leonardorevenant-xlargeAlejandro Iñárritu received a pre-Oscars boost when his film The Revenant won best film at the 2016 Directors Guild award.

Spotlight, an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into sex abuses in the Catholic Church, won the Screen Actors Guild award for best ensemble, while the financial drama-comedy The Big Short picked up the Producers Guild Award.

Mexican-born Iñárritu called the Directors Guild prize “a hug from my peers”, adding: “This hug, this embrace you are giving me today goes to a small country, to a whole Latin American community in this country. Your embrace makes me feel proud.”

While more women were nominated this year than ever before – 14 of the 47 nominees – only one took home an award. Dee Rees accepted the DGA prize in the television movie or miniseries category for HBO’s Bessie.

“There’s a million reasons why I shouldn’t be in this room, and there are a million more reasons why I shouldn’t be on this stage,” Rees said in her acceptance speech on Saturday. “It all comes down to 10 or 15 people (who are) the reason why I am in this room and the reason why I am on this stage.

DGA 2016 winners

Feature Film: Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant

Drama Series: David Nutter, Game of Thrones

Comedy Series: Chris Addison, Veep

Movies for Television and Mini Series: Dee Rees, Bessie

Documentary: Matthew Heineman, Cartel Land

Variety/Talk/News/Sports Specials: Don Roy King, “Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special”

Variety/Talk/News/Sports Regularly Scheduled: Dave Diomedi, “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon”

Reality Programmes: Adam Vetri, Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge

Children’s Programmes: Kenny Ortega, Descendants

Commercials: Andreas Nilsson, Biscuit Filmworks (Emily’s Oz, Comcast; Time Upon A Once, General Electric; Dad Song, Old Spice)

Lifetime Achievement (TV): Joe Pytka

Frank Capra Achievement Award: Mary Rae Thewlis

Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award: Tom McDermott

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