Art and Experience: All three key Oscar contenders have been named in the five-strong shortlist for this year’s Directors Guild of America awards. The DGAs have diverged from the Academy Awards’ top prize only seven times since 1948, meaning the victor this year will be cemented as the Oscars frontrunner.

Damien Chazelle is up for La La Land, alongside Barry Jenkins for Moonlight, Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester By the Sea, Denis Villeneuve for Arrival and Garth Davis for Lion – with the first two being the most heavily tipped to win.

Davis is also named in the debut directors list, alongside Tim Miller for Deadpool, Kelly Fremon Craig for The Edge of Seventeen, Dan Trachtenberg for 10 Cloverfield Lane and Nate Parker for The Birth of a Nation.

Parker’s inclusion has raised some eyebrows: the writer/director/star of The Birth of a Nation had been predicted to progress to major awards glory, until the resurfacing of rape allegations last summer was thought to have all but kiboshed his chances.

Notable snubs were Martin Scorsese and Clint Eastwood (who were both also overlooked by the Globes and Baftas), as well as Denzel Washington for Fences and Mel Gibson for Hacksaw Ridge.

Last year’s DGA award went to Alejandro González Iñárritu for The Revenant; Iñárritu went on to win the best director Oscar, but The Revenant was pipped at the post for best picture by Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight. The 2016 best debut director award went to Alex Garland for Ex Machina.

The winners will be announced on 4 February.

Full list of nominations

Best director
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Garth Davis, Lion
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester By the Sea
Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

Best debut director
Garth Davis, Lion
Kelly Fremon Craig, The Edge of Seventeen
Tim Miller, Deadpool
Nate Parker, The Birth of a Nation
Dan Trachtenberg, 10 Cloverfield Lane

Best director, documentary
Otto Bell, The Eagle Huntress
Ezra Edelman, OJ: Made in America
Josh Kriegman & Elyse Steinberg, Weiner
Raoul Peck, I Am Not Your Negro
Roger Ross Williams, Life, Animated

Best director, TV series (drama)
The Duffer Brothers, Stranger Things
Ryan Murphy, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Jonathan Nolan, Westworld
Miguel Sapochnik, Game of Thrones
John Singleton, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Best director, TV series (comedy)
Alec Berg, Silicon Valley
Donald Glover, Atlanta
Mike Judge, Silicon Valley
Becky Martin, Veep
Dale Stern, Veep

Best director, TV movie or mini-series
Raymond De Felitta, Madoff
Thomas Kail and Alex Rudzinski, Grease Live!
Kenny Leon & Alex Rudzinski, Hairspray Live!
Jay Roach, All the Way
Steven Zaillian, The Night Of

Best director, variety/talk/news/sports TV series
Paul G. Casey, Real Time With Bill Maher
Nora Gerard, CBS Sunday Morning
Jim Hoskinson, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live

Best director, variety/talk/news/sports TV special
Paul Pennolino, Full Frontal With Samantha Bee
Jerry Foley, Tony Bennett Celebrates 90 – The Best is Yet to Come
Tim Mancinelli, The Late Late Show With James Corden
Linda Mendoza, Smithsonian Salutes Ray Charles: In Performance at the White House
Paul Myers, Full Frontal With Samantha Bee
Glenn Weiss, The 70th Annual Tony Awards

Best director, reality TV show
Ken Fuchs, Shark Tank
John Gonzalez, Live PD
Brian Smith, Strong
J. Rupert Thompson, American Grit
Bertram van Munster, The Amazing Race

Best director, children’s TV show
Liz Allen, The Kicks
Althea Jones, Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street
Michael Lembeck, A Nutcracker Christmas
Tina Mabry, An American Girl Story – Melody 1963: Love Has to Win
John Schultz, Adventures in Babysitting

Best director, TV commercials
Lance Acord
Dante Ariola
Fredrik Bond
Derek Cianfrance
AG Rojas