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Director Denys Arcand has no plans to stray from his winning formula and direct a film which will appeal to a more mainstream audience, he said in a phone interview from Montreal yesterday.

"For me it may not be the way to go. I'm not sure I would gain something," Arcand said.

Why mess with a good thing, he asks? When Arcand made English films in the 1980s, people told him, "That's great, you're going to reach a wider audience."

But his French-language, Oscar-winning Les Invasion barbares ( The Barbarian Invasions) has become the most popular of all Arcand's films.

"The kind of audience I had on this last film worldwide is more than I am asking for. It's perfect. It allows me to do whatever I like," he said.

The film garnered three nominations yesterday from the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC), which announced the nominees for its third annual awards. It was released on DVD in July.

Director Jerry Ciccoritti, who won a DGC award last year for his direction of the TV movie Trudeau, announced the nominations in 19 categories in Toronto.

The Guild nominated Les Invasions barbares for outstanding team achievement in a feature film, Arcand for outstanding achievement in direction, and François Séguin for outstanding achievement in production design.

Arcand, who was headed north of Montreal yesterday to a "delightful cottage near a lake with very clear water" said he has been spending his days doing "absolutely nothing but goofing around," playing golf, and fixing his dock.

But he is also mulling an idea for his next film. It's been on his mind for the past year and a half while he was "sitting in all those airplanes and limousines."

Although he is hesitant to reveal his idea because it is not structured, he divulges that it will be a French-language film. He also says he is in the preliminary stages of research and that he has scheduled a meeting with some people next weekend, "who are nuts about the Middle Ages."

The other films nominated for team achievement in a feature were Mambo Italiano, My Life Without Me and Seven Times Lucky.

Nominated alongside Arcand for feature direction are Guy Maddin for The Saddest Music in the World, Léa Pool for The Blue Butterfly and Scott Smith for Falling Angels.

The guild also nominated industry professionals in categories such as picture and sound editing in feature films, television series, television movies or miniseries.

Episodes of Cold Squad, Da Vinci's Inquest, The Dead Zone and The Eleventh Hour received nominations for best dramatic television series and episodes from Puppets Who Kill, The Newsroom, An American in Canada and Corner Gas received nominations for best comedy television series.

The Guild announced that Edmonton-born Love Story director Arthur Hiller will be recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and Keith Cutler will be presented with the Distinguished Service Award for his service to the membership of the Directors Guild of Canada as founding member and past national president.

The submissions were prescreened and reviewed by 128 Canadian jury members who selected four finalists for each category.

The Guild will send ballots to more than 3,700 DGC members who will vote on their favourites in each category. Winners will be named at an October awards ceremony at Toronto's Carlu theatre.

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