DGA taps 5 rookies, 1 vet for docu nods

Org, acad picks have not matched since 1990

The Directors Guild of America has tapped five rookie candidates along with veteran Errol Morris as nominees for its top documentary award.

Noms, announced Wednesday went to Sam Green & Bill Siegel for “The Weather Underground,” Andrew Jarecki for “Capturing the Friedmans,” Nathaniel Kahn for “My Architect,” Morris for “The Fog of War,” and Jose Padilha for “Bus 174.”

Winner will be announced Feb. 7 at the DGA’s 56th Annual Awards gala at the Century Plaza Hotel. A total of 101 docu films qualified for the DGA contest.

The five films are among the dozen tapped by the documentary committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, with Oscar noms set to be announced next Tuseday. The other seven are “The Agronomist,” “Balseros,” “Charlie: The Life & Art of Charles Chaplin,” “Heir to an Execution,” “Inheritance: A Fisherman’s Story,” “Lost Boys of Sudan” and “My Flesh and Blood.”

Morris was nominated in the DGA category five years ago for “Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred Leuchter Jr.” He also received a nomination in the commercials category last week.

“Capturing the Friedmans,” which explores the impact of sexual misconduct allegations on a New York family, is the top grosser among the quintet of nominees with $3.12 million. “The Weather Underground,” “My Architect” and “The Fog of War” have each taken in around $500,000 while “Bus 174” has taken in $175,495.

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 1990s “American Dream,” the two orgs’ docu winners have not matched.

Michael Moore won the docu Oscar last year for “Bowling for Columbine,” while the DGA spurned the pic for a nomination. Tasha Oldham won the DGA Award for “The Smith Family.”

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