PGA Awards: 'The Shape of Water' Named Outstanding Motion Picture

8:12 PM 1/20/2018

by Gregg Kilday

The awards were handed out Saturday night in Beverly Hills.

THE SHAPE OF WATER Still_ - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

The Shape of Water, director Guillermo del Toro’s romantic fantasy, took the top prize Saturday night at the 29th annual Producers Guild Awards, where it received the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures. It concluded a ceremony in which the need to give opportunities and voice to women and people of color emerged as a common theme.

Del Toro, who produced the Fox Searchlight film along with J. Miles Dale, was not present because he was in Mexico by the side of his ailing father, but he tweeted, “I want to thank the PGA for giving us this immense distinction.” Accepting onstage at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Dale noted that the film’s screenplay originally carried the subtitle “A Fairy Tale for Troubled Times,” and he said, “This was before the election. It is set in 1962, but it’s really about the world today.”

But while Shape of Water walked away with the night’s final honor, within the ballroom itself, the applause appeared to be even louder for one of the other film nominees — Jordan Peele’s racially charged horror movie Get Out, which earlier in the evening received the Stanley Kramer Award, which honors a production “whose achievement or contribution illuminates and raises public awareness of important social issues.”

Norman Lear, who said he’d seen the genre-bending film three times, presented the award to Peele and praised the pic for “the surgical way it takes on the racist fear that runs riot in America today.” Acknowledging a debt to Kramer’s Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Peele said that the movie began when he asked the question, “What if we did a horror version of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?,” as he went on to explain that the movie’s term “the sunken place” refers to “the system that silences the voices of black people, of women, of all other minorities. I feel we are living in the sunken place right now” as he specifically called out President Donald Trump for racist pronouncements.

Lear was lauded, in turn, by prolific TV creator Ryan Murphy later in the ceremony, when Gwyneth Paltrow presented him with the Norman Lear Achievement in Television Award. Murphy recounted that when he was trying to break into the business and, feeling like an outsider, felt discouraged, he received a call from Lear, who encouraged him by saying, “Keep doing what you’re doing. I see you. Don’t give up.” Murphy said that has become a mantra for him as he’s worked to give opportunities and voice to gay people, women and other outsiders both onscreen and behind the camera — and to that end, he said that 60 percent of all the directing slots on his TV shows are now filled by women and his new series Pose features the largest transgender cast in TV. Murphy testified, “I believe, as I know Norman does, strongly in the power of television, because I believe the following — if you see yourself, and some part of your human experience reflected back at yourself, you will not feel alone.”

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay, who was presented with the guild’s Visionary Award by Reese Witherspoon, exhorted the audience “not to think of diversity as a good thing to do, think of it as an absolute must, something that must be done.” She also took the time to pay tribute to producer Allison Shearmur, who died Friday at the age of 54, praising her for the way she used her position to provide opportunities to others. Shearmur was also remembered fondly by Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley as she accepted the guild’s Milestone Award.

Rounding out the honorees, Charles Roven, whose credits include The Dark Knight and Wonder Woman, was presented with the David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures by Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins. He drew a laugh when he began, “I’ve had many great experiences in this room, starting with my bar mitzvah. No, it’s true, I literally became a man on this stage.”

At the beginning of the evening, PGA presidents Gary Lucchesi and Lori McCreary, as they spoke of the guild’s new anti-sexual harassment guidelines, announced that Roven is in discussion with DC Films to have Wonder Woman 2 become the first international film to adopt the guidelines.

Among the night’s other winners, The Handmaid’s Tale won the award for outstanding episodic TV drama, while The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was named best episodic comedy and Black Mirror took best longform television honors.

Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath claimed the award for outstanding producer of non-fiction television. During her acceptance, Remini, an outspoken critic of Scientology, called Scientology “an organization that uses its power and money to try to intimidate and silence its critics, but as evidence tonight, they have not succeeded.”

Pixar’s Coco took the prize for animated feature, while Brett Morgen’s Jane, a portrait of primatologist Jane Goodall, was named best documentary.

A list of winners follows.

  • Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Theatrical Motion Pictures

    The Shape of Water (WINNER)
    Producers: Guillermo del Toro, J. Miles Dale

    The Big Sick
    Producers: Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel

    Call Me By Your Name
    Producers: Peter Spears, Luca Guadagnino, Emilie Georges, Marco Morabito

    Producers: Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan

    Get Out
    Producers: Sean McKittrick & Edward H. Hamm, Jr., Jason Blum, Jordan Peele

    I, Tonya
    Producers: Bryan Unkeless, Steven Rogers, Margot Robbie, Tom Ackerley

    Lady Bird
    Producers: Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, Evelyn O’Neill

    Molly's Game
    Producers: Mark Gordon, Amy Pascal, Matt Jackson

    The Post
    Producers: Amy Pascal, Steven Spielberg, Kristie Macosko Krieger

    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
    Producers: Graham Broadbent & Pete Czernin, Martin McDonagh

    Wonder Woman
    Producers: Charles Roven & Richard Suckle, Zack Snyder & Deborah Snyder

  • Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures

    Coco (WINNER)
    Producer: Darla K. Anderson

    The Boss Baby
    : Ramsey Naito

    Despicable Me 3
    Producers: Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy

    Producers: Lori Forte, Bruce Anderson

    The Lego Batman Movie
    Producers: Dan Lin, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller

  • Norman Felton Award for Episodic Television, Drama

    The Handmaid's Tale (Season 1) (WINNER)

    Producers: Bruce Miller, Warren Littlefield, Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears, Ilene Chaiken, Sheila Hockin, Eric Tuchman, Frank Siracusa, John Weber, Joseph Boccia, Elisabeth Moss, Kira Snyder, Leila Gerstein

    Big Little Lies (Season 1)

    Producers: David E. Kelley, Jean-Marc Vallée, Reese Witherspoon, Bruna Papandrea, Nicole Kidman, Per Saari, Gregg Fienberg, Nathan Ross, Barbara A. Hall

    The Crown (Season 2)

    Producers: Peter Morgan, Stephen Daldry, Andy Harries, Philip Martin, Suzanne Mackie, Matthew Byam Shaw, Robert Fox, Andy Stebbing, Martin Harrison

    Game of Thrones (Season 7)

    Producers: David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger, Bernadette Caulfield, Bryan Cogman, Chris Newman, Lisa McAtackney, Greg Spence

    Stranger Things (Season 2)

    Producers: Iain Paterson, Shawn Levy, Dan Cohen, The Duffer Brothers, Rand Geiger, Justin Doble

  • Danny Thomas Award for Episodic Television, Comedy

    The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Season 1) (WINNER)

    Producers: Daniel Palladino, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Sheila Lawrence, Dhana Rivera Gilbert

    Curb Your Enthusiasm (Season 9)

    Producers: Larry David, Jeff Garlin, Jeff Schaffer, Justin Hurwitz, Jon Hayman, Laura Streicher, Mychelle Deschamps

    Master of None (Season 2)

    Producers: Aziz Ansari, Alan Yang, Michael Schur, David Miner, Dave Becky, Igor Srubshchik, Andrew Blitz, Eric Wareheim

    Silicon Valley (Season 4)

    Producers: Mike Judge, Alec Berg, Jim Kleverweis, Jamie Babbit, Clay Tarver, Dan O’Keefe, Chris Provenzano, Graham Wagner, Carrie Kemper, Aaron Zelman, Adam Countee

    Veep (Season 6)

    Producers: David Mandel, Frank Rich, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lew Morton, Morgan Sackett, Peter Huyck, Alex Gregory, Georgia Pritchett, Jennifer Crittenden, Gabrielle Allan, Ian Maxtone-Graham, Steve Hely, Ted Cohen, David Hyman, Rachel Axler, Billy Kimball, Dale Stern, Erik Kenward, Dan Mintz

  • David L. Wolper Award for Longform Television

    Black Mirror (Season 4) (WINNER)

    Producers: Annabel Jones, Charlie Brooker

    Fargo (Season 3)

    Producers: Noah Hawley, Warren Littlefield, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, John Cameron, Steve Blackman, Bob DeLaurentis, Matt Wolpert, Ben Nedivi, Monica Beletsky, Kim Todd, Leslie Cowan, Regis Kimble, Chad Oakes, Michael Frislev

    Feud: Bette and Joan (Season 1)

    Producers: Ryan Murphy, Dede Gardner, Tim Minear, Alexis Martin Woodall, Chip Vucelich, John J. Gray, Jaffe Cohen, Renee Tab, Michael Zam, Jessica Lange, Susan Sarandon

    Sherlock: The Lying Detective

    Producers: Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Sue Vertue, Beryl Vertue, Rebecca Eaton

    The Wizard of Lies

    Producers: Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro, Berry Welsh, Barry Levinson, Tom Fontana, Jason Sosnoff, Joseph E. Iberti

  • Nonfiction Television

    Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath (Season 1, Season 2) (WINNER)

    Producers: Leah Remini, Eli Holzman, Aaron Saidman, Myles Reiff, Adam Saltzberg, Erin Gamble, Lisa Rosen, Grainne Byrne, Taylor Levin, Alex Weresow, Rachelle Mendez

    30 for 30 (Season 8)

    Producers: Connor Schell, John Dahl, Libby Geist, Erin Leyden, Adam Neuhaus, Jenna Anthony, Gentry Kirby, Marquis Daisy, Andy Billman, Deirdre Fenton

    60 Minutes (Season 50)

    Producer: Jeff Fager

    Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (Season 9, Season 10)

    Producers: Anthony Bourdain, Christopher Collins, Lydia Tenaglia, Sandra Zweig


    Producers: Susan Lacy, Jessica Levin, Emma Pildes

  • Live Entertainment and Talk Television

    Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (Season 4) (WINNER)

    Producers: John Oliver, Tim Carvell, Liz Stanton

    Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (Season 2)

    Producers: Samantha Bee, Jo Miller, Jason Jones, Tony Hernandez, Miles Kahn, Alison Camillo, Pat King, Allana Harkin

    Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Season 15)

    Producers: Jimmy Kimmel, Jill Leiderman, Jason Schrift, Doug DeLuca, Erin Irwin, David Craig, Gary Greenberg, Jennifer Sharron, Tony Romero, Ken Crosby, Josh Weintraub, Seth Weidner, Molly McNearney

    The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (Season 3)

    Producers: Stephen T. Colbert, Chris Licht, Tom Purcell, Jon Stewart, Barry Julien, Tanya Michnevich Bracco, Aaron Cohen, Paul Dinello, Emily Gertler, Matt Lappin, Opus Moreschi, Michael Brumm, Paige Kendig, Jake Plunkett

    Saturday Night Live (Season 43)

    Producers: Lorne Michaels, Steve Higgins, Erik Kenward, Lindsay Shookus, Erin Doyle, Tom Broecker, Ken Aymong

  • Shortform Program

    Carpool Karaoke (Season 1) (WINNER)

    Better Call Saul's Los Pollos Hermanos Employee Training (Season 1)

    Humans of New York: The Series (Season 1)

    National Endowment for the Arts: United States of Arts (Season 3)

    Viceland at the Women's March (Season 1)

  • Sports Program

    Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (Season 23) (WINNER)

    All or Nothing: A Season with the Los Angeles Rams (Season 2)

    Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Season 12)

    SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt (Season 3)

    VICE World of Sports (Season 2)

  • Children's Program

    Sesame Street (Season 47) (WINNER)

    Doc McStuffins (Season 4)

    Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards 2017

    School of Rock (Season 3)

    SpongeBob SquarePants (Season 10, Season 11)

  • Documentary Motion Pictures

    Jane (WINNER)
    Producers: Brett Morgen, Bryan Burk, Tony Gerber, James Smith

    Chasing Coral
    Producers: Jeff Orlowski, Larissa Rhodes

    City of Ghosts
    Producer: Matthew Heineman

    Cries from Syria
    Producers: Evgeny Afineevsky, Den Tolmor, Aaron I. Butler

    Earth: One Amazing Day
    Producer: Stephen McDonogh

    Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower
    Producers: Matthew Torne, Mark Rinehart, Joe Piscatella

    The Newspaperman: The Life and Times of Ben Bradlee
    Producers: Teddy Kunhardt, George Kunhardt

  • The Award for Outstanding Producer of Competition Television

    The Voice (Season 12, Season 13) (WINNER)

    Producers: John de Mol, Mark Burnett, Audrey Morrissey, Lee Metzger, Chad Hines, Amanda Zucker, Kyra Thompson, Jay BienstockStijn Bakkers, Mike Yurchuk, Teddy Valenti, Carson Daly

    The Amazing Race (Season 29)

    Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer, Bertram van Munster, Jonathan Littman, Elise Doganieri, Mark Vertullo

    American Ninja Warrior (Season 9)

    Producers: Arthur Smith, Kent Weed, Anthony Storm, Brian Richardson, Kristen Stabile, David Markus, Royce Toni, Stephen Saylor, J.D. Pruess, Jeffrey J. Hyman, D. Max Poris, Briana Vowels, Jonathan Provost

    Lip Sync Battle (Season 3)

    Producers: Casey Patterson, Jay Peterson, John Krasinski, Stephen Merchant, James McKinlay, Leah Culton Gonzalez, Pete DiObilda, LL Cool J, Genna Gintzig, Lindsay John, Jacob Burke, Diane Perrotta

    Top Chef (Season 14)

    Producers: Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz, Casey Kriley, Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Doneen Arquines, Gaylen Gawlowski, Erica Ross, Blake Davis, Scott Patch, Patrick Schmedeman, Elida Carbajal Araiza, Daniel Calin, Zoe Jackson