La La Land’s Damien Chazelle feted by fellow directors

La La Land’s Damien Chazelle praised Iranian director Asghar Farhadi as he accepted his DGA award. Photo: Jason Korsner

La La Land’s awards success is continuing with another of the more reliable Oscar-predictors falling in its lap; the Directors Guild of America has honoured Damien Chazelle with its award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Feature Film.

Accepting his award, the man who brought the traditional musical back into the public’s hearts, made reference to Donald Trump’s proposed suspension of travel to the US from seven Middle Eastern and African countries. Noting that the restrictions meant that the Oscar-nominated Iranian director of The Salesman, Asghar Farhadi, will not be allowed to attend this month’s ceremony, Chazelle told his peers that the President’s proposals were “anti-art.”

Presenting him with his prize, last year’s winner for The Revenant, Alejandro González Iñárritu, noted that he was a filmmaker, a Mexican and a human being, and described the political situation in the US as “a bad remake of one of the worst stories of the last century”.

In its second year, the DGA’s award for an Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a first-time Feature Director went to the Australian Garth Davis, for Lion., beating the Birth of a Nation director Nate Parker, among others.

The Directors Guild also honours the best achievements in TV directing during the past year. The Drama Series award went to Miguel Sapochnik for an episode of Game of Thrones called The Battle of the Bastards. The DGA gave its Comedy Series award to Becky Martin for a Veep episode called Inauguration. And Steven Zaillian won the prize for the best director of a TV movie or mini-series, for The Night Of.

Sir Ridley Scott, the veteran British director of films including Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, Prometheus and The Martian, was given the guild’s lifetime achievement award at the ceremony.