Another year in film has come and gone, and now the awards season has begun, leading up to the granddaddy of all awards shows, the Academy Awards. Let the speculation and analysis of what makes a film great begin to parse the best from the worst, leaving an elite pool of contenders who will not only be winners of a popularity contest but will be industry-chosen representatives of cinematic achievements that have been creative, provocative, and above all else, entertaining.
I plan to be on the front lines of awards news, writing and seeding news on nominations, winners and everything in between. For those readers not familiar with how the season works, let me give you a quick rundown including the six awards that make up the season, brief descriptions of each, and dates of nominations and ceremonies.
While I am purely focused on cinema here, these awards honor the best in television, radio and new media as well. Various bands of brothers, and sisters, compose the organizations that bestow these superlative awards on recipients including the producers, screen actors, directors and writers guilds. The season kicks off with nominations from another such band, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), who put on the Golden Globes and concludes with the highest accolade in film, the Oscars.
The Golden Globe Awards: The Golden Globes are a unique ceremony in that they bring together actors from film and television to be recognized for their achievements at the same venue. Categorically, film is divided into drama and comedy segments, leaving dual winners for best film and leading and supporting actor and actress. Historically, winning the Golden Globe is a good indication of possible Academy Award success.
Nominations: already announced on December 13 (click here for a recap)
Ceremony: January 13
The Producers Guild Awards: Made up of the executives who bring together the talent that is the impetus for project creation, the Producers Guild award is considered another leading barometer for the best picture winner at the Academy Awards.
The Screen Actors Guild Awards: Following in the footsteps of the Globes, the Screen Actors Guild awards are a compilation of the best in film and television. The difference is the winners are chosen by their acting peers.
Nominations: already announced on December 12 (click here for the press release from SAG)
Ceremony: January 27
The Directors Guild Awards: Created to protect directors' financial and creative rights, the Directors Guild chooses five films, out of which one director is awarded with the prized distinction and, again, almost always goes on to win the Oscar.
Nominations: To be announced January 8
Ceremony: February 2
The Writers Guild Awards: The Writers Guild is made up of film and television writers from east and west divisions, with the Mississippi River serving as the line of demarcation. As a labor union, the guild protects rights and is vocal in legislation and policy that pertains to the craft of writing.
Nominations: Television nominees have already been announced; film nominees are to be announced January 4
Ceremony: February 17
The Academy Awards: The Academy Awards are an important event in popular culture in terms of the significance of the award and the grandeur of the ceremony. It is the first award ceremony for the entertainment industry and serves as a model for all award programs.
Nominations: To be announced January 10
Ceremony: February 24
Follow these links to additional parts in this series for updates on the ongoing news and events surrounding the film awards season: