Muhammad Ali and William Shakespeare will jump into the ring with a few others as subjects of the Directors Guild of America nominations for best docu director for 1996.
Leon Gast’s “When We Were Kings” from Gramercy Pictures documents Ali’s career as a heavyweight champion and an outspoken critic. Gast is nominated for the first time.
Al Pacino’s “Looking for Richard” from Fox Searchlight sends the thesp into the streets to see how people react to Shakespeare in a modern world. At the same time, he and a slew of stars, including Winona Ryder and Alec Baldwin, put together a production of “Richard III.” Pacino also is a rookie nominee.
Other nominees include:
* Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky for “Paradise Lost,” a Home Box Office presentation of a Hand-to-Mouth production. The pair won in 1992 for “Brother’s Keeper.”
* Jeanne Jordan and Steven Ascher for “Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern,” a West City Films production. This is their first time getting a DGA nod.
* Isaac Mizrahi for “Slaughter, the Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century,” a co-production of pubcaster KCET-TV and the BBC. It’s also his first time to be nominated.
Winner will be announced March 8 at the 49th annual DGA Awards banquet at the Century Plaza Hotel in L.A. and the Sheraton in New York.