Unlike the Oscar and its Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which has 5,000-plus voting members, the non-profit HFPA’s active voting journalists number only 86. They reside in the U.S. but write for overseas publications representing more than 50 countries and almost as many languages.
Every January they bestow 24 awards in film and TV. Revenues from the broadcast and the attendant banquet pay for the HFPA’s overhead throughout the rest of the year, and fund the HFPA’s annual donations to UCLA’s film school, American Cinematheque, the Academy and charitable organizations.
The HFPA’s low enrollment is partially due to its fiercely territorial members. HFPA bylaws state that no more than five new members be admitted each year.
The best picture Oscar has been accurately augured by the Globes in 11 of the last 12 years.
That’s an astonishing record, though not quite the feat it seems. The Globes’ best film honor actually goes to films in two categories: Best Motion Picture, Drama and Best Motion Picture, Comedy/Musical. And then there’s the Best Foreign Film winner, such as “Gandhi” and “Chariots of Fire,” which both went on to take the top Oscar.