2006 is turning out to be the year of fresh meat. Instead of older, more familiar contenders like Clint Eastwood, Hollywood appears to be nominating some fresh new faces. The Director’s Guild of America announced their nominees today, with four first-time nominees on the list against the sole returning contender: Martin Scorsese. Don’t take their first time nominations to indicate a lack of directing experience though.

Scorsese, who is nominated this time for The Departed has been nominated seven times for the DGA award.

Alejandro González Iñárritu, who missed the nod three years ago for 21 Grams is nominated for Babel.

Although you’d never expect it from the same person who directed Candyman III: Farewell to the Flesh, Bill Condon received his nomination for Dreamgirls (to be fair, he did adapt Chicago for the screen though).

Stephen Frears missed any sort of DGA accolades for Mrs. Henderson Presents or High Fidelity but is being acknowledged for this year’s The Queen.

The final nominees are the real rookies to the DGA, with only a few music videos and television shows to their name, the Little Miss Sunshine directing team of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.

The five films nominated by the DGA match the films nominated last week by the Producer’s Guild of America, making them higher profile suggestions as Oscar contenders.

The DGA winner will be announced February 3rd, just a few days after the Oscar nominees have been named.

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