DGA's Feature Nominees: Lee Isaac Chung, Emerald Fennell, David Fincher, Aaron Sorkin, Chloé Zhao
Frances McDormand (l) and writer-director Chloe Zhao on location for "Nomadland" (photo courtesy of Searchlight Pictures)
First-time film director category nominees: Radha Blank, Fernando Frias de la Parra, Regina King, Darius Marder, Florian Zeller
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The Directors Guild of America has announced the five nominees for the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film for 2020: Lee Isaac Chung for Minari; Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman; David Fincher for Mank; Aaron Sorkin for The Trial of the Chicago 7; and Chloé Zhao for Nomadland.

Fennell and Zhao become the ninth and tenth women ever to be nominated in this marquee category. Zhao is the first woman of color to become a feature nominee. And this year is the first time two women have ever competed for the Guild's top honor.

“Throughout these challenging and isolating times, the universal power of film has served such a meaningful role in our culture—helping fulfill our needs for human connection, expanding our worldviews, and keeping us inspired through stunning storytelling and artistry,” said Thomas Schlamme, DGA president. “I congratulate our five nominees whose diverse and extraordinary films embodied that universal power in a year that will never be forgotten.”

In addition, the five nominees for the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director for 2020 were also revealed: Radha Blank for The Forty-Year-Old Version; Fernando Frias de la Parra for I’m No Longer Here; Regina King for One Night in Miami; Darius Marder for Sound of Metal; and Florian Zeller for The Father.

Three filmmakers of color made the cut for the first-time feature honor: Blank, Frias de la Parra and King. Blank and King bring the total number of women directors nominated in this category to seven since this first-timer recognition was launched by the Guild in 2016 (for work done in 2015). 

“Fresh storytelling and new voices are what drive our industry forward,” said Schlamme. “That’s the spirit of this award, and we’re so proud to spotlight the achievements of these immensely talented first-time feature directors who so skillfully brought their unique visions to life. Congratulations to all of the nominees.”

The winners will be announced at the 73rd Annual DGA Awards on Saturday, April 10, 2021, which will be a private virtual event for DGA members.

Here’s a full rundown of nominees and their directorial teams across both feature categories:


Lee Isaac Chung
Mr. Chung’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Dylan Brodie
First Assistant Director: Jeff Dubray
Second Assistant Director: Ann Laudick
Second Second Assistant Director: Stephen J. Hanan

Emerald Fennell
Promising Young Woman
(Focus Features)
Ms. Fennell’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Reena Magsarili Raasch
First Assistant Director: Michael T. Meador
Second Assistant Director: Alexander Armero
Second Second Assistant Director: Anthony Manzo

David Fincher
Mr. Fincher’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Allen Kupetsky
First Assistant Director: Richard Goodwin
Second Assistant Director: Samantha McGrady
Second Second Assistant Director: Matt McKinnon
Additional Second Assistant Directors: Jeff Goodell, John Stern, George Williams III

Aaron Sorkin
The Trial of the Chicago 7
(Netflix; DreamWorks Pictures)
Mr. Sorkin’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Managers: Charles Miller, Stuart M. Besser, Jonathan Shoemaker
First Assistant Director: Joseph P. Reidy
Second Assistant Director: Rachel Jaros
Second Second Assistant Director: Justin Bischoff
Location Managers: Dennis Voskov, Nick Rafferty (Chicago Unit)

Chloé Zhao
(Searchlight Pictures)
Ms. Zhao’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Mary Kerrigan
First Assistant Director: Mary Kerrigan


Radha Blank
The Forty-Year-Old Version
Ms. Blank’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: James Price
First Assistant Director: Michael L. Walker
Second Assistant Director: Kenyon Noble
Second Second Assistant Director: Jonathan Santos
Location Managers: Katarina Dedicova, Tim Stacker

Fernando Frías de la Parra
I’m No Longer Here
Mr. Frías’s Directorial Team:
Production Managers: Martín Pérez Valle, Assia Fratz (New York Unit)
First Assistant Director: Carlos Suazo
Second Assistant Directors: Alí Santiago, Alex Burstein (New York Unit)
Second Second Assistant Directors: Karen Alcázar, Anthony James Faure (New York Unit)

Regina King
One Night in Miami
(Amazon Studios)
Ms. King’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Paul O. Davis
First Assistant Director: Mark Anthony Little
Second Assistant Director: Kevin O’Neil

Darius Marder
Sound of Metal
(Amazon Studios)
Mr. Marder’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Amy Greene
First Assistant Director: Matthew Vose Campbell

Florian Zeller
The Father
(Sony Pictures Classics)
Mr. Zeller’s Directorial Team:
First Assistant Director: George Every
Second Assistant Director: Jamie D. Allen


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