Ben Affleck up against Spielberg for Directors Guild of America honour

The actor-turned-moviemaker is the only first-time nominee in the feature film category – Spielberg scores his 11th nod for historical epic Lincoln, the most mentions ever garnered by one person in the history of the Directors Guild of America Awards.

Bigelow will be hoping to repeat the 2009 success of The Hurt Locker with her new film, Zero Dark Thirty, which also goes up against Lee’s Life of Pi and Hooper’s movie musical Les Miserables.

The shortlist for the prestigious DGA prize is typically a good indicator for the Academy Awards nominations – since 2000, four of the five movies recognised by the DGA have gone on to receive Oscar nods on eight occasions.

The winner of the Best Director Oscar has always landed a DGA nomination.

The 65th annual DGA Awards will be presented in Hollywood on 2 February (13). The TV nominations for the ceremony will be unveiled on Wednesday (09Jan13).