Page last updated at 09:49 GMT, Friday, 9 January 2009

Directing nod for Knight's Nolan

Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan's non-Batman films include Memento and The Prestige

The Dark Knight's Christopher Nolan will be one of two British film-makers in the running at this year's Directors Guild of America (DGA) awards.

The other is Trainspotting director Danny Boyle, nominated for his Indian-set melodrama Slumdog Millionaire.

Ron Howard, David Fincher and Gus Van Sant are also recognised for Frost/Nixon, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Milk respectively.

The recipient of the DGA's main prize often goes on to success at the Oscars.

Only six times since the DGA awards began in 1948 has the feature film winner not gone on to collect the equivalent Academy Award.

The 61st DGA awards will be held in Los Angeles on 31 January.

What makes this award truly meaningful to directors is the knowledge that only this award is decided solely by their peers
Taylor Hackford
Vice-president, DGA
Prizes for television, documentary and commercial directors will also be bestowed at the event, as well as a number of honorary awards.

Oscar-winning film-maker and DGA vice-president Taylor Hackford said the five film nominees "demonstrate how vision, combined with skill and talent, creates magic on the screen.

"What makes this award truly meaningful to directors is the knowledge that only this award is decided solely by their peers," he added.

Having also been shortlisted in the awards of the Producers Guild of America, The Dark Knight is now being tipped as a potential best picture nominee at the Oscars.

A follow-up to 2005's Batman Begins, which was also directed by Nolan, the film sees Christian Bale's Caped Crusader doing battle with The Joker, played by the late Heath Ledger.

Howard is the only one of this year's nominees to have been named the DGA's best director in the past, winning for Apollo 13 in 1995 and for A Beautiful Mind in 2001.

Sibling auteurs Joel and Ethan Coen picked up last year's prize for their dark thriller No Country For Old Men.

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