“1917” has won the Producers Guild of America’s award as the best-produced feature film of 2019, giving it an important victory at an awards show that usually honors the film that goes on to win the Oscar for Best Picture.
The film, an immersive drama about World War I that was fashioned to look like a single shot, triumphed in a field that also included top Academy Award contenders “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” “The Irishman,” “Parasite” and “Joker.” While the PGA win makes it a de facto frontrunner of sorts in that race, this is a year in which the Oscar race still feels unsettled.
“Apollo 11” won the award for documentary feature, while “Toy Story 4” won for animated feature.
Television winners included “Succession,” “Fleabag,” “Chernobyl,” “Apollo: Missions to the Moon” and “Leaving Neverland.”
As the only other major award to use the same ranked-choice voting system as the Academy to determine its top film prize, the Producers Guild Awards are one of the most reliable predictors of Oscar success. The PGA winner has gone on to win the Best Picture Oscar 21 times in 30 years, and eight times in the 10 years since both groups expanded to 10 nominees and instituted ranked-choice voting.
But in one of those eight years, the Oscar winner, “12 Years a Slave,” tied with “Gravity” at the PGA – and in 2015 and 2016, the guild went for “The Big Short” and “La La Land” while the Oscars chose “Spotlight” and “Moonlight.”
So while the win gives “1917” some valuable momentum in what has seemed to be a wide-open year, the compressed schedule leaves less time for any momentum to take hold before Oscar voting begins on Jan. 30 (but also less time to momentum to change). The film is not nominated for any Screen Actors Guild Awards, which will be handed out on Sunday.
Special awards were given to Netflix’s Ted Sarandos (Milestone Award), Plan B’s Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner (David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures); Marta Kauffman (Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television); actress and producer Octavia Spencer (Visionary Award); and the film “Bombshell” (Stanley Kramer Award).
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The ceremony took place at the Hollywood Palladium.
Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures: “1917,” Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris, Jayne‐Ann Tenggren, Callum McDougall
Outstanding Producer of Documentary Motion Pictures: “Apollo 11,” Todd Douglas Miller, Thomas Petersen
Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures: “Toy Story 4,” Mark Nielsen, Jonas Rivera
Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Drama: “Succession” (Season 2), Jesse Armstrong, Adam McKay, Frank Rich, Kevin Messick, Mark Mylod, Jane Tranter, Tony Roche, Scott Ferguson, Jon Brown, Georgia Pritchett, Will Tracy, Jonathan Glatzer, Dara Schnapper, Gabrielle Mahon
Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Comedy: “Fleabag” (Season 2), Phoebe Waller‐Bridge, Harry Bradbeer, Lydia Hampson, Harry Williams, Jack Williams, Joe Lewis, Sarah Hammond
David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Limited Series Television: “Chernobyl,” Craig Mazin, Carolyn Strauss, Jane Featherstone, Johan Renck, Chris Fry, Sanne Wohlenberg
Outstanding Producer of Televised or Streamed Motion Pictures: “Apollo: Missions to the Moon”
Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television: “Leaving Neverland”
Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment & Talk Television: “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” (Season 6)
Outstanding Producer of Game & Competition Television: “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (Season 11)
Outstanding Sports Program: “What’s My Name / Muhammad Ali”
Outstanding Children’s Program: “Sesame Street” (Season 49)
Outstanding Short-form Program: “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” (Season 11)
PGA Innovation Award: “Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series – Episode 1”