LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Kathryn Bigelow has won the Directors Guild of America's top prize for "The Hurt Locker."
The win makes the film and its 58-year-old director the front-runners for the Academy Award.
She is the first female to win the DGA's top honor.
Bigelow bested her competitors, which included James Cameron and "Avatar," Jason Reitman and "Up in the Air," Lee Daniels and "Precious" and Quentin Tarantino and "Inglourious Basterds."
Bigelow called the honor, presented Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel, "the most incredible moment of my life."
The DGA winner has gone on to win the Academy Award all but six times in the guild's 60 year history.
The directors union also honored achievements in television, documentary and commercial categories.