'Ai Weiwei,' 'Queen of Versailles' join Oscar players in DGA documentary nominations

Posted by · 12:04 pm · January 14th, 2013

The Directors Guild of America (DGA) has offered up its list of nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary Filmmaking, and it’s a nice slice of vindication for a pair of Oscar snubees.

My love for Lauren Greenfield’s “The Queen of Versailles” is well on the record. The film landed in my top 10 list because it was such an electric snapshot of a country’s shifting values. This before you get to the more superficial (but no less intriguing) idea of a riches-to-rags story. Well, Greenfield made the cut with the guild after her film failed to even make the Academy’s list of 15 documentary finalists last month.

Meanwhile, Alison Klayman’s “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry” did manage to make the list of finalists, but was left off the eventual list of nominees. She gets some love in the form of a DGA nomination, though, and it’s nice to see two female directors get the recognition, too.

Oscar nominees filled out the rest of the category: Malik Bendjelloul for “Searching for Sugar Man,” Kirby Dick for “The Invisible War” and David France for “How to Survive a Plague.” Bendejelloul’s film is the only one to have netted nods from the PGA, DGA and Academy and, as ever, seems the odds-on favorite to win the Oscar.

Once again, the DGA nominees for documentary filmmaking are:

“Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry” (Alison Klayman)
“How to Survive a Plague” (David France)
“The Invisible War” (Kirby Dick)
“The Queen of Versailles” (Lauren Greenfield)
“Searching for Sugar Man” (Malik Bendjelloul)

Winners will be announced at the 65th annual DGA Awards on Saturday, February 2.

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