Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Roma’ Takes Top Honor at DGA Awards

Labor News, Industry News

Reprinted from The Hollywood Reporter by Jonathan Handel on February 2, 2019.

The 71st annual Directors Guild of America Awards were handed out Saturday night in Los Angeles, with Alfonso Cuaron taking home the feature directing prize for Roma. A key contender, A Star is Born’s Bradley Cooper, was shut out in that category and in the first-time feature slot, where the honor went to Bo Burnham for Eight Grade.

“The language of cinema, like the universe, is constantly expanding,” said Cuaron, whose keenly observed Netflix feature depicts the life of a Mexico City domestic worker in 1970-71. “The true cinema ignores walls, both real and imagined. More than 11 million domestic workers are migrants. When we vilify them, call them criminals and rapists, we minimize ourselves.”

The award for best documentary went to Tim Wardle for Three Identical Strangers, with the honor presented by high-wattage labor and civil rights leader Dolores Huerta, a co-founder with Cesar Chavez of the United Farmworkers. Her presence was in keeping with the tone of the evening, during which the politics of inclusion, #MeToo and unionism were mentioned by almost every presenter and award recipient. Indeed, four out of the five best director nominees had crafted films on those themes: Cuaron, Peter Farrelly (Green Book), Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman) and Adam McKay (Vice). …

Although the best feature nominees were all male (but not all white), the presenters were diverse, as is the guild’s board of directors. DGA statistics show increased diversity in television directing, but less so on the feature side. …

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About Jeffrey Burman 3994 Articles
Jeff Burman represents assistant editors on the Guild’s Board of Directors. He can be reached at

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