Del Toro rides on 'Shape of Water'

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The creators behind this year's biggest films were in attendance at Saturday night's Director's Guild of America awards.

The Directors Guild of America (DGA), the leading industry group representing film and television directors, chose Jordan Peele as best first-time feature film director for the offbeat horror film "Get Out", which has four Oscar nominations including best picture and for Peele as best director.

The other DGA nominees for Feature Film were Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards), Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk) and Peele (Get Out).

Morano thanked her producers and Hulu for being "the rare people who were seeking the opportunity to work with women instead of fearing it".

DGA President Thomas Schlamme kicked off the evening addressing the moment head on.

"They were trying to get this show made for a long time, like way before we knew what the political climate was going to be", she told AFP. "They didn't create this problem". The guild also joined the Anita Hill-chaired Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace. Matthew Heineman took his second DGA Award home for his documentary, City of Ghosts.

"For everyone in this room, what we do is important, what we do is powerful", Peele continued.

The Directors Guild also honors directing live-action and scripted programming and even commercials. New Zealand filmmaker Niki Caro also picked up a prize in the children's program category for Netflix's "Anne with an E". Aziz Ansari is among those nominated for directing a comedy series.

The Mexican director of such films as "Pan's Labyrinth" and "Hellboy", Del Toro had never previously been nominated for a DGA Award.

One of the most closely-watched categories was Best First-Time Director, with the top two award favorites, Jordan Peele from Get Out and Greta Gerwig from Ladybird running neck and neck ahead of fellow nominees, namely Emmy Award-winner Aaron Sorkin from Molly's Game, Geremy Jasper from Patti Cake$, and William Oldroyd from Lady Macbeth.

It's worthy of note that only once in the last five years has an American director, Damien Chazelle, landed the Best Director award in 2016.

"This means the world to me, this coming from my peers", del Toro said.

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