Guillermo Del Toro picked up the coveted Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) Awards on Saturday.
The 53-year-old filmmaker took home the night’s biggest accolade – which is largely regarded as a forerunner for the Oscars – thanks to his work on ‘The Shape of Water’ and paid tribute to his fellow nominees, Jordan Peele (‘Get Out’), Christopher Nolan (‘Dunkirk’), Martin McDonagh (‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’), and Greta Gerwig (‘Lady Bird’) as he took to the stage at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles to accept the honour.
He said: “This is very beautiful.
“Jordan and I have a kinship through this, but there’s also many reasons why this is a historical year. Greta… The group we have is splendid. Martin, Chris, it’s been a pleasure to be with you.
“It’s important to remember that at the time the Lumiere brothers were recording the train coming into the station, there was a man called Georges Melies recording what was not there. The fables.
“The best way to phrase a longing, an exclusion, is a fable.
“I thank the DGA for allowing genre into the conversation. Inclusion is necessary if not for any other reason than we’re not hearing all of the stories. If films are good, can you imagine if we heard 100% and not 50% of the voices that are heard? Thank you.”
Earlier in the evening, Jordan had taken home the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in First-Time Feature Film award for his work on ‘Get Out’ and admitted he had had the best year of his life.
He said: “This has been the best year of my life, hands down.
“I’ve had to balance this with the knowledge that this hasn’t been a good year for our country, for the many of us. I want to take this moment and echo…
“Dwight Williams said earlier better than I could. These stories of our loves and passions are best weapon against the hate, bigotry and evil policies being pushed into action.”
And Jordan – who has son Beaumont, six months, with wife Chelsea Peretti – revealed he quit acting and turned to directing after losing out on a role of “poop” in ‘The Emoji Movie’.
He said: “A true story: The Emoji Movie helped me quit acting. I was offered the role of poop – this is true, I would not make this up. I was like, ‘That’s up. Let me sleep on it.’ I came back the next day, I said, ‘What are they offering?’ They said, ‘They already gave it to Patrick Stewart’ I was like, ‘ THIS!’ ”
Other winners included Jean-Marc Valee, whose work on ‘Big Little Lies’ saw him pick up Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series, while ‘City of Ghosts’ director was honoured in the documentary category, and Reed Morano beat off competition from ‘Stranger Things’ Duffer Brothers and three ‘Game of Thrones’ directors – Jeremy Podeswa, Matt Shakman and Alan Taylor – to take the drama series prize for ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ episode ‘Offred’.