A standing room only crowd packed the DGA’s Los Angeles Theater on Saturday morning, February 4, 2017, as all five nominees for the Guild’s award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2016 – Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Garth Davis (Lion), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea), and Denis Villeneuve (Arrival) – joined moderator Jeremy Kagan onstage for the 26th annual Meet the Nominees symposium.
Welcoming the audience, DGA President Paris Barclay said, “Today’s symposium is a celebration of the craft of directing. These five filmmakers and their insights will now become part of the lasting legacy of the Guild – joining the more than 75 directors who have attended over the years to illuminate the process behind the artistry. This is the first time in many years we have had five newcomers to this stage. It’s a testament to the strengths of their visions, their extraordinary ability to take us deep inside places we’ve never been, making us care deeply about people who are often very different from us. I don’t know if you agree, but for many of us, generating that kind of empathy, in a world where it seems in increasingly short supply, is desperately needed and worth saluting. Sit back, relax, and get ready to be intellectually stimulated.”
Following the traditional screening of a clip from each film, Kagan led the nominees in a lively and roundtable discussion of the myriad aspects of the creative process that goes into the making of a feature film worthy of a DGA Award nomination. As each revealed some of the struggles they faced in getting their films made and offered entertaining and illuminating behind-the-scenes stories from their various sets, the spirit of camaraderie and mutual respect was evident. Although In a matter of hours, only one of them would be able to take home this year’s DGA Award for Feature Film Award, it was clear that they were all winners.
You can watch the full panel by clicking the video below. Or listen to the panel in podcast form by clicking the one of the following links: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Find all of our DGA podcast episodes here.
Below find a photo gallery and video highlights from each director.
Meet the Nominees: Feature Film Symposium:
- Directed by: Jim Drake
- Director of Photography: Chad Wilson
- Stage Manager: Tracey Smith Baumert