Bigelow wins US directors' award
Kathryn Bigelow and her film The Hurt Locker have become the official awards season front-runners after she won the top prize from the Directors Guild of America.
The 58-year-old filmmaker is the first woman to win the guild's top honour, which positions her and the film as shoo-ins for the Academy Awards.
The DGA boasts that its winner has gone on to win the directing Oscar all but six times since 1948.
"This is the most incredible moment of my life," Kathryn said backstage. She downplayed her gender, saying: "I suppose I like to think of myself as a filmmaker."
Bigelow was up against Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds, Jason Reitman for Up in the Air, Lee Daniels for Precious and her ex-husband James Cameron for Avatar.
Tarantino praised Kathryn as "queen of directors". He said his fellow nominees have been spending so much time together, they have become "like a superstar rock band and we're going to go on tour together".
Clutching a shiny medallion as a souvenir of his DGA nomination, Tarantino said, "I don't give a (expletive) who wins, I am so happy to have this."
Daniels said the nominated directors, who have seen each other regularly throughout Hollywood's awards season, are "like a support group" for one another.
"We have each other's backs," he added.