Eligibility For DGA's Marquee Feature Award Tied To Initial Theatrical Release
Thomas Schlamme, president of the DGA
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In recognition of the unique cultural importance of the theatrical experience to audiences and filmmakers alike, the Directors Guild of America’s National Board on Saturday unanimously approved a change to eligibility requirements for its top feature film award. Under the new rule, which will apply to the upcoming 72nd DGA Awards cycle, films that are released through other distribution platforms--such as streaming--on the same “day and date” as they premiere in theaters will no longer be eligible for the top DGA award.

To reflect the change, the award was re-named “Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film.”

“The DGA proudly affirms that a first-run theatrical release is a distinctive element of our feature film award,” said DGA president Thomas Schlamme. “We celebrate the important role that theatrical cinema has played in bringing together audiences as they collectively experience films as the filmmakers intended them to be viewed. We also take great pride in recognizing all of the work created by our members through the many categories and formats that are part of the DGA Awards.”   

All previous DGA feature film nominees, including last year’s winner, Roma, would have qualified for the top award under the new rule. 

The DGA National Board also decided that the new first-run theatrical release rule will not be applied to the DGA First-Time Feature Film Award category.

All other feature film eligibility requirements remain the same for the 72nd Annual DGA Awards. Full eligibility details for the 72nd Annual DGA Awards will be included in entry forms released later this summer. Following the 72nd Annual DGA Awards, the Guild will continue to review eligibility requirements and may make further adjustments as the industry continues to develop.


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