“Birdman” director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has won the Directors Guild of America top feature film award.
“I never expected to be here tonight talking to you — never,” a deeply moved Inarritu said in his acceptance speech Saturday night at the Century Plaza hotel in Los Angeles. “I am openly humbled.”
Alfonso Cuaron, who won last year’s DGA and Oscar for “Gravity,” made the presentation of the DGA’s top award to the audacious and surreal comedy-drama.
Inarritu, a native of Mexico, noted that filmmaking is unpredictable: “You can’t pick a sexual position that will turn out a certain kind of child.”
Inarritu credited the cast, led by Michael Keaton, along with producing partners John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole.
“I’m just so thankful, thankful, thankful, thankful,” he concluded.
He won over Richard Linklater for “Boyhood,” Clint Eastwood for “American Sniper,” Morten Tydlum for “The Imitation Game” and Wes Anderson for “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”
Linklater and “Boyhood” had been regarded as the awards-season front-runners until recently. The unique nature of “Birdman,” with its long takes and intensity, has elevated the status of the latter.
The DGA win places “Birdman” in the role of favorite for the directing Oscar, following wins two weeks ago at the Producers Guild of America and the SAG awards for best cast.
The DGA award is based on voting by the 15,700 DGA members. It’s one of the top indicators of Oscar sentiment with all but seven of the DGA winners since 1948 going on to take the Best Director Oscar. Ben Affleck won the won the DGA award in 2013 for “Argo” even though he did not receive an Oscar nom.
Directors make up about 6% of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Anderson, Linklater and Tyldum are also nominated for the Oscar along with “Foxcatcher” director Bennett Miller, while Eastwood was excluded from the Oscars.
Female directors won all three major TV awards: Showtime’s “Homeland” director Lesli Linka Glatter, who had received four previous DGA nominations, won for television drama series; Jill Soloway won the comedy series award for Amazon’s “Transparent” and Lisa Cholodenko took the TV movie-miniseries award for HBO’s “Olive Kitteridge.”
Linka Glatter won for the “From A to B and Back Again” segment. It won over another “Homeland” segment, “Game of Thrones,” “House of Cards” and “True Detective.”
“Thank you for letting us tell this incredibly morally ambiguous story,” Linka Glatter said in her acceptance. She had previously won the award for “Mad Men.”
“Breaking Bad” won the drama series category last year.
Soloway’s win for “Transparent” for the “Best New Girl” segment comes a month after it won the comedy series trophy at the Golden Globes.
“I just got in the DGA,” Soloway said. “I got my card three weeks ago. Thanks for my gift.”
“Transparent” topped “Louie,” “Modern Family,” “Orange Is the New Black”and “Silicon Valley.” “30 Rock” won the award last year.
Another female director, Laura Poitras, took the documentary trophy “Citizenfour,” centering on documents leaker Edward Snowden.
Poitras met Snowden while working on a documentary about governmental surveillance in the post-9/11 era. Snowden ultimately handed over top-secret documents that revealed covert surveillance programs run by the NSA.
“Citizenfour” won over “Finding Vivian Maier,” “The Kill Team,” “The Overnighters” and “Virunga.” “Citizenfour,” “Vivian Maier” and “Virunga” are also nominated for the documentary Oscar.
“The Chair” took the reality program award for Anthony Sacco’s “The Test” episode. The Starz series topped “The Quest,” “The Biggest Loser,” “Top Chef,” and “Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge.”
Glenn Weis won the “variety/sports/news — specials” category for the sixth time for directing the Tony Awards, including last year.
Dave Diomedia won the variety/talk/news/sports – regularly scheduled programming” for the first episode of “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.”
The children’s program award went to Jonathan Judge for the pilot for Nickelodeon’s “100 Things to do Before High School.” Nicolai Fuglsig (MJZ) took the commercials award.
Steven Spielberg announced that the DGA has created a new award for best first-time film director, to be presented next year.
“Our guild was founded on the premise of providing support for filmmakers in what can often be a complicated business,” he said. “This new honor is the culmination of something our organization does very well — honor creativity and foster support.”
The DGA presented its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Awards in Television Direction to James Burrows and Robert Butler.
Jane Lynch hosted the 67th annual DGA ceremonies.
Updated list of winners:
The Grand Budapest Hotel
ALEJANDRO G. IÑÁRRITU
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) — WINNER
The Imitation Game
Homeland, “13 Hours in Islamabad”
House of Cards, “Chapter 22”
CARY JOJI FUKUNAGA
True Detective, “Who Goes There”
LESLI LINKA GLATTER
Homeland, “From A to B and Back Again” — WINNER
Game of Thrones, “The Children”
Louie, “Elevator: Part 6”
Orange is the New Black, “Thirsty Bird”
Silicon Valley, “Minimum Viable Product”
Modern Family, “Vegas”
Transparent, “Best New Girl” — WINNER
MOVIES FOR TELEVISION AND MINISERIES
ROB ASHFORD (Directed by)
GLENN WEISS (Live Television Direction By)
Peter Pan Live!
Olive Kitteridge — WINNER
The Normal Heart
The Trip to Bountiful
VARIETY/TALK/NEWS/SPORTS – REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING
PAUL G. CASEY
Real Time With Bill Maher, “#1226”
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, “Episode #1” — WINNER
The Colbert Report, “#11040”
DON ROY KING
Saturday Night Live, “Host Jim Carrey/Musical Guest Iggy Azalea”
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, “OpenCarrying to the Midterms”
VARIETY/TALK/NEWS/SPORTS – SPECIALS
The 86th Annual Academy Awards
LOUIS J. HORVITZ
The 37th Annual Kennedy Center Honors
Billy Crystal: 700 Sundays
Super Bowl XLVIII
The 68th Annual Tony Awards — WINNER
BERTRAM van MUNSTER
The Quest, “One True Hero”
The Biggest Loser, “Episode 1613”
Top Chef, “The First Thanksgiving”
ANTHONY B. SACCO
The Chair, “The Test” — WINNER
Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge, “Welcome to the Gun Show”
How to Build A Better Boy
100 Things To Do Before High School, “Pilot” — WINNER
American Girl: Isabelle Dances Into The Spotlight
Sesame Street, “4504 Numericon”
Saving My Tomorrow, “Part 1 and 2”
NICOLAI FUGLSIG – (MJZ) – WINNER
Sapeurs, Guinness AMV BBDO
Waiting, FEMA Deutsch NY
LAUREN GREENFIELD – (Chelsea Pictures)
Always #LikeAGirl, Always – Leo Burnett
EMMETT MALLOY – (HSI Productions)
The Huddle, Nike Wieden + Kennedy
KATINA MERCADANTE – (Epoch Films)
Sports Matter, Dick’s Sporting Goods Anomaly
We Are Not Alone, Facebook Wieden + Kennedy
Big Sister, Facebook Wieden + Kennedy
NOAM MURRO – (Biscuit Filmworks)
Ahead of Their Time, Dodge Wieden + Kennedy Portland
Empty Chair, Guinness BBDO NY
The Kill Team
Finding Vivian Maier
Citizenfour — WINNER
ORLANDO von EINSIEDEL