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Alejandro Inarritu wins top prize at Director's Guild Awards for The Revenant

The Revenant

Story by Jack Foley

MEXICAN director Alejandro Inarritu has won the top prize at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) awards for The Revenant.

The victory comes just one year after the same filmmaker took the same prize for his previous film, Birdman – a picture that went on to replicate its success at the Oscars.

It also marks the first time a director has won back-to-back DGA awards.

The Revenant, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, follows the fortunes of a frontiersman fighting for survival after he is mauled by a bear and left for dead by his colleagues.

It leads the Oscars race with 12 nominations, including best director and best picture.

Past DGA award winners have often gone on to claim the best director Oscar and the best film category at the Academy Awards.

Upon picking up his trophy, Inarritu said: “This hug, this embrace you’re giving to me today is going to a whole country, a whole Latin American community in this country. The people who live here contribute a lot to this country.”

Earlier, he mentioned his father, who died two years ago, saying: “I think he’s getting some business up there to make this happen and I miss him a lot.”

Inarritu has already won the Golden Globe for best director for The Revenant and he is nominated for the directing BAFTA as well.

Other winners at this year’s DGAs included Matthew Heineman, whose film Cartel Land was named best documentary.

Heineman’s film focuses on vigilante groups fighting drug cartels on both sides of the US/Mexican border.

The director said: “I hope that this film will give voice to those trapped by the cycle of violence in hopes that one day the cycle will end.”

A new prize was also presented this year for first-time feature film director – and it went to Alex Garland for his Oscar-nominated sci-fi film Ex Machina.

Of the winners among the TV categories, David Nutter won the award for a TV drama series for his international fantasy hit Game of Thrones, while Chris Addison won for best TV comedy direction for the political comedy series Veep.