAN | WandaVision (Disney +)

LYNN SHELTON | Little Fires Everywhere, “Find a Way” (Hulu)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Regularly Scheduled Programming

DON ROY KING | Saturday Night Live, “Dave Chappelle; Foo Fighters” (NBC) (WINNER)

PAUL G. CASEY | Real Time With Bill Maher, “Episode 1835” (HBO)

JIM HOSKINSON | The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, “#1025 Live Show Following Capitol Insurrection” (CBS)

DAVID PAUL MEYER | The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, “President Obama: Inspiring Future Leaders” & “A Promised Land” (Comedy Central)

CHRISTOPHER WERNER | Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, “Trump & Election Results” (HBO)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Specials

THOMAS SCHLAMME | A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote (HBO Max) (WINNER)

STACEY ANGELES | The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Presents “Remembering RBG: A Nation Ugly Cried with Desi Lydic (Comedy Central)

MARIELLE HELLER | What the Constitution Means to Me (Amazon)

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” (Showtime)

SPIKE LEE | American Utopia (HBO)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Reality Programs

JOSEPH GUIDRY | Full Bloom, “Petal to the Metal” (HBO Max) (WINNER)

DAVID CHARLES | Eco Challenge, “3,2,1…Go!” (Amazon)

JON FAVREAU | The Chef Show, “Tartine” (Netflix)

KEN FUCHS | Shark Tank, “1211” (ABC)

RICH KIM | Lego Masters, “Mega City Block” (FOX)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children’s Programs

AMY SCHATZ | We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest (HBO) (WINNER)

KABIR AKHTAR | High School Musical: The Musical ? The Series, “Opening Night” (Disney+)

LARISSA BILLS | On Pointe, “Showtime!” (Disney+)

DEAN ISRAELITE | The Astronauts, “Countdown” (Nickelodeon)

RICHIE KEEN | The Healing Powers of Dude, “Second Step: Homeroom” (Netflix)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials

MELINA MATSOUKAS (Prettybird) | You Love Me, Beats by Dr. Dre ? Translation (WINNER)

STEVE AYSON (MJZ) | The Great Chase, Nike ? Wieden + Kennedy Shanghai

NISHA GANATRA (Chelsea Pictures) | #wombstories, Bodyform/Libresse – AMVBBDO

NICLAS LARSSON (MJZ) | See the Unseen, VW Touareg ? adam&eveDDB; The Parents, Volvo XC60 ? Forsman & Bodenfors

TAIKA WAITITI (Hungry Man) | The Letter, Coca?Cola ? Wieden & Kennedy London

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary

MICHAEL DWECK & GREGORY KERSHAW | The Truffle Hunters (Sony Pictures Classics) (WINNER)

PIPPA EHRLICH & JAMES REED | My Octopus Teacher (Netflix)

DAVID FRANCE | Welcome to Chechnya (HBO Max)

AMANDA McBAINE & JESSE MOSS | Boys State (Apple/A24)

BENJAMIN REE | The Painter and the Thief (Elevation Pictures)

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