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"La La Land," "Moonlight" among Directors Guild nominees

LOS ANGELES -- “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle, “Moonlight” helmer Barry Jenkins and Kenneth Lonergan of “Manchester by the Sea” all scored their first nomination for a Directors Guild Award and further enhanced their chances of an Oscar nod.

The guild announced its nominees Thursday for outstanding directorial achievement for a feature film. They also included “Lion” director Garth Davis and Denis Villeneuve of “Arrival.”

The award can be a formidable predictor of the eventual Oscar recipient, as it is extremely rare for a filmmaker to win the Academy Award for Best Director without securing at least a nomination from the DGA. Oscar nominations will be announced on Jan. 24.

“Lion” helmer Davis was also listed among the Directors Guild best first feature hopefuls, a category that also included Nate Parker for “Birth of a Nation.”

Winners for the 69th annual Directors Guild Awards will be announced in Los Angeles on Feb. 4.

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