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Preview of the Awards Calendar and When It All Begins • by Clayton Davis

The Awards Season is a marathon, not a sprint. While there is a clear end line (the Oscars), the starting line is a little more nebulous. Briefly: the beginning line is at a special point for every film that enters the race. Some experience tons of year-in-advance buzz that carry all through the season (final yr’s “A Star is Born” was the year-in-advance frontrunner). Others make their debut at Sundance and hope to be the unbiased movie that lasts (see: “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”). For many, they select one of the fall festivals to premiere at, attempt and decide up as many precursors as potential and stroll the tightrope until the Dolby.

So when does Precursor Season start? Let’s stroll by way of the totally different phases of awards season.

Take note of the fall film festivals. Not only do Greatest Picture nominees and winners typically premiere at these festivals, but their viewers awards do matter. Many early buzzed-about titles reside and die based mostly on snap reactions from film festivals in the fall. Festivals like Toronto Worldwide Film Pageant (TIFF), New York Movie Pageant, Venice Film Pageant, and Telluride Movie Pageant launch many of the fundamental contenders. Even the late-breaking films often attempt and make it to LA’s AFI Fest in November simply to get in underneath the wire. It’s necessary to make the rounds at as many festivals as potential to get the chatter going.

Viewers awards won’t all the time predict Greatest Picture winners, however the winners often go on to Greatest Image nominations. Each TIFF and Middleburg Film Pageant have seen their Audience Award winners additionally win Greatest Image one-third of the time since 2010. Much more astounding, both festivals have solely had one yr since 2010 the place the Audience Award winner didn’t go on to no less than a Greatest Picture nomination. The Venice Film Pageant has a much less stellar monitor document. The one Oscar overlap they’ve seen was when “The Shape of Water” gained the Golden Lion in 2017 and “The Favourite” was awarded the Grand Jury Prize last yr. When predicting Greatest Picture, ensure to think about the pageant Audience Award winners from Toronto and Middleburg.


  • Venice Film Pageant – eight/28 – 9/7
  • Telluride Movie Pageant – 8/30 – 9/2
  • Toronto International Movie Pageant – 9/5 – 9/15
  • New York Movie Pageant – 9/27 – 10/13
  • Middleburg Movie Pageant – 10/17 – 10/20
  • AFI Movie Pageant – 11/14 – 11/21

The first precursors out of the gate are all the time indie teams. The Gotham Awards notoriously announce their nominations first. That is, nominations will come on October 18th, with the awards ceremony to comply with on November 26th. The Gothams are so early that they not often make or break a film’s Oscar possibilities. This New York-based group focuses particularly on unbiased films, so none of the giant studio movies are eligible. For being such a small group, the Gotham Awards often see one or two of their nominees show up in the Greatest Picture race. The truth is, their Greatest Image winner additionally gained the huge prize at the Oscars for 3 consecutive years (2014 – 2016). Briefly, it helps to have a robust kick off at the Gothams, however it doesn’t harm to be snubbed by them.

The same adage could possibly be applied for the Unbiased Spirit Awards. Film Unbiased’s awards ceremony is among the first to announce nominees and the last to announce winners. This yr, nominations can be introduced on November 21st, 2019, with the awards ceremony on February 8th, 2020. These awards have had a stronger relationship to Oscar, mainly because they contemplate an unbiased film to be any movie that value lower than $22.5 million. Five of the final 9 prime Indie Spirit Award winners went on to win Greatest Picture at the Oscars. On common, two of the 5 Greatest Picture nominees at the Indie Spirits also compete at the Oscars. Thus, it’s not important for an indie contender to receive a nomination right here, however it’s extremely helpful.


  • Gotham Awards – Nominations: 10/18; Winners: 11/26
  • Unbiased Spirit Awards – Nominations: 11/21; Winners: 2/eight

The quantity of film critics teams grows and grows every year. At this point, there are over thirty critics organizations that hold awards from November to January. It’s quite a bit to maintain monitor of amidst all the different awards craziness. So what ought to an Oscar prognosticator pay attention to. It behooves an Oscar obsessive to disregard most of the noise. Critics are taste-makers, but they don’t seem to be Academy voters. What’s nice about these awards, theoretically, is they provide individuals a view as to what the regional style is all across the country. The extra critic groups exit on a limb with their awards decisions, fairly than attempt and predict Oscars, the higher the season is. Critics should use their awards to let voters know which of the screeners they need to be sure that to observe over the vacation interval.

Nonetheless, there are some higher-profile critics awards which are value listening to when putting Oscar bets. The coastal elite critic’s group (New York Film Critics Circle and Los Angeles Film Critics Affiliation) don’t do incredibly nicely with predicting Greatest Picture winners. New York only aligned with Oscar for “The Artist” in 2011, while LA obtained “Spotlight” and “Moonlight” right again to again. Still, every single LA winner since 2010 has gone on to a Greatest Image nomination. The only New York winner to overlook out on a Greatest Image nomination, since 2010, was “Carol” in 2015. These awards don’t sign the finish of the race, they are just heavy indicators that sure movies can be getting into the Greatest Image ring to compete.

The AFI Prime Ten listing is a very strange beast. They’ve honored really odd films like “Sully,” “The Dark Knight Rises” and “J. Edgar,” amongst others. Nonetheless, since 2010, each single Greatest Image winner has appeared on their listing. Throughout this similar time period, the record has included 78% of Greatest Image nominees. It’s somewhat straightforward to see what the one or two oddball picks are annually. Yet, it’s sensible to take their listing with a point of validity.

The Nationwide Board of Assessment and Nationwide Society of Film Critics are other good teams to try when making predictions. Somewhat more than half of the movies in the National Board of Evaluation prime ten will go on to a Greatest Image nomination, based mostly on its nominees since 2010. Nonetheless, the winners of both of these awards have only matched Oscar once and twice, respectively, in the final 9 years. Don’t guess the farm based mostly on their decisions.


  • New York Movie Critics Circle – TBD Late November/Early December
  • Los Angeles Film Critics Affiliation – TBD Late November/Early December
  • AFI Prime Ten Record – TBD Late November/Early December
  • National Board of Evaluation – TBD Late November/Early December
  • National Society of Film Critics – TBD Late November/Early December

Awards season shifts into full gear once nominations are announced for the televised precursors. The primary three to tune into previous to the Oscars are as follows: Golden Globe Awards, Critics Selection Awards, and BAFTA Awards. The Display Actors Guild are additionally televised and we’ll cover them in the next part on guild awards.

The Golden Globe Awards are the next highest rated film award present, after the Oscars. This has more to do with their separation of Drama and Comedy/Musical and the regular pour of booze to Hollywood’s A-list all through the night time. Even with two Greatest Image prizes given out annually, the Golden Globes only match the Oscars roughly 56% of the time this decade. Even when one seems at nominations, roughly two-thirds of Oscar’s Greatest Image nominees appeared at the Golden Globes prior. The shortage of robust correlation possible comes from the makeup of the voting physique itself. The Golden Globes are voted on by the Hollywood Overseas Press Association, a gaggle of fewer than 100 journalists.

In recent times, the Critics Selection Awards have had the strongest correlation with the Oscars. Two-thirds of the Oscar Greatest Picture winners since 2010 also gained the similar class at the Critics Selection Awards beforehand. Additionally, roughly 91% of Oscar Greatest Image nominees have been additionally nominated at the Critics Selection Awards. Some have criticized the present for following group-think and present principally as an Oscar prediction machine. It can be fantastic for the Critics Selection Awards to go off the crushed path extra. Yet, as any good Oscar predictor knows, typically enjoying it protected leads to the greatest prediction score.

Of the three televised precursors, only the BAFTA Awards share voting overlap with the Oscars. Members of BAFTA may also be invited to hitch the Academy, which is why the exhibits are wanting extra and extra alike. Of the three televised precursors, BAFTA has the least spectacular monitor document of predicting Greatest Image winners since 2010 (4 out of the final nine winners). Nevertheless, BAFTA does a lot better at nominations. They nonetheless solely do 5 Greatest Picture nominees. Still, virtually all of their Greatest Picture nominees repeat with Oscar nominations. BAFTA solely misses once they select an Oscar close to miss (“Carol,” “Drive”) or British specific ardour tasks (“I, Daniel Blake,” “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”).


  • Golden Globe Awards – Nominations: 12/9; Winners: 1/5
  • Critics Selection Awards – Nominations: TBD; Winners: 1/12
  • BAFTA Awards – Nominations: TBD; Winners: 2/2

The most effective predictors for the Oscars are the guild awards. This extends past the Greatest Image race and applies to the ballot as an entire. The guilds have such a high prediction price as a result of they have the biggest overlap with voting members of the Academy. Every guild, similar to the Directors or Display Actors Guild, polls their complete membership for their awards. This includes a broad swath of working professionals across every subject. Meanwhile, to hitch the Academy, a person have to be sponsored by two present members and have “demonstrated exceptional achievement in the field of theatrical motion pictures” to be invited in.

The Producers’ Guild Awards, Directors’ Guild Awards, Display Actors’ Guild Awards and Author’s Guild Awards are all the most main precursors to think about. Particularly, the Producers’ Guild Awards provides prognosticators the strongest clues to Greatest Image. This group has predicted seven of the final 9 Greatest Picture winners. Roughly 88% of Greatest Image nominees obtain a Producers’ Guild nomination previous to Oscars.

Even more spectacular, the Directors’ Guild Awards has predicted eight of the 9 Directing wins this decade. It routinely matches four out of the 5 Oscar nominees for Greatest Director, save for 2011 and 2018.

If someone is trying to predict an upset, the Display Actors Guild Awards is a superb place to look. Their SAG Ensemble Award has solely overlapped with Greatest Picture four of the final nine years. But, they’ve been instrumental in predicting surprise wins for “Birdman” and “Spotlight.” On a broader degree, every SAG Ensemble winner has no less than been nominated for Greatest Image.

The necessary thing to recollect is that no movie wins Greatest Image with help from just one guild. A Greatest Picture winner will probably have help throughout many guilds, not simply the prime four. “The Shape of Water” is a superb example of a movie that was honored by almost every guild because of its general technical prowess. Even “Green Book” noticed tons of guild nominations, even right down to the American Cinema Editors (ACE) Awards.


  • ASC (American Society of Cinematographers) – Nominations/Winners: TBD
  • ACE (American Cinema Editors) – Nominations: 12/11; Winners: 1/17
  • ADG (Artwork Administrators Guild) – Nominations: 12/9; Winners: 2/1
  • CAS (Cinema Audio Society) – Nominations/Winners: TBD
  • CDG (Costume Designers Guild) – Nominations/Winners: TBD
  • DGA (Director’s Guild Awards) – Nominations: TBD; Winners: 1/25
  • HMHG (Hollywood Make-up and Hairstyling Guild) – – Nominations: 11/11; Winners: 1/11
  • MPSE (Motion Image Sound Editors) – Nominations/Winners: TBD
  • PGA (Producer’s Guild Awards) – Nominations: 1/7; Winners: 1/18
  • SAG (Display Actors’ Guild) – Nominations: 12/12; Winners: 1/26
  • VES (Visual Effects Society) – Nominations/Winners: TBD
  • WGA (Writers’ Guild of America) – Nominations/Winners: TBD

What Precursor Awards are you most excited for? Share with us in the comments under.