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Martin Scorsese Wins DGA Award As Best Director

Monday, February 5----Martin Scorsese was the big winner at the 59th Annual Directors Guild of America Awards Dinner, held this past weekend at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles. Scorsese won the DGA's Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for his multiple Oscar-nominated police thriller, THE DEPARTED. This prestigious win makes him the favorite to win the Oscar, after seven nomination tries.

This is also Scorsese's first win after a record seven DGA Award nominations. He was previously nominated for THE AVIATOR (2004), GANGS OF NEW YORK (2002), THE AGE OF INNOCENCE (1993), GOODFELLAS (1990), RAGING BULL (1980) and TAXI DRIVER (1976). In 1999, Scorsese was presented with the Filmmaker Award at the inaugural DGA Honors Gala and he won the DGA's highest artistic honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award (for distinguished achievement in film direction) in 2003.

Awards were also given to a host of television and film directors, including a surprise win by Lithuanian director Arunas Matelis, who won the Best Documentary Director Award for BEFORE FLYING BACK TO THE EARTH, a gracefully expressive documentary following the lives of children living with leukemia at a pediatric hospital in Vilnius, Lithuania. The filmmaker spent eight months at this very hospital after his own daughter's successful fight against leukemia. The film was not one recognized by the documentary committee of the Academy Awards, making this win even more impressive.

The Awards Gala included some 1600 guests from the fields of film, television and television commercials. Veteran writer/director/actor Carl Reiner hosted the Awards ceremony for the twentieth time. Presenters included: Alan Arkin and Steve Carrell (LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE), Maria Bello (WORLD TRADE CENTER), Guillermo del Toro (PAN'S LABYRINTH), Leonardo DiCaprio (THE DEPARTED), Steve Martin (THE PINK PANTHER) Aaron Eckhart (THANK YOU FOR SMOKING) and director Steven Spielberg (MUNICH).

Sandy Mandelberger
Awards Watch Editor

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