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DGA Awards 2018: The Shape of Water and Get Out win

The Shape of Water

Story by Jack Foley

GUILLERMO del Toro’s The Shape of Water emerged as the big winner at the 70th annual Directors Guild of America (DGA) Awards.

The filmmaker himself was hailed for outstanding directorial achievement in feature film for his work on the fantasy-romance, which having also earned the Producers Guild of America’s top prize last month has now consolidated its status as an Oscar frontrunner.

In accepting the award, del Toro acknowledged that his film, about a mute woman who falls in love with a mysterious sea creature, doesn’t fit the usual awards-season model – but that only made the win more satisfying.

He therefore thanked his fellow directors for ‘allowing us as a genre to come into the conversation’.

He went on to make a plea for inclusion of more and different voices on screen, saying, “we are not hearing all the stories that need to be heard”. The Shape of Water tells of a group of society’s outsiders who band together.

Another of the night’s winners tackled similar themes, albeit in a very different genre. Jordan Peele’s Get Out picked up the award for outstanding first-time feature film directing for Peele.

Admitting that while he has enjoyed great success this year, “this is not a good year for this country,” he added: “I truly believe these stories that we make and these things we put out into the world, these stories of our love and passion, are the greatest weapons against the hate and the bigotry.”

The documentary award went to Matthew Heineman for City of Ghosts, which chronicles the courageous citizen-journalists who secreted out word about life in Raqqa, Syria when it was under Isis rule.

While in the television categories, top honours were handed out to cinematographer-turned-director Reed Morano in the dramatic series category for the Offred episode of The Handmaid’s Tale; to Beth McCarthy-Miller, in the comedy series category, for the Chicklet episode of Veep, and to Jean-Marc Valle, in the mini-series category, for the awards season juggernaut Big Little Lies.

Main winners at a glance

Feature film
The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro

Dramatic Series
Reed Morano, The Handmaid’s Tale (Offred)

Movies for Television and Mini-Series
Big Little Lies, Jean-Marc Vallee

Comedy Series
Veep, Beth McCarthy-Miller (Chicklet)

First-Time Feature
Get Out, Jordan Peele

City of Ghosts, Matthew Heineman