Sam Mendes wins top prize at Directors Guild of America Awards

Sam Mendes

Sam Mendes took home the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film prize for his war epic 1917 at the 2020 Directors Guild of America (DGA) Awards.

The star beat off fierce competition from Bong Joon Ho's Parasite, Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Martin Scorsese's The Irishman for the award on Saturday, and thanked his grandfather as he took the stage.

“My grandfather inspired this film, and he made me when I was 12 sign a contract promising I would write a novel by the age of 18," he said. "Obviously I’m not a freak, so I didn’t do that, but I did do this."

Sam's victory comes hot off his success at the Producers Guild Awards (PGA) last weekend, leaving the filmmaker a frontrunner for Oscars success next month.

Meanwhile, Alma Har’el also enjoyed a successful night, winning the Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director award for Honey Boy, which was inspired by notes made by Shia LaBeouf during his court-ordered rehab back in 2017.

Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert were also recognised for their Netflix documentary movie, American Factory.

Big winners in TV included Bill Hader, who took home the Comedy Series prize for Barry; Johan Renck was recognised for Chernobyl in the TV Movie/Limited Series category; Nicole Kassell won for her episode of Watchmen in Dramatic Series; and Amy Schatz won her sixth DGA Award for Song of Parkland in the Children’s Program race.

Don Roy King also won his fifth DGA Award for Saturday Night Live‘s fall finale, which featured returning host Eddie Murphy and musical guest Lizzo.

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