Friday, June 21, 2024

Surprise at DGA Awards as Stanley Nelson’s “Attica” Wins Best Doc, Leaps Forward in Oscar Race


There was one big surprise in Saturday night’s Director’s Guild Awards: Stanley Nelson won Best Direction of a Documentary for “Attica,” a movie made for Showtime but eligible for the Oscars this year. Nelson beat Questlove, who made “Summer of Soul,” an archival film that has picked up several awards already. But “Attica” is a real documentary, and it’s leapt ahead in the Oscar race.

Netflix picked up the two big feature film awards for directing. As expected, Jane Campion won for “The Power of the Dog.” Maggie Gyllenhaal won for Best First Feature for “The Lost Daughter.”

HBO triumphed on the TV side, with wins for “Succession” and “Hacks.”

Barry Jenkins picked up an award for his work on “The Underground Railroad” on Amazon Prime.

Don Roy King, the long time director of “Saturday Night Live” who retired at the end of 2021, won an award for the show featuring Keegan Michael Key as host and Olivia Rodrigo as musical guest. “SNL” has yet to acknowledge King’s retirement on air.

This is King’s 16th DGA Award nomination. He previously won the DGA Award in this category for Saturday Night Live episodes: Dave Chappelle; Foo Fighters” in 2020, E. Murphy; Lizzo” in 2019, “Adam Driver; Kanye West” in 2018, “Host: Jimmy Fallon” in 2017, “Host: Dave Chappelle” in 2016 and for “Host: Justin Timberlake” in 2013. Mr. King also won the DGA Award for Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Specials for SNL 40th Anniversary Special in 2015. He was previously nominated for Saturday Night Live episodes in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014, and in 2015 in the Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Regularly Scheduled Programming category for the Saturday Night Live episode, “Host: Tracy Morgan/Musical Guest: Demi Lovato.”

Other awards went to Paul Dugdale for directing the special, “Adele One Night Only” on CBS.  Awards also went to Bradford Young, Adam Vetri, and Smriti Mundhra.


Renowned director Spike Lee was the recipient of the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Feature Film. This award, which is given to a Director in recognition of distinguished achievement in motion picture direction, is the Guild’s highest honor and the recipient is selected by the present and past presidents of the Guild.

Joseph P. Reidy received the Frank Capra Achievement Award, which is given to an Assistant Director or Unit Production Manager in recognition of career achievement in the industry and service to the Directors Guild of America.

Garry W. Hood received the Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award, which is given to an Associate Director or Stage Manager in recognition of service to the industry and to the Directors Guild of America.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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