1917's Sam Mendes Wins Best Director at 2020 Directors Guild Awards, Cements Place As Oscar Favorite

It was a sad night for the Bong Hive, but all smiles for Mendes, Honey Boy helmer Alma Har'el, and HBO. Check out the full list of 2020 DGA winners.

by | January 26, 2020 | Comments

Sam Mendes
(Photo by Francois Duhamel / © Universal Pictures)

It was good news for 1917 and bad news for the Bong Hive Saturday night, as the Directors Guild of America gave its top prize – best director of a Theatrical Feature Film – to the WWI movie’s helmer, Sam Mendes. Bong Joon-ho, whom many expected to take out the award for Parasite, missed out along with Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood), and Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit).

Mendes’s win all but assures his victory for directing on Oscar night: the winner of the top DGA prize has only missed out on the Oscar seven times since the awards began in 1949. Coupled with his Golden Globe win, Mendes is looking formidable.

Honey Boy‘s Alma Har’el took home the directing price for First Time Feature Film, and Steven Bognar and Julie Reicher won for their documentary, American Factory.

HBO dominated in the TV awards, winning for episodes of Watchmen and Barry, the limited series Chernobyl, and for the documentary Song of Parkland in the Children’s Programs category.

See the full list of Directors Guild Awards winners below, and let us know what you think of the winners in the comments. 

Theatrical Feature Film

Martin Scorsese

The Irishman

Sam Mendes


Taika Waititi

Jojo Rabbit

First Time Feature Film 

Mati Diop


Alma Har’el

Honey Boy

Melina Matsoukas

Queen & Slim

Tyler Nilson & Michael Schwartz

The Peanut Butter Falcon

Documentary Feature Films

Steven Bognar and Julie Reichert

American Factory

Feras Fayyad

The Cave

Alex Holmes


Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska


Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang

One Child Nation

Dramatic Series

Nicole Kassell, “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice”


Mark Mylod, “This Is Not For Tears”


David Nutter, “The Long Night”

Game of Thrones

Miguel Sapochnik, “The Long Night”

Game of Thrones

Stephen Williams, “This Extraordinary Being”


Comedy Series

Dan Attias, “It’s the Sixties, Man!”

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Bill Hader, “ronny/lilly”


David Mandel, “Veep”


Daniel Palladino, “Marvelous Radio”

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Amy Sherman-Palladino, “It’s Comedy or Cabbage”

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Specials

James Burrows: “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons.”Andy Fisher:“Live in Front of a Studio Audience.”

Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons'

Linda Mendoza

Wanda Sykes: Not Normal

Movies for Television or Limited Series

Thomas Kail, “Nowadays”

Fosse/Verdon: Miniseries

Minkie Spiro, “All I Care About Is Love”

Fosse/Verdon: Miniseries

Jessica Yu, “Glory”

Fosse/Verdon: Miniseries

Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Regularly Scheduled Programming

Paul G. Casey, “1730”

Real Time with Bill Maher

Nora S. Gerard, “40th Anniversary”

Sunday Morning

Jim Hoskinson, “A. Ocasio-Cortes; Incubus

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

Don Roy King, “E. Murphy; Lizzo”

Saturday Night Live: Season 45

Paul Pennolino, Christopher Werner, “SLAPP Suits”

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver: Season 6

Reality Programs

Hisham Abed, “Black Girl Magic”

Queer Eye

Jason Cohen, “Encore”


Jon Favreau, “The Chef Show”

The Chef Show

Ashley S. Gorman, “103”

First Responders Live

Patric McManus, “1116 Las Vegas National Finals Night 4”

American Ninja Warrior

Children’s Programs

  • Are You Afraid of the Dark? – “Part One: Submitted for Your Approval” – Dean Israelite
  • Sesame Street’s 50th Anniversary Special – Jack Jameson
  • Ghostwriter – “Ghost In Wonderland, Part 1” – Luke Matheny
  • Song of Parkland – Amy Schatz WINNER
  • A Series Of Unfortunate Events – “Penultimate Peril: Part 1” – Barry Sonnenfeld


  • Lighter Than Air, JP Elite Dragonfly – Fredrick Bond
  • Dream It, Squarespace – Spike Jonze WINNER
  • Underdogs, Apple – Mark Molloy
  • The Seven Worlds, Hennessy X.O. – Ridley Scott
  • Train, AT&T – Dougal Wilson

Are you as obsessed with awards as we are? Check out our Awards Leaderboard for 2019/2020.

Tag Cloud

X-Men Chilling Adventures of Sabrina screenings Animation Apple TV+ Creative Arts Emmys technology mockumentary Musical Turner DC Comics video strong female leads Academy Awards Adult Swim politics Pirates GIFs Mary Poppins Returns Paramount cops 2015 Martial Arts Emmys TV Land AMC cancelled joker DirecTV Trophy Talk The Witch Starz toy story 007 WGN Reality Competition binge Apple ESPN unscripted movie Captain marvel revenge Mystery RT21 USA Year in Review Lifetime facebook Set visit Tumblr VICE Star Wars CBS 2020 A24 cancelled TV series Hulu period drama Hallmark Christmas movies Dark Horse Comics travel First Look Anna Paquin 2019 Emmy Nominations Amazon Countdown Chernobyl Apple TV Plus FXX adventure E3 Film Star Trek Netflix Christmas movies SDCC Nickelodeon Film Festival Infographic Epix name the review thriller Awards Tour movies blaxploitation Crunchyroll DC streaming service Oscars Brie Larson GoT Rocketman LGBTQ First Reviews ghosts RT History Nat Geo VH1 2016 Election TBS Ovation Shondaland Disney Music Nominations BBC America south america sitcom USA Network Showtime romantic comedy Family Lionsgate Food Network OneApp Grammys Vudu Valentine's Day Comics on TV sag awards Logo Mary poppins quibi Summer Winter TV Cosplay TCA 2017 boxoffice Song of Ice and Fire batman cinemax The Walking Dead CMT cooking indie anime canceled APB ITV Disney Plus President PaleyFest supernatural Superheroe justice league Holidays Comedy Toys renewed TV shows series Quiz biography Binge Guide 45 reboot spy thriller comiccon Box Office NBC ratings Red Carpet werewolf Comedy Central Christmas National Geographic Photos Ghostbusters kids Best and Worst YouTube Red game show Masterpiece slashers children's TV TLC screen actors guild Baby Yoda Musicals FX Disney streaming service cancelled television WarnerMedia true crime teaser Mindy Kaling Disney+ Disney Plus Tomatazos Fantasy Paramount Network Podcast television Freeform comics singing competition Awards Tarantino E! Sundance Now ABC Family richard e. Grant OWN Spike HBO documentary sequel CNN Calendar BBC Endgame Rock Opinion directors Sundance TV YouTube TIFF CBS All Access Polls and Games Sundance zero dark thirty hispanic The Purge Interview Walt Disney Pictures Sneak Peek zombies Marvel transformers comic crime drama Winners Heroines zombie IFC Films docudrama halloween San Diego Comic-Con Tubi TCA Winter 2020 game of thrones Horror diversity Fall TV NYCC tv talk MTV Action Writers Guild of America Marvel Studios Rocky Character Guide TNT spain dragons IFC psychological thriller cars mutant Shudder Peacock rotten movies we love Elton John Rom-Com spider-man harry potter Comic Book cancelled TV shows See It Skip It award winner Trivia Spectrum Originals Sci-Fi canceled TV shows talk show TruTV Amazon Prime Stephen King witnail Pop political drama Certified Fresh dramedy stand-up comedy ABC romance vampires CW Seed free movies 21st Century Fox 24 frames Pixar Spring TV anthology based on movie Classic Film Sony Pictures Reality PBS christmas movies natural history New York Comic Con cults golden globes Superheroes Pride Month Universal miniseries SXSW theme song jamie lee curtis 71st Emmy Awards nature book SundanceTV psycho social media Avengers Schedule TV renewals Video Games Mudbound finale Television Academy Drama science fiction Amazon Prime Video doctor who spanish language Extras composers A&E Black Mirror space Biopics DC Universe discovery The Arrangement crime thriller El Rey Country Netflix Crackle animated Syfy Disney Channel what to watch YouTube Premium blockbuster Mary Tyler Moore Thanksgiving sports festivals versus Bravo TCA elevated horror Turner Classic Movies crossover latino Women's History Month cats serial killer 20th Century Fox robots Western Fox News The CW Esquire foreign streaming TCM Marathons Marvel Television GLAAD aliens hist Kids & Family adaptation casting Super Bowl TV American Society of Cinematographers 2017 Arrowverse medical drama YA disaster DGA Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Ellie Kemper green book Britbox Pet Sematary Holiday Teen Columbia Pictures Watching Series Lifetime Christmas movies historical drama MSNBC dceu independent Cartoon Network LGBT Lucasfilm dc police drama spinoff 2018 Discovery Channel Cannes BET Premiere Dates Hallmark Acorn TV Warner Bros. crime History Trailer FOX cartoon HBO Max war MCU breaking bad