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Entertainment Awards Season Overview

Entertainment Awards Season Overview

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Published by: The State Newspaper on Feb 10, 2011
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It’s that time of year again — and no, we aren’t talking about the holidays.

It’s the season for movie awards shows, which got us thinking: How do these shows pick their contenders and the winners? Here’s a quick primer on the top four shows. If only the shows could be this brief.
— Chicago Tribune

G A RY F R I E D M A N / L O S A N G E L E S T I M E S / M C T

L I O N E L H A H N / A B AC A P R E S S / M C T

F R A N C I S S P E C K E R / L A N D OV / M C T

K E V I N S U L L I VA N / O R A N G E C O U N T Y R E G I S T E R / M C T

Mo’Nique, 2010 Golden Globe best supporting actress winner. Award:

Peter Jackson, 2004 DGA award winner.

Sandra Bullock, 2010 Screen Actors Guild best actress winner.

Jeff Bridges, 2010 Academy Awards best actor winner.

Golden Globe
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association 1943 Sunday, Jan. 16 (live on NBC, 8 p.m. ET) Although the 2011 Golden Globes will give awards in more than 25 categories, they’ll be given out by one of the industries’ smallest voting groups — the HFPA boasts only about 90 members, according to its Web site. And just who exactly is the HFPA? The association comprises foreign journalists who cover Hollywood. They must live in Southern California and write for non-U.S. publications to be eligible for membership; all its members nominate the films. All members can vote in every category.

The DGA Award
Directors Guild of America

Screen Actors Guild Award
Screen Actors Guild

The Academy Award
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 1929 Sunday, Feb. 27 (live on ABC, 8 p.m. ET) Each year the Academy polls its 6,000 members — an invitationonly group who have achieved distinction in the arts and sciences of motion pictures — and asks them to nominate colleagues in their respective fields; that is, cinematographers can vote only for other cinematographers, actors nominate only actors, and so on. Exceptions to this rule include the awards for best picture, which allows submissions from all members, and best foreign language film, which uses a separate committee. Although members are encouraged to judge only works they are familiar with, nothing prohibits them from voting blindly, and each member can vote in every category. Red carpets, the gowns, “the envelope please.” This is the granddaddy of award shows, both in prestige and staidness.

Given by: Since: Next one: Who nominates:

1949 Saturday, Jan. 29 (not televised) The 14,000-member Guild gives these prestigious awards to directors in 10 categories, including feature film, TV movies, dramatic TV series and musical/variety. The general membership nominates in all the categories except documentary and commercials, which are both chosen by a committee of DGA members.

1995 Sunday, Jan. 30 (live on TNT and TBS, 8 p.m. ET) The SAG nominations are chosen by 4,200 randomly selected members of the Guild, which first unionized film players in 1933. Actors gain SAG membership by performing a “principal role” in a union film. Betty White was honored with a SAG lifetime achievement award in 2010.

Who votes:

All DGA members can vote either by mail or online. Special awards are often given; past awards have included an “Honorary Life Member Award” to film critic Roger Ebert. Being the great predictor of who will win the Best Director Academy Award — only six times since 1949 has the DGA Award winner not gone on to win the Oscar. A dinner-plate-size medallion.

The Guild’s approximately 100,000 working-actor members are eligible to vote for the awards, which comprise 13 different acting categories.

Known for:

Its unusual nominations. For example, “Burlesque” is up for a best motion picture award.

Being one of the most casual shows with unscripted speeches. The SAG is as natural as Hollywood gets in front of the cameras.

The prize:

Gold-colored statuette topped with image of a globe, wrapped in a filmstrip (right).

A bronze statuette of an actor holding the classic comedy and drama masks.

The “Oscar” is a bronze and gold-plated statuette of a knight, holding a crusader’s sword and standing atop a film reel. In addition to the Oscars, the Academy holds several other award ceremonies — the Governors Awards, the Scientific & Technical Awards and the Student Academy Awards.

Of note:

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is a nonprofit organization that has donated more than $10.5 million in the past 15 years to entertainment-related charities, as well as funding scholarships and other programs for future film and television professionals. The Golden Globes were always given out by Hollywood foreign press journalists up until 1958, when “Rat Packers” Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. stormed the stage, with whiskeys and cigarettes in tow, and took over the show, to the delight of the audience.

The DGA also offers Student Film Awards for African-American, Asian-American, Latino, and Women Filmmakers designed to honor and encourage outstanding minority and women film students.

The SAG Awards is the only national network television show to acknowledge the work of union members, according to its website. Screen Actors Guild is affiliated with the AFL-CIO through the Associated Actors and Artistes of America (the Four A’s). The award show features dinner for 1,200. This year conceived by James Beard Award-winning chef Suzanne Goin. At the ready for diners: 234 magnums of Champagne Taittinger Brut La Francaise.


Only twice since 1970, when the current method of selecting winners began, has a director received two DGA Feature Film nominations in the same year. In 1974, Francis Ford Coppola was nominated for both “The Godfather Part II” and “The Conversation” (Coppola received that year’s DGA Feature Film Award for “The Godfather Part II”); Steven Soderbergh was nominated for both “Erin Brockovich” and “Traffic” for the year 2000. N/A

The Academy Awards ceremony has been postponed to a later date three times — 1938 for flooding; 1968 after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (right); and 1981 after the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

Most awarded film:

Five films have won five globes each — “Doctor Zhivago”(1966), “Love Story” (1971), “The Godfather” (1973), “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1976) and “A Star is Born” (1977). Meryl Streep has won seven.

“American Beauty” (1999) and “Chicago” (2002) both won three awards. “American Beauty” won for male lead, female lead and cast; “Chicago” for female lead, female supporting and cast.
O L I V I E R D O U L I E RY / A B AC A P R E S S / M C T

“Ben-Hur” (1959), “Titanic” (1997) and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003) all won 11 awards.

Most awarded actor:

(Or director) Steven Spielberg (right) has won 10 DGA awards.

Julianna Margulies has won seven SAG awards for her work on “ER” and “The Good Wife.”

Katharine Hepburn has won four Oscars. Meryl Streep has been nominated the most times (16), but has only won twice.

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