LOS ANGELES - Dark comedy "Birdman" got another pre-Oscars boost Saturday as it took the top prize at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) awards.
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu was crowned best director at the climax of the DGA show, which comes barely two weeks before the all-important Academy Awards on February 22.
He beat out rivals Clint Eastwood ("American Sniper"), Richard Linklater ("Boyhood"), Morten Tyldum ("The Imitation Game") and Wes Anderson ("Grand Budapest Hotel") for the evening's biggest award.
"Birdman," about a washed-up film actor trying to revive his career on Broadway, is soaring ahead in Hollywood's annual awards season, having already won the top prize at the 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards two weeks ago.
"Birdman" and stylish crime caper "The Grand Budapest Hotel" have the most nominations for the Oscars, with nine nods each.
In other honors Saturday, "Citizenfour," about National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden, took best documentary director prize for filmmaker Laura Poitras.
On the small screen, best comedy series went to Jill Soloway for Amazon's "Transparent," which scored a first ever Golden Globe for the online retailer last month, a breakthrough in its bid to catch up with Netflix.
Best TV drama went to Lesli Linka Glatter, director of spy series "Homeland." Lisa Cholodenko won the TV movie/miniseries DGA award for HBO's "Olive Kitteridge.