Oscar's Battle of the Billionaires: Meet 6 Power Financiers Behind This Year's Awards Hopefuls

6:00 AM 9/30/2016

by Ashley Cullins

This awards season doubles as an arms race among the men and women writing the checks as six leading contenders boast a pedigree of deep-pocketed producers who seem to possess as much good taste as money.

'Hell or High Water', 'A Monster Calls'
'Hell or High Water', 'A Monster Calls'
Courtesy of Lorey Sebastian/CBS Films; Courtesy of Focus Features

  • Brian Oliver

    Cross Creek Pictures

    David Livingston/Getty Images

    Who he is: A 20-year film industry veteran backed by Louisiana oil tycoon Timmy Thompson.

    Oscar contender: Hacksaw Ridge (Lionsgate)

    Previous years: Black Mass, The Ides of March, Black Swan

  • Jeff Skoll

    Participant Media

    Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

    Who he is: The billionaire former president of eBay.

    Oscar contenders: A Monster Calls (Focus), Deepwater Horizon (Lionsgate), The Light Between Oceans (Disney)

    Previous years: Spotlight, Citizenfour, Lincoln

  • Ken Kao

    Waypoint Entertainment

    Todd Williamson/Getty Images

    Who he is: The son of billionaire Garmin co-founder Min Kao.

    Oscar contender: Martin Scorsese's Silence (Paramount)

    Previous years: Knight of Cups

  • Molly Smith

    Black Label Media

    Michael Kovac/Getty Images

    Who she is: The daughter of billionaire FedEx founder Fred Smith.

    Oscar contender: La La Land (Lionsgate)

    Previous years: Sicario, The Blind Side

  • Sidney Kimmel

    Sidney Kimmel Entertainment

    Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for CBS Films

    Who he is: The billionaire founder of Jones Apparel Group, now Nine West Holdings.

    Oscar contender: Hell or High Water (CBS Films)

    Previous years: The Age of Adaline, The Place Beyond the Pines

  • Megan Ellison

    Annapurna Pictures

    Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

    Who she is: The daughter of Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison is back in the race again.

    Oscar contender: 20th Century Women (A24)

    Previous years: Foxcatcher, Her, American Hustle, Zero Dark Thirty