The first set of nominees for the 68th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards have now been announced, with nods for the category of Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2015 featuring five directors from some of the biggest film favourites of the year.

Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Leonardo DiCaprio in The RevenantAlejandro G. Iñárritu and Leonardo DiCaprio on the set of 'The Revenant'

Predictably, Alejandro G. Iñárritu is up there for 'The Revenant'; a visceral biopic which won three awards at the Golden Globes this year (Best Drama, Director and Actor in a Drama with Leonardo DiCaprio). He was previously nominated for 2006's 'Babel', won the award for his 2014 movie 'Birdman', and also won Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials for Procter & Gamble's 'Best Job' campaign in 2012. Ridley Scott is another DGA staple who's once again looking at this award for 'The Martian' starring Matt Damon; another Golden Globes favourite with two awards under its belt. He has yet to win at the DGA's, but this is his fourth time nominated following 1990's 'Thelma and Louise', 1999's Gladiator and 2000's 'Black Hawk Down'.

More: Read our review of 'The Martian'

Matt Damon in The MartianMatt Damon in The Martian

'What makes this year different is the unbridled ambition of the five nominated films - in theme, in production, in visual imagination', said DGA President Paris Barclay in an official statement. 'What makes this year the same is that the films were all chosen by the directors' peers, and it's clear our members love when people use their vision and skill to push the media to new heights. Congratulations to all of the nominees for their incredible work.'

The other nominees for this category are Tom McCarthy for the Boston Globe biopic 'Spotlight', Adam McKay for financial drama 'The Big Short' and George Miller for apocalyptic film series addition 'Mad Max: Fury Road'.

Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury RoadTom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road

As well as Outstanding Directorial Achievement nominations, this year's DGAs will also introduce a new category called Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director, recognising new talent in the filmmaking industry that have screened their movies in New York or Los Angeles. Hopefuls for the inaugural award are Fernando Coimbra for Brazilian thriller 'A Wolf at the Door', award-winning actor-turned-director Joel Edgerton for 'The Gift' starring Jason Bateman, BAFTA nominated Alex Garland for sci-fi drama 'Ex Machina', Marielle Heller for coming-of-age romance 'The Diary of a Teenage Girl' and László Nemes for Auschwitz thriller 'Son of Saul' which won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.

Joel Edgerton in The GiftJoel Edgerton in The Gift

The awards ceremony will take place on February 6th 2016, hosted by Jane Lynch. Nominations for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Television, Commercials and Documentaries are pending.