Affleck's film Argo was considered a surprise win in the best drama category
Ben Affleck has won best director for his film Argo at the Golden Globe awards.
Argo, set amidst the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis, also won best drama.
Best actor in a drama went to Daniel Day-Lewis for his role in the biopic Lincoln, while Jessica Chastain won best actress in a drama for Zero Dark Thirty.
Earlier, British singer Adele won best song for the theme to the James Bond film Skyfall.
Dame Maggie Smith won best supporting actress in a series for her role in Downton Abbey.
Homeland took best TV drama, with Damian Lewis winning best TV actor for his role in the series.
Quentin Tarantino took best screenplay for his film Django Unchained, which was also nominated for best film.
The other nominees in the category were Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, Life of Pi, Ang Lee's adaption of the Yann Martel novel, and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow's film about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden.
"This is a damn surprise, and I'm happy to be surprised," said Tarantino, as he collected his best screenplay award.
Christoph Waltz took best supporting actor for his role in the film.
Amour, directed by Austria's Michael Haneke, won best foreign film.
The Golden Globes gives a separate accolade for best film musical or comedy, which was won by Tom Hooper's film of stage hit Les Miserables.
Silver Linings Playbook, Moonrise Kingdom, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel were also shortlisted for this prize.
In the drama actor category, Day-Lewis was shortlisted alongside fellow Oscar candidates Denzel Washington and Joaquin Phoenix.
Les Miserables lead Hugh Jackman won best actor in a musical or comedy prize. Silver Linings Playbook star Bradley Cooper was also nominated for the award, with both men also nominated in the best actor category at the Oscars.
The best actress in a musical or comedy category was won by Cooper's co-star in Silver Linings Playbook, Jennifer Lawrence.
Comedy actresses Amy Poehler and Tina Fey took over presenter duties from Britain's Ricky Gervais, who had hosted the ceremony for the last three years.
The pair were both nominated for the best TV comedy actress prize for their work in 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation respectively.
"Tina, I just want to say that I very much hope that I win," said Poehler, as the ceremony began.
However, they were both pipped by Lena Dunham, creator and star of sitcom Girls, which also won best comedy TV series.
Assisting Poehler and Fey on stage were Mr and Miss Golden Globes, the recipients of honorary titles that are traditionally awarded annually to the children of celebrities with their own ambitions in the industry.
Sam Michael Fox, son of Michael J Fox, and Clint Eastwood's daughter Francesca were the two scions selected this year by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HPFA), organisers of the awards.
Jodie Foster, a seven-time Globe nominee and two-time Oscar winner, received the Cecil B DeMille Award for lifetime achievement.
The ceremony was shown live in the US on the NBC network, with edited highlights to follow in the UK on the 5USA channel on Monday.