BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle waltzed off with the top honor at the Directors Guild of America Awards on Saturday.

But it wasn’t all song and dance at the annual ceremony. The evening also took on a somber, urgent note as many directors and presenters also grappled with President Trump’s refugee and immigration ban.

“I wanted to celebrate the act of dreaming and what art means. Art does connect people and transcend borders,” Chazelle said. “I want to be part of that transnational dialogue of movies.”

At 32-years-old, Chazelle is the youngest recipient of the DGA feature film award.

Rarely has the DGA winner not gone on to win the directing prize at the Academy Awards. “La La Land” recently won the top honor at the Producers Guild Awards and is nominated for a record-tying 14 Oscars.

“La La Land” stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling presented Chazelle with the directing medallion. While singing his accolades, like the fact that he shot the musical in 40 days using 35mm film, 93 locations and 1,600 extras, Gosling also joked that Chazelle “directed his own birth in a single take.”

– From news service reports

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