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The Artist takes top prize at Directors Guild Awards

The Artist

Story by Jack Foley

SILENT movie The Artist has continued its domination of awards ceremonies by earning the top prize at the annual Directors’ Guild Awards in America.

French director Michel Hazanavicius beat Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese to the award and will now be seen as hot favourite to repeat the trick at the forthcoming Oscars.

He said: “It’s maybe the highest recognition I could hope for.”

The Artist triumphed against Scorsese’s Hugo, Allen’s Midnight in Paris, David Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Alexander Payne’s The Descendants.

As evidence of how much sway the Directors’ Guild awards carry, there has only been six times in the 63-year history of the prize ceremony that the winner has failed to go on to win the Oscar for best director.

A delighted Hazanavicius went on to tell his fellow filmmakers at the awards ceremony: “Maybe you noticed, but I’m French. I have an accent. I have a name that is very difficult to pronounce. [But] I’m not American and I’m not French, actually – I’m a film-maker… I feel like I’m being accepted by you, not as Americans, but as film-makers.”

He added: “This is really very moving and very touching for me.”

In what proved a night to forget for veteran filmmaker Scorsese, he also lost out in the best documentary category to British director James Marsh, whose Project Nim, about a chimpanzee who was raised as a human child, triumphed in that category.

Scorsese had been nominated for George Harrison doc Living in the Material World.

Next awards story: Beasts of the Southern Wild wins Sundance top prize