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DGA Announces Outstanding Documentary Director Nominees

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood January 12, 2012 at 1:57PM

The Directors Guild announces nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary. DGA President Taylor Hackford says this year's doc nominees "take audiences on a journey..."
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Project Nim
Project Nim

The Directors Guild of America's nominees for 2011's Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary include Martin Scorsese ("George Harrison: Living in a Material World"), Steve James ("The Interrupters"), James Marsh ("Project Nim"), Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky ("Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory"), and Richard Press ("Bill Cunningham New York"). Three of these films are also on the Academy's documentary shortlist of 15; "Project Nim," "Purgatory" and "Bill Cunningham." Not on that shortlist is James' "The Interrupters," which just won Cinema Eye's top honor. New Academy governor Michael Moore is taking on the arcane new voting system.

DGA President Taylor Hackford says this year's doc nominees "take audiences on a journey, whether casting light on injustice or exploring the human condition in all of its nuance, cruelty, creativity and triumph. Our nominees represent the best in documentary filmmaking and I congratulate each of them on a job well done." On January 28, winners will be announced at an awards dinner hosted by Kelsey Grammer.
 
The nominees (in alphabetical order):

JOE BERLINGER & BRUCE SINOFSKY
, "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory"


Radical Media / HBO Documentary Films

This is the third DGA Award nomination for Mr. Berlinger and Mr. Sinofsky, all in this category. They won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary for Brother's Keeper in 1992. They were also nominated for Paradise Lost in 1996.

The Interrupters
THE INTERRUPTERS
STEVE JAMES, "The Interrupters
"

Kartemquin Films / WGBH/Frontline / The Independent Television Services / BBC Storyville / Rise Films
 
This is Mr. James' third DGA Award nomination in this category. He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Documentary for Hoop Dreams in 1994. He was also nominated (along with Peter Gilbert) for At the Death House Door in 2008.

JAMES MARSH, "Project Nim
"

Red Box Films / Passion Pictures / HBO Documentary Films / BBC Films / UK Film Council

This is Mr. Marsh’s second DGA Award nomination. He was previously nominated in this category for Man on Wire in 2008.

RICHARD PRESS, "Bill Cunningham New York"


First Thought Films / Zeitgeist Films

This is Mr. Press’ first DGA Award nomination.

MARTIN SCORSESE, "George Harrison: Living in the Material World"

Sikelia Productions / Spitfire Pictures / Grove Street Pictures

This is Mr. Scorsese’s tenth DGA Award nomination. He is also nominated this year in the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film category for Hugo. He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film in 2006 for The Departed, and was previously nominated in that category for Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990), The Age of Innocence (1993), Gangs of New York (2002), and The Aviator (2004). Mr. Scorsese won the DGA Award last year for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Television for Boardwalk Empire. In 1999, Mr. Scorsese was presented with the Filmmaker Award at the inaugural DGA Honors Gala, and he was honored with the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.

This article is related to: Awards, Directors, News, Documentaries


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.