From Blue Dragons to Lolas, A Global Guide to Foreign Countries' Oscars

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France's Cesar Award and an Oscar statuette

You may know France's Cesars, but do you know which countries hand out the Golden Rooster, Ariel and Bodil awards, which country has three best picture honors and whose statuette looks like a scarab beetle?

All eyes will be on the Oscars this weekend as Hollywood honors its best at the 88th Academy Awards.

Entertainment industry insiders and film fans abroad will also follow who walks away with the golden statuettes, including the one for best foreign-language film. To honor their homegrown talent though, many foreign countries have their own national industry awards.

In many countries, there is a clear equivalent to the Oscars. France, for example, has the Cesar Awards, Spain the Goyas, and Mexico the Ariel Awards. But in other countries, such as in India and China, more than one prominent award exists.

Here is THR's look at the homegrown versions of the Oscars in various countries — from Europe to Latin America and Asia.

Canada
Canadian Screen Awards
The Canadian Screen Awards have only been handed out since 2013. Before that, the Genie Awards (for film) and Gemini Awards (for TV) were handed out as the country's top awards. Then, the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television merged the Genies and Geminis to create the Canadian Screen Awards, now handed out annually.

Nominees are traditionally announced in January and winners honored in early March.

The Canadian Screen Awards have over 100 film, TV and digital categories. The kudos are reserved for Canadian content productions. Hollywood films are not entered into the competition. But Hollywood stars are honored in the categories with homegrown movies, in which they star.

For example, this year, Brie Larsen is nominated in the best actress category for her role in Room, a Canada-Ireland co-production. And Joan Allen is nominated in the best supporting actress competition, again for Room.

The Canadian Screen Awards will air on the CBC network on March 13.

U.K.
BAFTA Awards
The British Academy’s annual film awards ceremony is held two weeks prior to the Oscars, with nominees announced in early January.

It’s positioning and close alliance with the American Academy means it is now considered the biggest film event outside of the U.S., and, at times, a good indicator of how the voting will go in L.A. The prize itself is a golden theatrical mask designed by American sculptor Mitzi Cunliffe and was commissioned in 1955.

This year’s event was held Feb. 14, and saw The Revenant emerge with the most awards, among them for best film, best actor for Leonardo DiCaprio and best director for Alejandro G. Inarritu. Elsewhere, Brie Larson won best actress for Room, while Brooklyn picked up the best British film honor and Amy was honored as best documentary.

France
Cesar Awards
Founded in just 1976 to rival the American Oscars after other film prizes had floundered, this year the Cesar awards will celebrate their 41st birthday. The ceremony started a year after the French Cinema Academy was founded, spearheaded by producer and public relations pioneer Georges Cravenne, who was known for his work with Jean-Luc Goddard and for reviving the famed Lido theater in Paris after WWII.

The prize is named after famed French sculptor Cesar, who created the design of the monolith sometimes referred to as “the log.” Though it shines as gold as the Oscar, it is made of polished bronze, and weighs in at a whopping 8.4 pounds. Winners' names are carved in backstage.

This year, Gerard Depardieu and Isabelle Huppert are nominated for their roles as a husband and wife in Valley of Love. The two stars are also the most-nominated actor and actress in the award’s history, with 18 and 15, noms respectively. Depardieu has taken home the prize twice, and Huppert only once. Roman Polanski is the most honored director, with four wins.

Each year, the French Academy bestows honorary Cesars. In recent years that has been a single prize given to foreign actors, including Dustin Hoffman, Harrison Ford, Sean Penn and Kate Winslet. This year, it will be awarded to Michael Douglas. Kristen Stewart made history last year as the first American to win a Cesar, taking home the best supporting trophy for her performance in Sils Maria.

The Academy also hosts a luncheon at the famed Fouqet’s restaurant on the Champs Elysees for all nominees in early February, and awards the producers awards Prix Daniel Toscan du Plantier at a dinner ceremony at the Hotel Georges V the Monday before the official ceremony. The academy also bestows technical awards in early January.

This year's ceremony will be held on Friday, Feb. 26, two days before the Oscars.

Germany
Lolas
The German Film Awards, or Lolas, were founded in 1951 by the German government to honor cinematic excellence as well as supporting the local film industry. The award was christened the Lola in 1999. The name is a reference to Marlene Dietrich's role in Blue Angel (1930), Rainer Werner Fassbinder's film Lola (1981) and Tom Tykwer's Run Lola Run (1998).

The awards are among the most lucrative worldwide, with a cash prizes amounting to around $3.3 million (€3 million). Cash bursaries are awarded both to nominees and winners, so it truly is an honor just to be nominated.

From 1951-2004, the Lolas were picked by a commission, made up of representatives of political parties and religious organizations. But in 2005 the country set up the German Film Academy, based on the AMPAS model, which now picks the winners.

The academy awards Lolas in 15 categories, including unusual ones like best children's film, and hands out three best film awards — in gold, silver and bronze — for the three best German movies of the year. There is also a viewer's choice award and an honorary Lola for outstanding contribution to German cinema.

Victoria, a German thriller shot in a single, unedited take, won big at the 2015 Lolas, earning six trophies, including for best film, best director for Sebastian Schipper and best acting honors for stars Laia Costa and Frederick Lau.

The 2016 Lolas will be held on May 27 in Berlin.  

Spain
Goya Awards
Spain's Goya Awards, which are handed out annually by the Spanish Film Academy, celebrated their 30th edition on Feb. 6. Nominees were announced in mid-December. The award itself is a bronze statue of the painter Francisco Goya.

Hollywood stars Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Antonio Banderas regularly attend the ceremony when they are on home turf in Spain. This year's big winner was Cesc Gay's friendship drama Truman, starring Ricardo Darin and Javier Camara.

Italy
Named after Donatello’s famed Renaissance bronze sculpture of the biblical hero David, Italy’s David di Donatello award was first awarded in Rome in 1955.

Similar to the Oscars, the honors are voted on by members of the industry. Even the trophy, a miniature gold David statuette on a malachite base, originally created by Bulgari, is reminiscent of the Oscars. The event is typically held each June.

There are currently 24 categories for the David di Donatello awards, given out to Italian films. Hollywood films are awarded under the best foreign film category.

Quentin Tarantino, who has won three David di Donatello awards, for Pulp Fiction, Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained, finally came to a ceremony last year in Rome to pick up his awards. He stayed to meet with composer Ennio Morricone, where he convinced him to score the music for his film The Hateful Eight, which is nominated for an Academy Award for best score.

Last year, the award for best foreign film went to Birdman. It beat out Wim Wenders’ documentary The Salt of the Earth, as well as Xavier Dolan’s Mommy and Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper.

Sweden
Guldbagge Awards
The Gudlbagge, or gold beetle, awards were founded in 1964.

The trophy of a gold scarab beetle is one of the more unique film statuettes out there.

Unlike many national film honors, the Guldbagges are picked by a nominating committee whose members are obligated to watch all of the Swedish films that screened in cinemas the previous year. Members of the committee get one vote in each of the 18 categories, in which they pick their first, second and third choices. The voting results in three nominees per category. A nine-member jury of film professionals picks the winners.

Sweden holds its film honors in late January, making it one of the first awards events of the year on the international calendar. Magnus von Horn's The Here After won the Guldbagge for best film this year.  

Denmark
Bodil Awards
Established in 1948, Denmark's Bodil Awards are among Europe's oldest film honors. The porcelain statuette was named after two Danish acting legends: Bodil Kjer and Bodil Ipsen.

The Bodil winners are picked by the Danish Film Critics association and often favor artistically challenging films over commercially successful ones. Bodils are awarded in eight categories, including best American and best non-American (and non-Danish) film. There are special awards for cinematography and for lifetime achievement. Bille August's Silent Heart won the Bodil for best film in 2015. 

In 1984, the Danish Film Academy launched a competing film prize, called the Robert Awards, which has an exhaustive list of 29 honors, with categories for both film and television. Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac: Director's Cut won seven Robert Awards last year, including for best film.  

Mexico
Ariel Awards
The Ariels have been awarded since 1947 by the Mexican Academy of Cinematographic Arts & Sciences. The Academy usually announces nominees in April and holds the awards ceremony in May in Mexico City.

The Ariel gets its name from an early 20th-century essay written by Uruguayan author Jose Enrique Rodo, whose character Ariel is a hymn to Latin America's vast cultural offering and the quest for excellence in art.

Last year's best picture winner was Alonso Ruizpalacios' black-and-white road movie Gueros, on which Gael Garcia Bernal served as executive producer. Among the Ariel's 25 categories, an award goes to best Ibero-American picture for films hailing from Latin America and Spain.

Past Ariel winners include directors  Inarritu, Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki.

Brazil
Grande Premio do Cinema Brasileiro
Created by the Brazilian Film Academy in 2002, the Great Prize of Brazilian Cinema had a few name changes over the years, with big sponsors such as TAM airlines or oil company Petrobras attaching themselves to the title.

Presented in a gala at the landmark Odeon Theater in Rio de Janeiro's Cinelandia district, the awards include 26 categories voted on by academy members and three honors open for public vote.

In 2015, Fernando Coimbra's A Wolf at the Door won seven statuettes, including for best fiction film, director and actress.

Argentina
Sur Awards
Since 2006, the Sur ("South") Awards have been given out by the Argentine Film Academy in a ceremony held in Buenos Aires in December.

Originally created in 1941 and shut down in 1955 by a military dictatorship, the Argentine Academy was reinstated in 2004 with Oscar-winner Juan Jose Campanella (The Secret in Their Eyes) as president.

In 2015, Diego Lerman's Refugiado won best film and director, beating local hit The Clan, which was nominated in 12 out of the 20 categories.

Colombia
Macondo Awards
Named after the imaginary city from Gabriel Garcia Marquez's A Hundred Years of Solitude, the Macondo Awards' first ceremony took place in 2010.

A statuette representing the endangered Macondo tree, the awards in 14 categories are presented by the Colombian Film Academy in early December.

In 2015, Ciro Guerra's foreign-language Oscar nominee Embrace of the Serpent swept the awards, topping eight categories, including best picture, director, script and cinematography.

Russia
Nika Awards and Golden Eagle Awards
Two film awards compete for the right to be called "the Russian Oscars."

The older event, the Nika Awards, modeled on the Oscars, was founded in 1987 by actor and director Yuli Gusman.

Designed to reflect the sort of glitz and glamor associated with L.A.'s most famous ceremony, the Nikas focus on celebrating national film and talent in a wide range of categories. For this year's 29th annual ceremony, due to take place April 1 at Moscow's Russian Song theater, 46 feature films are competing for the top award of best film, including Alexander Mindadze's controversial film about Russian-German cooperation on the eve of WW II, Dear Hans, Dear Piotr, and Renat Devlatyarov's remake of classic Soviet war film The Dawns Here Are Quiet.

Last year, the best film award went to Hard to Be a God, by renowned director Alexey German. The film was completed posthumously after the director's death, of heart failure, at the age of 74 in February 2013.

Russia's chaotic transition from the certainties of Soviet times spawned not only a wild free-market consumerism, but a deep division in artistic attitudes. The film industry split into two broad camps - those for and against the vision and Kremlin loyalty of Oscar-winning director and president of the Moscow international film festival, Nikita Mikhalkov. The old film union split into two bodies, and in 2002 Mikhalkov founded the Golden Eagles as a rival to the older Nikas.

The 2015 nominees were announced on Dec. 28 and the statuettes were handed out in late January at Russia's biggest film studio, Moscow's Mosfilm. The awards have often been criticized for favoring directors close to Mikhalkov and ignoring his opponents.

The Golden Eagle is awarded in 21 category. Hollywood movies typically get honored in the best foreign film category. Alejandro G. Inarritu's Birdman was the most recent winner.

Australia
Australian Academy of Cinema and Televisions Arts Awards
Australia’s pre-eminent film and television awards are the annual AACTA Awards. The fifth annual ceremony was held in December, with George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road winning the bulk of the awards, including for best film and best director.

AACTA also recognizes screen excellence, regardless of geography, through the AACTA International Awards, held each January in Los Angeles.

The AACTA Awards are owned and managed by the Australian Film Institute. They were originally established in 1958 and were previously known as the AFI Awards, but the structure of the awards changed to the AACTA Awards in 2012 to reflect an Academy model of peer voting for the honors.

The awards are handed out at two separate ceremonies in Sydney each year. The main awards ceremony is broadcast on the same day with a delay on free-to-air TV and repeated on pay TV network Foxtel several days later.

China
Various
China has no shortage of cinematic honors. The longest-running major movie honors in mainland China are the Hundred Flowers Awards, which were launched in 1962 by the China Film Association and sponsored by Popular Cinema magazine, with the winners decided in a vote by the publication's subscribers. In its current incarnation, the Hundred Flowers honors are choosing winners based on a popular vote conducted online or over the phone.

Another awards show with a multi-decade pedigree, the Golden Rooster Awards, began in 1981, which was — you guessed it — the Year of the Rooster. Originally held annually, in 2005 the Roosters partnered with the Hundred Flowers Awards, with the two events alternating each year.

In 2007, Chinese media company Tianxia Yingcai Cultural Media established the Huading Awards, which operate as the Grammys, Golden Globes, Emmys and Oscars in one.

None of the events have so far reached industry-dominating prestige and influence in the Chinese film world.

In terms of Greater China, there are even more awards. Taiwan has the Golden Horse Awards, which are selected by a jury of judges and awarded at the end of the Golden Horse Film Festival, carry considerably more artistic weight. 

The Asian Film Awards, meanwhile, were established by the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society in 2007. Although the voting members that select the winners initially skewed predominantly Hong Kongese, in recent years efforts have been made to bolster the membership among the cinemas of Asia: East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and West Asia, so that the awards will acquire legitimacy across the region.

Japan
Japan Academy Prize
The awards have been running since 1978, making this year's the 38th edition>

Nominations are announced by the Nippon Academy-sho Association in mid-January, with the ceremony usually held in late February or early March.

Director Yoji Yamada has won the best picture honor four times and won best director for two films – The Yellow Handkerchief and Otoko wa Tsurai-yo (It's Tough Being a Man) – at the first awards. His Twilight Samurai won 12 prizes from a record 15 nominations in 2002, and also competed unsuccessfully for the best foreign-language Oscar.

This year, Yamada's Nagasaki: Memories of My Son (Haha to Kuraseba) is up for 11 gongs and goes up against Hirokazu Koreeda's Cannes entry Our Little Sister (Umimachi Diary) with 12 nominations. American Sniper, Kingsman, Mad Max: Fury Road, Spectre and Whiplash will compete in the best foreign film category this year.

South Korea
Blue Dragon Film Awards
South Korea's Blue Dragon Awards were founded by daily newspaper Chosun Ilbo in 1963. Nominees are typically announced in early November before winners are disclosed during the ceremony held at the end of November.

The Blue Dragon honors domestic films in 19 categories. In 2015, the popular and critically acclaimed period action film Assassination won the best film honor and the technical award, while hit costume drama The Throne, South Korea's Oscar submission, swept five trophies, including for best leading actor (Yoo Ah-in), supporting actress (Jeon Hye-jin), cinematography, lighting and music.Nominees are chosen by film fans through an open online vote and input by a panel of industry experts. The Blue Dragon has in recent years eclipsed the older and traditionally more prestigious Daejong Film Awards, also known as Grand Bell, which had long been considered the local equivalent of the Oscars.

But the Daejong honors became marred by controversy for what has been criticized as questionable judging procedures and for enforcing a "no show, no trophy" rule on nominees. Though organizers scrapped the attendance policy, it still resulted in a virtual boycott by many stars and filmmakers with none of the nine best actor and actress nominees showing up for last year's event.

India
National Film Awards and Filmfare Awards
India's awards calendar is packed with numerous ceremonies, but two prominent awards, thanks to their long history, are considered the biggest ones. They are the government's National Film Awards and the Filmfare awards, both of which were established in 1954.

The National Film Awards honor films across Indian languages for both features and non-feature films or documentaries, with the latter including categories, such as best film on family welfare. In all, the awards are spread across 60 categories.

The nominations are announced in late March or early April with the ceremony taking place by May in capital New Delhi. The awards are handed out by India's president. The ceremony is aired live on the government-run Doordarshan network.

In 2015, Marathi language title Court won best feature. The film was also India's entry for the 2016 Oscars, but failed to get a nomination. While the awards do not have a category for foreign films, there is an English-language category for a film made in India by an Indian director.

The Filmfare awards are named after the weekly magazine of the same name owned by the media group that runs the Times of India newspaper, among other properties. The award honors achievements in 31 categories for Hindi language Bollywood films. The separate Filmfare Awards South have also been held since 1954, honoring the country's prolific south Indian film industry.

The nominee announcement in January is followed by the awards ceremony in Mumbai in the same month, sometimes within less than a week. Instead of a live telecast, a recorded version of the ceremony is aired shortly after the event. This year's nominees were announced on Jan. 11 and the awards took place on Jan. 15. The show aired on Feb. 7 on Sony Entertainment Television.

This year's big winner was historical epic Bajirao Mastani, which picked up nine trophies including best film, best actor (Ranveer Singh) and best director (Sanjay Leela Bhansali).

The awards do not have a category for foreign films.


 

 

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