Bigelow wins Directors top award for "Hurt Locker"

Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:12am EST
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By Mary Milliken

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win the best director award from the Directors Guild of America on Saturday with her Iraq war thriller "The Hurt Locker," a low-budget film gathering awards steam ahead of the Oscars.

The winner of the Guild's top award has gone on to take the best director Oscar all but six times in the last 61 years.

Oscar nominations will be announced next Tuesday and "The Hurt Locker" is expected to garner several nods, including best film and best director.

Bigelow beat out four other directors, including her former husband James Cameron, who had won the Golden Globe for best director this month for his mega-budget blockbuster "Avatar."

"I am so deeply stunned and honored and proud," Bigelow told the celebrity-heavy crowd of Hollywood directors and actors.

"I think we all felt a really deep responsibility to tell this story with as much honesty as possible, given the courage of the men and women in the field," she added.

"The Hurt Locker" tells the story of a three-man U.S. military bomb squad that defuses explosives amid the fighting and insurgents. Many critics consider the film to be the most accurate portrayal of the Iraq war since it began in 2003.

Bigelow, also a producer of the film, used little known actors and recreated the difficult conditions of Iraq by shooting mostly in the Middle East during the summer.   Continued...

<p>Director Kathryn Bigelow holds her plaque for her film "The Hurt Locker" being a nominee in the 2009 DGA Feature Film Award category at the 62nd Annual Directors Guild of America Awards in Los Angeles January 30, 2010. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok</p>