The Directors Guild of America has honoured Roma’s Alfonso Cuarón with its top prize – one of the most reliable Oscar-indicators among the plethora of pre-Academy Award ceremonies in Hollywood.
Cuarón, who went on to win the Oscar for Gravity after winning the DGA Award in 2014, thanked his lead actresses, Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tariva, along with the rest of the cast for bringing a memory to life.
He received the prize from his close friend, fellow Mexican Guillermo del Toro, who won both awards last year for The Shape of Water.
Cuarón is only the second director to win the DGA’s prize for a foreign language film, after Ang Lee won in 2000 for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
He beat – among others – Bradley Cooper, who was in the running for his directorial debut A Star is Born. Cooper was also beaten in the contest for the best first-time feature, which went to Bo Burnham, for Eighth Grade.
As with the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards, the DGA also uses its annual awards ceremony to honour achievement in TV. It gave its best TV Drama award to Vice director Adam McKay for an episode of the series Succession. The actor Bill Hader won the Comedy award for his show Barry. Another actor-turned-director won the DGA’s prize in the TV Movies and Limited Series category, for Escape at Dannemora.
Other winners included Jack Jameson in the children’s category, for an episode of Sesame Street, entitled When You Wish Upon a Pickle, Tim Wardle for the documentary Three Identical Strangers and Spike Jonze for the best commercial.