Greta Gerwig, Jordan Peele, Guillermo del Toro earn first Directors Guild nominations

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Lady Bird director Greta Gerwig was among four first-time nominees announced by the Directors Guild of America (DGA), one of the most influential groups in Hollywood because many of its members also are voters in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which chooses the Oscars. The Guild announced its feature film nominees Thursday, including Gerwig for the coming-of age film Lady Bird Peele for his horror sensation Get Out.

Dunkirk's Christopher Nolan and Jordan Peele, recognised for Get Out, round out the shortlist. Nolan was previously nominated for "Inception", "The Dark Knight" and "Memento".

Peele also landed a nomination for best first-time feature film director. The awards will be presented February 3 at the Beverly Hilton. Other contenders in the category are Geremy Jasper ("Patti Cake$"), William Oldroyd ("Lady Macbeth"), Taylor Sheridan ("Wind River") and Aaron Sorkin ("Molly's Game") The DGA has almost 17,000 directors and members of the directorial team working in film, television, commercials, new media and other audiovisual media, making it one of the largest precursor bodies on the Oscar circuit.

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Although Oscar and DGA nominations rarely match up exactly, guild choices can be a formidable predictor of the Oscar victor.

As for what this means for Oscar, the DGA nominations don't usually match up 100% with the Oscar nominations for Best Director.

That's right, this morning both unions announced their nominees for the best of 2017 and they managed to do what no other entity so far has seemed to be able to do completely. Nearly all Academy voters in this category are DGA members, but the Director's branch in the Academy numbers only about 200 or 300 people versus the thousands that vote for the DGA awards.