The 75th annual Directors Guild of America Awards, held on February 18, 2023, honored the best directors in film and television. The ceremony was held at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California and was hosted by actor and comedian Ken Jeong.
In the film categories, Chloe Zhao won the award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for her film “The Eternals.” This win comes after Zhao’s historic win at the 2021 Academy Awards for her film “Nomadland,” which also won the DGA Award for Feature Film in 2021. “The Eternals” is a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics characters of the same name, and is Zhao’s first foray into the blockbuster genre.
In the television categories, Reed Morano won the award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Drama Series for the season three finale of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” titled “Mayday.” Morano had previously won the DGA Award for Drama Series in 2018 for the pilot episode of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and went on to direct several more episodes of the series. “Mayday” was praised for its tension-filled direction and emotional impact.
In the comedy series category, Lucia Aniello won the award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series for the “Pilot” episode of “Hacks.” “Hacks” is a comedy series about an aging Las Vegas comedian and her young comedy writer, played by Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder, respectively. Aniello’s direction of the pilot episode set the tone for the series and was praised for its balance of humor and heart.
In the documentary category, “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised),” directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, won the award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary. The film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2021, tells the story of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, a series of concerts featuring performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, and other Black musicians. Thompson’s direction was praised for its skillful weaving together of archival footage and modern interviews.
In his opening remarks, DGA President Thomas Schlamme highlighted the importance of directors in the entertainment industry, saying, “Directors are the creative force behind the visual storytelling that is at the heart of our industry. They shape the images, performances, and emotions that move us, and they inspire and challenge us to see the world in new ways.”
Overall, the 2023 DGA Awards celebrated a diverse group of talented directors across film and television, and highlighted the vital role that directors play in bringing stories to life on screen.