Ron Howard was named best feature director by the Directors Guild of America for the film "Apollo 13" at simultaneous award dinners held Saturday night in Los Angeles and New York.
In recent years the DGA awards have been accurate predictors of the best directing Academy Award. But Howard was not nominated for an Oscar for "Apollo 13," which retells the harrowing story of the astronauts who were trapped in a dying spacecraft.
"I didn't expect this at all. It's a weird business," Howard said after he received a standing ovation. "I'm overwhelmed."
It was the second time Howard was nominated for the DGA, and the first time he won it. In 1985, he was nominated for the film "Cocoon."
Howard was the first recipient of the award in a decade who won't be getting an Oscar.
Howard and two other nominees--Mike Figgis, director of "Leaving Las Vegas," and Ang Lee ("Sense and Sensibility")--attended the awards dinner in New York. Mel Gibson, nominated for "Braveheart," and Michael Radford ("Il Postino") were in Los Angeles.
Also Saturday, Woody Allen was given the D.W. Griffith Award for distinguished achievement in film direction. Allen was performing in Vienna and actress Mira Sorvino accepted for him.
A lifetime achievement in news award was presented to Arthur Bloom, director of "60 Minutes" and other CBS News programs.