Studio specialty units dominate PGA noms
EmptyFor a second consecutive year, the Producers Guild of America's nominees for best theatrical motion picture are dominated by films produced by studio specialty divisions.
The category's nominated producers, vying for the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award, include those behind "Babel" from Paramount Vantage, "Little Miss Sunshine" from Fox Searchlight and "The Queen" from Miramax Films. The major studios fielded two nominees, "The Departed" from Warner Bros. Pictures and "Dreamgirls" from Paramount Pictures' DreamWorks.
Although none of the nominees represented a major surprise, the biggest omission arguably was the absence of a nomination for either of this year's two Clint Eastwood films, "Flags of Our Fathers" and "Letters From Iwo Jima." Eastwood previously was nominated by the PGA for "Mystic River" in 2004 and for "Million Dollar Baby" in 2005.
Both of the latest Eastwood films deal with the World War II battle on Iwo Jima, with one representing the U.S. perspective and the other the Japanese view of the carnage. So there is the possibility, impossible to quantify, that each film canceled out the other -- something that could bear watching in the buildup to Oscar noms.
Eligible producers for each PGA-nominated film include Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Steve Golin and Jon Kilik ("Babel"); Graham King ("The Departed"); Laurence Mark ("Dreamgirls"); Marc Turtletaub, David T. Friendly, Peter Saraf, and Albert Berger & Ron Yerxa ("Little Miss Sunshine"); and Andy Harries, Christine Langan and Tracey Seaward ("The Queen.")
The PGA places no limit on the number of producers who can be nominated for individual films, unlike the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which limits best picture nominees to three producers per film and tends to choose from among those listed by the PGA. If "Sunshine" is nominated by the Academy, its five PGA-nominated producers would have to be reduced to three producers eligible to receive Oscars.
PGA executive director Vance Van Petten said he was "heartened by the variety" of films nominated in the best-picture category this year.
"There are films with big budgets and small budgets, comedies, a musical and dramas," Van Petten said. "I love that variety of choices."
PGA noms are made by its full membership, but film producers can nominate only in film categories and television producers likewise are limited to TV categories. All of the guild's 3,000-plus members can select winners in all categories.
Among the PGA's other six film and TV categories were five nominees in the category of animated theatrical motion picture. Those nominated included producers on five CGI films: "Cars" (Disney/Pixar), "Flushed Away" (DreamWorks Animation), "Happy Feet" (Warners), "Ice Age: The Meltdown" (Fox) and "Monster House" (Sony).
The PGA Awards historically have served as one of the more accurate barometers of best-picture Oscar voting, but its forecasting has been a bit haywire of late.
Producers Guild members voted differently than Academy voters in each of the past three years, last year selecting "Brokeback Mountain" over eventual Oscar winner "Crash." In 2005, PGA members picked Martin Scorsese's "The Aviator" over Eastwood's Oscar-winning "Baby."
Winners in all PGA categories will be announced at the 18th annual Producers Guild of America Awards gala, to be held Jan. 20 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Century City.
Among several special awards, the PGA will honor Universal Studios president Ron Meyer with its Milestone Award. Producers Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher will receive the David O. Selznick Award for film achievement, and Jerry Bruckheimer will receive the Normal Lear Award for achievement in TV producing.
A complete list of PGA Awards nominees follows.
THE DARRYL F. ZANUCK PRODUCER OF THE YEAR AWARD IN THEATRICAL MOTION PICTURES
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
(Dreamworks SKG/Paramount Pictures)
"Little Miss Sunshine"
David T. Friendly
Albert Berger & Ron Yerxa
THE PRODUCERS GUILD OF AMERICA PRODUCER OF THE YEAR AWARD IN ANIMATED THEATRICAL MOTION PICTURES
(Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar Animation)
Darla K. Anderson
"Ice Age: The Meltdown"
(20th Century Fox Animation)
(Sony Pictures Animation)
LONG-FORM AND NON-FICTION TELEVISION NOMINEES: THE DAVID L. WOLPER PRODUCER OF THE YEAR AWARD IN LONG-FORM TELEVISION
"High School Musical"
(The Disney Channel)
THE PRODUCERS GUILD OF AMERICA PRODUCER OF THE YEAR AWARD IN NON-FICTION TELEVISION
"The Amazing Race 9"
Betram van Munster
Hayma "Screech" Washington
"Dancing With the Stars"
Award Eligibility Under Appeal
PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED TELEVISION NOMINATIONS: THE DANNY THOMAS PRODUCER OF THE YEAR AWARD IN EPISODIC TELEVISION -- COMEDY
Ron Howard & Brian Grazer
"Curb Your Enthusiasm"
Robert B. Weide
"My Name Is Earl"
Henry Lange Jr.
Mark A. Burley
THE NORMAN FELTON PRODUCER OF THE YEAR AWARD IN EPISODIC TELEVISION -- DRAMA
Betsy Beers Katie Jacobs
Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz
Ilene S. Landress
Diane Frolov & Andrew Schneider
THE PRODUCERS GUILD OF AMERICA PRODUCER OF THE YEAR AWARD IN VARIETY TELEVISION
"The Ellen Degeneres Show"
(Warner Bros. Television)
"Late Night With Conan O'Brien"
"The Late Show With David Letterman"
"Real Time With Bill Maher"
"The XX Olympic Games: Opening Ceremony"