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Alejandro Iñárritu Wins Directors Guild Feature Film Award for Second Consecutive Year

Director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu won best director  (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu won his second consecutive Directors Guild of America award for feature film directing. (Thinkstock: Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Alejandro G. Iñárritu became the best director favorite for the Feb. 28 Academy Awards, while “The Revenant” got history on its side for the best picture Oscar.

Iñárritu won his second consecutive Directors Guild of America award for feature film directing Saturday, establishing himself as the Oscar favorite. Since 1948, there have only been seven times that the winner of the DGA Award for feature film directing has not gone on to win the Oscar for best director.

The most recent time was 2013 when Ben Affleck won the DGA Award for “Argo,” but wasn’t even nominated for a directing Academy Award, even though the film won the Oscar for best picture.

That also marked one of the 23 times in the Oscars’ 87-year history, the film directed by the best director winner has not gone on to win best picture.

The same thing happened a year later when Steve McQueen lost to “Gravity’s” Alfonso Cuaron for best director, but “12 Years a Slave” won for best picture.

Inarritu received the DGA Award for feature films last year for “Birdman,” and went on to win the Oscar for best director.

Iñárritu said on stage at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel this year’s victory came as a surprise and he didn’t prepare remarks.

“I truly thanked everybody when I came here as a nominee because I was always thrilled and I never expected to win this award,” Iñárritu said. “I don’t want to thank all the people I already thanked. I can’t believe this has happened.”

At the Directors Guild Awards, each of the feature film nominees comes to the stage to accept a medallion and make remarks.

Backstage, Iñárritu said every film he directs “has to touch me personally” with “The Revenant” fulfilling that goal because its main character, frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) was married to an American Indian and the father of a mixed race child.

“The mixed race problem that exists in the encounter of the cultures at the beginning of this country and in my country when the Spanish arrived still … hasn’t been solved,” said Iñárritu, who was born in Mexico City.

“The story of Hugh Glass as the father of a mixed race kid was something that I wanted to explore about how it feels when you are an outsider, you are navigating those prejudices.”

Inarritu won in a field that also included Tom McCarthy (“Spotlight”), Adam McKay (“The Big Short”), George Miller (“Mad Max: Fury Road”) and Ridley Scott (“The Martian”).

This year’s DGA nominations mirror the Oscar nominations list with one exception — Scott was left off the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ list in favor of Lenny Abrahamson for “Room.”

The inaugural award for the first-time director of a feature film went to the English novelist, screenwriter and producer Alex Garland for the science fiction thriller “Ex Machina.”

The other nominees were Marielle Heller (“The Diary of a Teenage Girl”), the only woman among the feature film nominees, Fernando Coimbra (“A Wolf at the Door”), Joel Edgerton (“The Gift”) and Laszlo Nemes (“Son of Saul”).

HBO took the top three television awards, with David Nutter (“Game of Thrones”) winning in the dramatic series category, Chris Addison (“Veep”) in comedy series and Dee Rees (“Bessie”) for movie/miniseries.

The other television drama nominees included noted film director Steven Soderbergh, nominated for directing an episode of the Cienmax period medical drama “The Knick.” “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner received a nomination for the finale of the AMC period advertising drama.

Last year’s winner, Lesli Linka Glatter (“Homeland”) and Michael Engler (“Downton Abbey”) were the other nominees.

The other comedy series nominees were Louis C.K. (“Louie”), Mike Judge (“Silicon Valley”), Gail Mancuso (“Modern Family”) and last year’s winner, Jill Soloway (“Transparent”).

Angela Bassett, best known for her acting career, was nominated in movie/miniseries category for Lifetime’s Whitney Houston biopic “Whitney.” The other nominees were Laurie Collyer (“The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe”), Paul Haggis (“Show Me a Hero”) and Kenny Leon and Matthew Diamond (“The Wiz Live!”).

Here is a complete list of winners:

FEATURE FILM

— Alejandro G. Iñárritu, “The Revenant”

FIRST-TIME FEATURE FILM

— Alex Garland, “Ex Machina”

DRAMATIC SERIES

— David Nutter, “Game of Thrones,” Mother’s Mercy

COMEDY SERIES

— Chris Addison, “Veep,” Election Night

MOVIES FOR TELEVISION AND MINI SERIES

— Dee Rees, “Bessie”

VARIETY/TALK/NEWS/SPORTS – REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING

— David Diomedi, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Episode #325

VARIETY/TALK/NEWS/SPORTS – SPECIALS

— Don Roy King, “Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special”

REALITY PROGRAMS

— Adam Vetri, “Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge,” Gods of War

CHILDREN’S PROGRAMS

— Kenny Ortega, “Descendants”

COMMERCIALS

— Andreas Nilsson, Comcast, General Electric, Old Spice

DOCUMENTARY

— Matthew Heineman, “Cartel Land”

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