“Fargo” and “Evita” won top honors Wednesday at the industry’s latest awards event tied to orbiting spheres, the Golden Satellites.

The ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel marked the inaugural event of the Intl. Press Assn., a press group formed last year by Mirjana Van Blaricom, a former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.

In press accounts, she has been vocal in her criticism of the HFPA – which holds its Golden Globes on Sunday – while members of the more established group have characterized her as a disgruntled member.

But Wednesday’s fete, with 37 categories, tried to distinguish itself from the Globes by also giving out honors in New Media, including a special award to Bill Gates.

But like the Globes, the Satellites distinguish between comedies/musicals and dramas. “Fargo” picked up best drama (it is nominated for comedy by the Globes) and “Evita” won for best musical.

In the drama category, Frances McDormand (“Fargo”) won best actress, while Geoffrey Rush (“Shine”) and James Woods (“Killer: Journal of a Murder”) tied for actor.

Gwyneth Paltrow (“Emma”) and Tom Cruise (“Jerry Maguire”) won top acting honors in the comedy and musical categories.

Denmark’s “Breaking the Waves” won best foreign-language film, and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” won best animated or mixed-media motion picture.

Joel Coen, who directed “Fargo,” won top helming honors. In supporting actor categories, Courtney Love (“The People vs. Larry Flynt”) and Armin-Mueller Stahl (“Shine”) won in the drama categories. Debbie Reynolds (“Mother”) and Cuba Gooding Jr. (“Jerry Maguire”) won in the comedy/musical categories.

Television awards went to “The X-Files” for best drama series and “The Larry Sanders Show” for comedy/musical series.

Christine Lahti (“Chicago Hope”) and David Duchovny (“The X-Files”) won top drama series acting honors, while Jane Curtin and John Lithgow from “3rd Rock From the Sun” won in the comedy categories.

The best miniseries was NBC’s “Gulliver’s Travels,” with Helen Mirren (“Prime Suspect”) and Alan Rockman (“Rasputin”) winning for their performances in longforms. Satellites went to Kathy Bates (“The Late Shift”) and Stanley Tucci (“Murder One”) for their supporting performances in a miniseries or TV movie. (“Murder One” was counted as a longform in the category).

Arie Verveen was named outstanding new talent for “Caught,” and Rod Steiger won a special award for outstanding contribution to the entertainment industry.

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