LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Fresh from his Golden Globes triumph, Boyhood filmmaker Richard Linklater was among nominees for the Directors Guild of America (DGA) awards announced Tuesday, along with Clint Eastwood for American Sniper.
Wes Anderson, whose Grand Budapest Hotel won best musical/comedy film Globe at the weekend, was also on the five-strong list as well as Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Birdman), Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game).
The DGAs are seen as a reliable indicator of prospects for the Academy Awards, the climax of Hollywood's annual awards season which is in full swing.
In the last decade, all but one of the winners of the DGA's top prize went on to win the best director Oscar.
"In a year full of excellent films, DGA members have nominated a stellar group of passionate filmmakers," said DGA boss Paris Barclay.
"Inspiring and artistic, these five directors made films that left an indelible impact not only on their fellow directors and members of the director's team, but on audiences around the world," he added.
Snubbed directors included Ava DuVernay for Martin Luther King drama Selma, David Fincher for Gone Girl and Christopher Nolan for Interstellar.
The winners, voted on by 15,000 DGA members, will be announced on Feb 7.
The DGA nominations come after Sunday's Golden Globes, where Linklater's coming-of-age movie Boyhood took three prizes including best director and best drama.
On Thursday, nominations will be announced for the all-important Academy Awards, which will be held on Feb 22 this year.