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Alfonso Cuarón wins top DGA honor; Sundance film fest announces jury prizes

The director solidified his Oscar front-runner status with "Roma." Meanwhile, "Clemency" and "One Child Nation" took top drama and documentary honors, respectively, at the Sundance Film Festival.

DGA Feature Film Award winner Alfonso Cuarón shows

DGA Feature Film Award winner Alfonso Cuarón shows his prize for "Roma" during the 71st annual Directors Guild Of America Awards on Saturday in Hollywood, Calif. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Frazer Harrison

“Roma” director Alfonso Cuarón has won the top honor from the Directors Guild of America and solidified his spot as the Oscar front-runner.  

Cuarón won out over Spike Lee for “BlacKkKlansman,” Bradley Cooper for “A Star Is Born,” Peter Farrelly for “Green Book” and Adam McKay for “Vice” at the 71st DGA Awards Saturday night in Los Angeles.  

Since 1948, there has been only seven times that the DGA winner did not take the Academy Award for directing.

It’s the second DGA Award for Cuarón, who won for “Gravity” in 2013, and the second foreign-language winner, after Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”  

McKay did win a prize for his HBO show “Succession,” and “Eighth Grade” director Bo Burnham received the first-time feature award.

Meanwhile, in Park City, Utah, a fiction film about a prison warden on death-row duty and a documentary about the generations affected by China’s one-child policy won the top jury awards at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.  

“Clemency,” directed by Chinonye Chukwu and starring Alfre Woodard, won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for Drama Saturday night, while Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang’s “One Child Nation” took the documentary award. Joanna Hogg’s “The Souvenir” won the world cinema jury prize.  

Audience prizes went to the inspirational comedy “Brittany Runs a Marathon” and the congressional race documentary “Knock Down the House,” which tracks the rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez among others. Netflix bought “Knock Down the House” out of the festival.  

The 2019 Sundance Film Festival finishes Sunday. 

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