(Adds details in paragraph 3)
LOS ANGELES, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Filmmakers Steven Spielberg,
Kathryn Bigelow, Ben Affleck, Tom Hooper and Ang Lee received
nominations from the Directors Guild of America (DGA) on
Tuesday, ahead of the Oscar nominations this week.
Affleck, 40, landed his first Directors Guild film award
nomination for Iran hostage thriller "Argo," alongside fellow
U.S. directors Bigelow and Spielberg, Taiwanese director Lee and
British filmmaker Hooper.
Bigelow received a nod for her Osama bin Laden-manhunt
thriller "Zero Dark Thirty," Spielberg for his U.S. Civil
War-era drama "Lincoln," Lee for his 3D adaptation of
best-selling novel "Life of Pi" and Hooper for his screen
adaptation of hit musical "Les Miserables."
"These directors represent the highest standard of
filmmaking, and their films are a testament to artistic
achievement, innovative storytelling and the passion that
filmmakers share with their audiences," DGA President Taylor
Hackford said in a statement.
Notably absent from the list this year was director Quentin
Tarantino, whose latest film "Django Unchained," a
spaghetti-western slave retribution tale, has been gaining
awards buzz after landing five Golden Globe nods including best
Filmmaker David O. Russell also didn't get a DGA nomination,
despite his quirky comedy "Silver Linings Playbook" also
building awards steam and going into the Golden Globe awards on
Sunday with four nominations.
The DGA nominations are often a key indicator of Oscar
nominees and winners, as DGA members are often also members of
the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, which hosts
the Oscars. The Academy Award for best picture also often goes
to the winner of the DGA's best director award.
This is the 11th DGA nomination for veteran director
Spielberg, 66, who has previously won the award for "Schindler's
List" in 1994, "Saving Private Ryan" in 1999 and who received a
DGA lifetime achievement award in 2000.
"The privilege of making 'Lincoln,' combined with this
absolutely tremendous recognition from my peers, is humbling. I
thank everyone for including me on this short list of extremely
unique and gifted filmmakers," Spielberg said in a statement.
Since 1948, there have been only six occasions where the DGA
winner has not gone on to win the Oscar for best director.
Spielberg, Bigelow, Hooper and Lee all won the top directing
honors at the Oscars after winning the DGA award.
The winner of the DGA feature film category will be revealed
at a dinner ceremony hosted by former "Frasier" star Kelsey
Grammer on Feb. 2 in Los Angeles, three weeks before the Academy
(Reporting By Piya Sinha-Roy and Eric Kelsey; Editing by Paul