Ben Affleck received the prize for best director for "Argo" early Sunday at the annual Directors Guild of America, or DGA, awards after having won in the same category at the Golden Globes in January.

At the gala held in Los Angeles, Affleck beat out Steven Spielberg ("Lincoln"), Ang Lee ("Life of Pi"), Kathryn Bigelow ("Zero Dark Thirty") and Tom Hooper ("Les Miserables").

The DGA awards are considered to be a good barometer for who will take home the Oscar for best director.

Since the Directors Guild began passing out these trophies in 1948, on only six occasions has their pick for best director failed to coincide with the Oscar winner in that category.

But, in any case, this year Affleck cannot win the Oscar for best director because he has not been nominated in that category.

On Feb. 24, Michael Haneke ("Amour"), Benh Zeitlin ("Beasts of the Southern Wild"), Lee ("Life of Pi"), Spielberg ("Lincoln") and David O. Russell ("Silver Linings Playbook") will go up against one another for the Oscar for best director.

"Argo" will compete in seven other categories at the Oscars, however, including best picture. EFE