The Directors Guild of America has spurned Michael Moore’s hit documentary “Bowling for Columbine” in its nominations for directorial achievement in documentary.
Instead, DGA voters tapped Chuck Braverman for “Bottom of the Ninth,” Malcolm Clarke and Stuart Sender for “Prisoner of Paradise,” Rob Fruchtman and Rebecca Cammisa for “Sister Helen,” Tasha Oldham for “The Smith Family” and Leah Mahan for “Sweet Old Song, P.O.V.” More than 50 titles qualified for guild voting.
Thursday’s announcement came two days after Moore had been tapped for an Oscar docu nom for “Bowling for Columbine” and a week after he was nominated for a Writers Guild of America award for original screenplay. The UA release, which explores America’s gun obsession, has been a major B.O. success on the arthouse circuit, grossing more than $18 million to make it the top-performing non-concert doc ever.
“Prisoner of Paradise” was the only documentary to be nominated this year by both the DGA and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Oscar noms also went to “Daughter From Danang,” “Spellbound” and “Winged Migration.”
The DGA and AMPAS usually are in lockstep on the award for top feature director but often differ in the documentary category, partly because DGA contenders can include docus that aired only on television; AMPAS candidates require a theatrical release. Since Barbara Kopple won both awards for 1990’s “American Dream,” the two orgs’ docu winners have not macthed.
The DGA and Academy noms also excluded a pair of docus that were relatively successful in limited releases — Focus’ “The Kid Stays in the Picture” and Artisan’s “Standing in the Shadows of Motown,” which grossed $1.4 million and $1.5 million, respectively.
All the DGA nominees are first-timers except for Braverman, who scored his fourth DGA nomination following nods in 1974 for “David Hartman, Birth & Babies,” in 2000 for “High School Boot Camp” and last year for “Rocky and Rolanda.” He won the category for “High School Boot Camp.”
The winner will be announced March 1 at the DGA Awards ceremonies at the Century Plaza Hotel.