Kenneth Branagh has joined Steven Spielberg and Denis Villeneuve in being nominated for outstanding directorial achievements by the Directors Guild of America (DGA).
Announcing the nominees for the theatrical feature film and first-time film director categories, the DGA said their work represented “highest standards of filmmaking, artistic achievement and innovative storytelling”.
Branagh is nominated for his semi-autobiographical film Belfast, starring Jude Hill, Jamie Dornan and Caitriona Balfe, which focuses on The Troubles in Northern Ireland.
Spielberg is nominated for his adaptation of musical West Side Story and Villeneuve for sci-fi epic Dune, starring Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya.
Also nominated were Paul Thomas Anderson for his coming of age film Licorice Pizza, and Jane Campion for dark western The Power Of The Dog.
Campion was already awarded best director at the low-key Golden Globes ceremony for the film, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Kirsten Dunst.
DGA president Lesli Linka Glatter said: “The power of film, in all its many facets, shines through in the work of these exceptional directors representing the highest standards of filmmaking, artistic achievement and innovative storytelling.
“Being nominated by one’s peers – who understand on the deepest level what it takes to bring one’s vision to life – makes this award so very special, and we congratulate all of our nominees for their truly outstanding work.”
The nominees in the first-time directors category were Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Lost daughter), Lin-Manuel Miranda (Tick, Tick… Boom!), Michael Sarnoski (Pig) and Emma Seligman (Shiva Baby), Rebbeca Hall (Passing) and Tatiana Huezo (Prayers For The Stolen).
The winners will be announced at the 74th Annual DGA awards which will take place on Saturday March 12 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.