La La Land director wins top award

Damien Chazelle wins the prestigious Directors Guild of America award for his romantic musical La La Land, with President Donald Trump's travel ban dominating discussion at the dinner ceremony. VIDEO: REUTERS

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA (REUTERS) - The critics seem to love it... And now another sign that musical film La La Land might be on course to win big at the Oscars.

Damien Chazelle picked up the prestigious Directors Guild of America award over the weekend for the movie, which stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

Chazelle said: "I just want to once again thank my fellow nominees and thank all the filmmakers in the room for being the reason I'm here today, for inspiring me since I can remember. Thank you so much."

La La Land is only Chazelle's third feature film and scored a record-tying 14 Oscar nominations last month.

Another big winner on the night was Australian director Garth Davis.

He picked up a first-time feature DGA honour for the Nicole Kidman drama Lion.

Ezra Edelman also won best documentary maker for O.J.:Made in America.

With all the political division in the US right now awards season has already seen some fiery speeches.

And the DGA's were no different.

With the President of the Guild criticising Donald Trump's immigration policy.

DGA President Paris Barclay said: "I think I'm going to go there. Yeah I think I have to go there. So I have to step away from my official podium and just talk about what's really on my mind. Now I would not personally be standing in this room on this stage, I wouldn't be here at all if not for immigrants. OK?"

Political anger and success for La La Land may be a sign of what's to come for the Oscars.

Those awards will be handed out on Feb 26.