As January 2017 tips towards the middle, the entertainment industry casts its choices for its above the line nominees, and The Directors Guild of America has announced its nominations for Outstanding Features. The Guild named “La La Land” helmed Damien Chazelle as one of the selected few as frontrunners in the 69th presentation of the DGA Awards.

The 2017 DGA Nominees List

As nominations abound overseas, the nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement arrives following Chazelle’s director sweep with “La La Land” and its Best Musical win at this year’s Golden Globes.

The Globes Awards typically acknowledge feature films that are marginal to public awareness but deserving of recognition. The 2017 DGA nominees list lauds Chazelle along with Garth Davis, director of “Lion,” Kenneth Lonergan, director of “Manchester by the Sea”, and also Barry Jenkins, helmer of “Moonlight”.

Chazelle’s Golden Globes’ sweep with “La La Land” totalled a 7-category win, from Best Actor and Best Actress (Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, “Crazy Stupid Love”, “Gangster Squad”) to Best Screenplay and Score.

The directors that are named hold another distinction as first-nominees by the Guild. Davis was singled by the DGA in its Commercial TV canon and raised the eyebrows of industry peers.

“La La Land” recounts the story of a jazz musician Sebastian (Gosling) who becomes disenchanted with the challenges of pursuing the American dream in a modern-day Los Angeles. He meets an actress Mia (Stone) amidst the grit and glamour of the city in a feel-good movie that comes at a time of sweeping uncertainty in the U.S.

as the country faces a new horizon in nation leadership.

The feature’s partner Lionsgate released a string of teaser reels in strategic marketing on the feature’s road to the Oscars. It debuted its latest reel as a featurette on Monday following a release a week ago and showcasing one of the features’ songs from its soundtrack by John Legend.

A particular valour for “Whiplash” director Chazelle, who was tasked with shopping his acclaimed film around without packing it as a property the Hollywood industry currently leans toward. The director duly expressed that having a movie that mainly had only a good story from a director’s viewpoint was understandably “scary”. As writer and director, Chazelle wanted to make a movie that thrummed with colour and intensity while still telling an “emotional story”, but “modern”.

Chazelle has continued to gain notoriety after the Globes as the race to Best Feature nears at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, CA. The red carpet location is strategically perched across from the locale where its Oscars host has his home at “Jimmy Kimmel Live”.

Kimmel will host this year’s 89th Academy Awards, airing on ABC and telecasting live, February 26th, Sunday.