In the latest twist in a fascinating duel for the best director Oscar, Kathryn Bigelow (pictured) was reinstated as favourite after she won the Directors Guild Of America’s (DGA) top prize on Saturday night [30].

Bigelow, the first woman to win the DGA honour and a multi-award winner from critics groups and other awards bodies all season for The Hurt Locker, beat out her former husband James Cameron (Avatar) at the 62nd Annual DGA Awards Dinner in Los Angeles.

Cameron won the Golden Globe, however Bigelow now has history on her side as all eyes turn to the Academy Awards nominations on Tuesday.

DGA winners have gone on to claim the best director Oscar on all but six occasions since the DGA award was launched in 1948. Rob Marshall was the most recent example of a director who failed to do the double: he won the DGA award in 2002 for Chicago but lost out at the Academy Awards to Roman Polanski for The Pianist.

In the only other feature award, Louie Psihoyos won documentary honours for The Cove.

As previously announced, Norman Jewison received the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Achievement in Motion Picture Direction. Walt Disney Company president and CEO Bob Iger and Warner Bros Entertainment chairman and CEO Barry Meyer received DGA Honorary Life Member Awards.