An Oscar win isn’t made in a vacuum. As awards season heats up, a few important shows gave out trophies this past weekend, including the Directors Guild of America Awards, The Annie Awards, The Scripter Awards, American Society of Cinematographers Awards and the Cinema Audio Society Awards. These awards shows don’t necessarily draw in the same viewership as the Academy Awards, but they can serve as crucial predictors for the films that will go on to win Oscars in February. Read our highlights of these ceremonies below.
Hosted this year on January 25 by acclaimed director and producer Judd Apatow, the DGA Awards are often a key predictor for who will win the top directing category for the Academy Awards. The last six DGA winners also won at the Oscars: Alfonso Cuarón for Roma, Guillermo Del Toro for The Shape of Water, Damien Chazelle for La La Land and Alejandro G. Iñárritu for The Revenant and Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). Now in its 72nd year, the DGA Awards presenters included Alfonso Cuarón, Catherine Hardwicke, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joe Pesci, Al Pacino and Sam Rockwell.
Sam Mendes nabbed the top prize for Outstanding Directorial Achievement for his WWI epic 1917, beating Bong Joon Ho for Parasite, Martin Scorsese for The Irishman, Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Taika Waititi for Jojo Rabbit.
Netflix won big at the 2020 Annie Awards on Jan. 25, presented by the International Animated Film Society, with top prizes including Best Feature for Klaus, Best Indie Feature for I Lost My Body and Best TV/Media—General Audience for BoJack Horseman.
Klaus represents previously uncharted territory for Netflix. The film about Santa Claus’ origin story is the streaming giant’s first original animation motion picture. It’s also nominated for an Oscar for The Best Animated Feature category, alongside I Lost My Body, Toy Story 4, Missing Link and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.
Frozen 2 and Missing Link started off the night with the most nominations, but didn’t fare as well, with only Frozen 2 leaving with awards for voice acting and effects.
There aren’t many entertainment awards presented among reading lamps and bookshelves, but the USC Libraries Scripter Awards is one of them. The awards, presented in the Los Angeles Times Reference Room at the Edward L. Doheny Memorial Library, recognizes the “best adaptation of the printed word into film,” honoring both the screenwriter and the author of the work that was adapted. The awards are typically predictive of the Best Adapted Screenplay category at the Oscars.
Before 2019, eight Scripter Award winners later won an Academy Award for the category, IndieWire reports. In the 2018 season, for example, Call Me by Your Name screenwriter James Ivory and author André Aciman won the Scripter, with Ivory going on to win the Oscar that year. Other winners include The Big Short, The Imitation Game and Moonlight.
This year, Greta Gerwig took home the Scripter for film, adapting Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women for the big screen. Phoebe Waller-Bridge won for the first episode of the second season Fleabag, which she adapted from her own play.
Gerwig honored Alcott’s seminal novel, saying, “Reading and rereading this book through my childhood turned me into who I am today. She wrote about girls who wanted and yearned and dreamed. This process of adaptation of a novel 150 years old was a duet or conversation with someone who is no longer there. In the middle of the night I was certain I could speak to her. I hope the movie is a gift extended to the next generation of women.”
The ASC Awards honored one of the most decorated cinematographers this weekend, giving Roger Deakins the trophy for Theatrical Release in recognition of his work on Sam Mendes’ 1917 on Jan. 25. The award marked Deakins’ 16th nomination and fifth ASC award, according to Deadline. This year, Deakins rose to the top of a very competitive roster, as he was nominated alongside Rodrigo Prieto for The Irishman, Lawrence Sher for Joker, Phedon Papamichael for Ford v Ferrari and Robert Richardson for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Colin Watkinson won the award for an Episode of a Series of Non-Commercial Television for The Handmaid’s Tale and C. Kim Miles won the Episode of a Series for Commercial Television for Project Blue Book.
Werner Herzog, who was honored with the ASC’s Board of Governors Award, said, “I wish I had a whole bucketful of these. They belong to those who are wearing my eyes, my cinematographers.”
The high-octane Ford v Ferrari roared at the Cinema Audio Society Awards, where it won the top award for sound mixing, and James Mangold, the film’s director, came home with the coveted Filmmaker Award.
When accepting the award, Mangold said, “I discourage everyone from staying in their lane. I hate the idea of ‘turf.’ All the elements of a good film are connected and require these elements to work together.” Mangold added, “I don’t want to be immersive; I want to be emotive. I don’t want to make people forget what’s going on in their country and world. I want to make people think about what’s going on in the world and not offer an escape hatch.”
Toy Story 4 won in the animated category, Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound won the top award for documentary, and the final season of Game of Thrones won in the television category.
Ford v Ferrari, 1917, Ad Astra, Joker and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood are nominated for the sound mixing category of the Academy Awards.
See the complete list of Oscar nominations here.