Los Angeles: Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has won the Directors Guild of Americas (DGA) top feature award for the fantasy drama "The Shape of Water", which is about love between a mute cleaning woman and a captured aquatic creature.
He won the award here on Saturday over Greta Gerwig ("Lady Bird"), Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"), Christopher Nolan ("Dunkirk") and Jordan Peele ("Get Out"), reports variety.com.
"Inclusion is necessary if for no other reason than we're not hearing all the stories that need to be heard," he said in his acceptance speech.
The DGA Award -- which honours outstanding achievement in directing for film and television -- is one of the top indicators of Oscar sentiment, with all but seven of the DGA winners since 1948 going on to take the Best Director Oscar.
The Handmaid's Tale, Veep and Big Little Lies won the major TV awards. Reed Morano won for top drama series for the Offred episode of The Handmaid's Tale.
Jean-Marc Vallee won the award for movies for television and mini-series award for Big Little Lies, while Veep took the best comedy series award for the Chiclet episode directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller.
At the gala, DGA President Thomas Schlamme emphasized the guild's commitment to opposing sexual harassment.
"This is not just a fight by women for women. They didn't create this problem. It's a fight for everyone for a better world for everyone. What's clear is our decades-long fight to ensure the inclusion of women and people of colour in the director's chair," he said.