Los Angeles - French director Michel Hazanavicius won another nod for his silent movie The Artist on Monday, joining Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese among nominees for Directors Guild of America (DGA) best film.
The Social Network director David Fincher earned his third DGA nomination - seen as a key indicator for Oscars glory - for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, while Alexander Payne got his nod for The Descendants.
Veteran US filmmakers Allen and Scorsese - both DGA Lifetime Achievement Award winners - won nominations for Midnight in Paris and Hugo respectively. It is Allen's fifth DGA nod, and Scorsese's ninth.
The DGA nomination is the first for Hazanavicius, whose black-and-white tribute to the silent movie era is leading the pack for Golden Globes next weekend with six nominations.
Since 1948 only six winners of the DGA feature film award have failed to go on to win best director at the Oscars, the climax of Hollywood's annual awards season.
The directors' awards will be presented on January 28 - four days after the Academy Award nominations are announced, ahead of the Oscars show on February 26.
Allen won the DGA best film Award in 1977 for Annie Hall. Fincher was nominated for the DGA prize last year for Facebook movie The Social Network, which ended up being beaten by The King's Speech at the Oscars.
Scorsese won the DGA award in 2006 for The Departed, but has also been nominated for Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, The Age of Innocence, Gangs of New York and The Aviator.
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