Director Christopher Nolan scoops the top prize at the Directors Guild Awards for his film "Oppenheimer," strengthening his frontrunner position for the upcoming Oscars.

Other notable winners at the untelevised ceremony include Celine Song for her debut directorial work in "Past Lives" and Mstyslav Chernov for the documentary "20 Days in Mariupol."

The Directors Guild of America also acknowledges achievements in television, with Peter Hoar winning for the drama series "The Last of Us" episode "Long, Long Time," and Christopher Storer for the comedy episode "Fishes" from "The Bear."

This victory marks Christopher Nolan's first Directors Guild of America award, despite four previous nominations for films like "Memento," "The Dark Knight," "Inception," and "Dunkirk."

Nolan faced formidable contenders, including Martin Scorsese, Yorgos Lanthimos, Alexander Payne, and Greta Gerwig. Gerwig's potential upset win was speculated by some pundits after her Oscars snub in the same category.

The DGA's voting body comprises over 19,000 members, nearly double the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Despite differences in voter makeup, historically, the DGA winner aligns with the Oscar for Best Director.

Only eight times in 75 years has the DGA winner failed to secure the directing Oscar.

Nolan's competition at the Oscars includes Scorsese, Lanthimos, Jonathan Glazer for "The Zone of Interest," and Justine Triet for "Anatomy of a Fall," with the awards ceremony set for March 10.

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