'Hurt Locker' wins big at PGA Awards
Takes top film prize; '30 Rock,' 'Mad Men' honored in TVSummit's battle-hardened "The Hurt Locker" scored another victory Sunday night as it took home the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures at the 21st annual PGA Awards.
The presentation capped the Producers Guild of America's ceremony at the Hollywood Palladium.
The prize was shared by producers Kathryn Bigelow (who also directed), Mark Boal (the film's screenwriter), Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro. Bigelow thanked the PGA, saying "no other group of filmmakers could so understand the logistical challenges of making a film -- particularly a tough little war film -- in the middle of the summer in the Middle East."
If the producers of the 82nd annual Academy Awards were hoping that the best picture Oscar race would develop some suspense, they have received the scenario they wanted.
"Locker" has picked up numerous critics awards, and two weekends ago it won the Broadcast Film Critics Assn.'s Critics Choice Award for best picture. But at the Golden Globes two nights later, "Avatar" walked off with the best drama prize, and at Saturday's SAG Awards, "Inglourious Basterds" picked up the film ensemble award, that guild's equivalent of the best picture prize.
With its PGA triumph, "Locker" now reseizes the momentum, although a best picture Oscar is by no means a done deal: During the 20-year history of the PGA Awards, 12 of its movie winners have gone on to win the best-film Oscar.
In the other film categories, "Up," produced by Jonas Rivera, floated to the top in the animated category. Rivera accepted on behalf of his grandfather, who recently returned home after an illness, saying, "We started out to make a love letter to our grandparents."
In theatrical documentaries, "The Cove," which investigates the exploitation of dolphins, was rewarded, with the trophy going to Fisher Stevens and Paula DuPre Pesman.
CBS' "60 Minutes" picked up its fourth PGA Award for nonfiction television. And Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" was another repeat winner, picking up its third PGA trophy in a row in the live entertainment and competition TV category.
HBO's "Grey Gardens" was the recipient of the David L. Wolper Producer of the Year Award in longform television.
The PGA also feted Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman and CEO Michael Lynton and co-chairman Amy Pascal with its 2010 Milestone Award, which was introduced by Will Smith. "It's really nice to get it as a team," Pascal said. "We're really lucky to have each other."
Norman Lear himself paid tribute to reality impresario Mark Burnett, who was honored with the Norman Lear Achievement in Television Award. Acknowledging that some writers and directors look warily at reality TV, Lear said there are really only two categories of producers -- producers who earn the title and producers who don't.
In his acceptance speech, Burnett said that reality TV is "just as good as anything scripted. Our job is just to entertain and tell stories."
John Lasseter, chief creative officer at Pixar and Disney, was presented with the David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures and was greeted with a standing ovation. His "Toy Story" stars Tom Hanks and Tim Allen were on hand to laud Lasseter, and Randy Newman and Sarah McLachlan made surprise appearances to perform a couple of songs from the Pixar movies.
"This year is a great year in animation history," Lasseter said as he became the first producer of animated pics to take home the Selnick.
Neil Patrick Harris presented the Vanguard Award for technology and new media to writer-director-producer Joss Whedon, calling him "perhaps the only pioneer in the field of sing-along blogs," a reference to "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along blog," on which they collaborated.
"Joss Whedon doesn't just build stories, he builds entire universes," Harris said, admitting that he had just begun to work on Internet projects. Whedon likened the award to Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize -- "it's (for) what you're going to do."
Instead of accepting an award, Mo'nique appeared Sunday to hand one out, bestowing the Stanley Kramer Award on Lionsgate's "Precious." "This is a film that is truly going to save lives," she said. Director-producer Lee Daniels acknowledged fellow producers Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness for making the film possible, and said that "this gives encouragement to African-American filmmakers who think they can't be part of this world."
Serving his last term as president of the PGA, Marshall Herskovitz said that the guild has "re-established the idea that what producers do has meaning" and insisted that "the producing community has never been stronger."
A complete list of winners can be found on the next page.
2010 PGA AWARD WINNERS
The Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures
"The Hurt Locker"
The Producers Guild of America Producer of the Year Award in Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures
The Producers Guild of America Producer of the Year Award in Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures
Paula DuPre Pesmen
The Danny Thomas Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Television -- Comedy
The Norman Felton Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Television -- Drama
Andre & Maria Jacquemetton
The Producers Guild of America Producer of the Year Award in Non-Fiction Television
The Producers Guild of America Producer of the Year Award in Live Entertainment and Competition Television
"The Colbert Report"
Stephen T. Colbert, DFA
The David L. Wolper Producer of the Year Award in Long-Form Television
Lucy Barzun Donnelly
Michael Lynton, chairman and CEO, Sony Pictures Entertaiment
Amy Pascal, co-chairman, SPE
Norman Lear Achievement in Television
David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures
John Lasseter, chief creative officer, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios
The Stanley Kramer Award
"Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire"