Jane Campion wins Directors Guild Award for ‘The Power of the Dog’
By Kyle Buchanan
The Directors Guild of America awarded its top prize for feature-film directing Saturday night to Jane Campion for “The Power of the Dog,” making her the third woman ever to receive the award. Her victory also represents the first time in DGA history that women have won that award in back-to-back years, after Chloé Zhao took the prize in 2021 for “Nomadland.”
“I’m here because I care about women having voices, and I’m so excited about the next generation of filmmakers,” Campion said at the ceremony, held at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.
Earlier in the night, Campion spoke of how unlikely the dream of directing seemed when she was a 7-year-old girl and of her hopes that a new generation of female filmmakers could continue to inspire. “We’ve come so far, and what’s more: We’re never going backwards,” Campion said.
Campion has been considered the front-runner for the best-director Oscar since “The Power of the Dog” earned a field-leading 12 nominations. Her DGA Award only strengthens those odds, since the guild’s winner has won the best director Oscar 13 of the last 15 times.
Steven Spielberg, the most honored filmmaker in DGA history with 12 nominations and three wins, was also in the race this year for “West Side Story”; he and Campion first faced off in 1994, when she was nominated by the DGA for her breakthrough film, “The Piano,” and he won for “Schindler’s List.” This year’s other nominees were Paul Thomas Anderson (“Licorice Pizza”), Kenneth Branagh (“Belfast”), and Denis Villeneuve (“Dune”).
In other news, it was also the first time in DGA history that both the feature-film and first-time filmmaker races were won by women, as Maggie Gyllenhaal triumphed in the latter category for her debut, “The Lost Daughter,” about a conflicted mother played by Olivia Colman.
In her acceptance speech, Gyllenhaal singled Campion out for special attention.
“Listen, I’ve seen so many incredible movies made by men,” she said. “I grew up learning that language until I was 15 years old, and I walked into the movies and saw ‘The Piano.’ I had never seen anything like that. It changed me.”
Gyllenhaal added, “I know that my film is in an unusual language, and I appreciate the effort you all took to learn it.”
Here is the full list of winners:
Feature: Jane Campion, “The Power of the Dog”
First-Time Feature: Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Lost Daughter”
Documentary: Stanley Nelson, “Attica”
Television Movies and Limited Series: Barry Jenkins, “The Underground Railroad”
Dramatic Series: Mark Mylod, “Succession”
Comedy Series: Lucia Aniello, “Hacks”
Variety/Talk/News/Sports (Regularly Scheduled): Don Roy King, “Saturday Night Live”
Variety/Talk/News/Sports (Specials): Paul Dugdale, “Adele: One Night Only”
Reality Programs: Adam Vetri, “Getaway Driver”
Commercials: Bradford Young, “Super. Human.”
Children’s Programs: Smriti Mundhra, “Shelter”