A look at the who, what and why behind the organizations that recognize excellence in motion pictures
Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences
Backstory: Founded in 1927, the Academy recognizes achievements in filmmaking in above- and below-the-line categories.
Kudo: Academy Award was first given in 1929. It was nicknamed the Oscar in the 1930s. Up to 25 different categories will be honored in 2004.
Membership:: Org counts 6,568 members. Branch divisions include actors, art directors, cinematographers, directors, docu-mentary, execs, editors, music, producers, public relations, short films, animation, sound, visual effects and writers.
Voters:: There are 5,875 members with voting privileges who are allowed to cast ballots for up to five noms in their specific branch. Noms for awards are screened by special committees drawn from all branches for foreign language, doc, feature anima-tion, and animated and live action short.
Key dates:: Nomination ballots will be mailed Jan. 2 and must be returned by Jan. 17. Noms will be announced Jan. 27. Final ballots will be sent Feb. 4 and must be returned by Feb. 24. Academy Awards will be presented Feb. 29 at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.
Topper:: Frank Pierson, prexy
Contact:: John Pavlik, director of communications; Leslie Unger, publicity coordinator, (310) 247-3000.
Web site:: www.oscars.org
American Cinema Editors
Backstory: Founded in 1950, org recognizes accomplishments in the film and TV editing trades.
Kudo: First ACE Awards plaques were given in 1962, with the first Eddie statuette given in 1965; 11 will be awarded in 2004.
Membership:: There are about 525 members, 405 active, of whom 70 are life and 60 affiliated. Branches are made up of film and TV editors. Honorary members are people the org has honored in the past.
Voters:: Total membership votes on film categories, with affiliated members excluded from TV categories. Lifetime achieve-ment honors are determined by the board of directors.
Key dates:: Submissions began Oct. 1 and will end Dec. 12. Nom ballots will be sent Dec. 19 and are due Jan. 9. Noms an-nounced Jan. 24. Final ballots will be sent Jan. 24 and are due Feb. 6. Award ceremony is skedded for Feb. 15 at BevHilton.
Topper:s: Tina Hirsch, president; Jennie McCormick, managing director
Contact:: Jennie McCormick, (818) 777-2900
American Society of Cinematographers
Backstory: Founded in 1919, org honors distinctions in film and TV cinematography.
Kudo: First ASC Awards given in 1986.
Membership:: There are 276 active members worldwide, plus 137 associate.
Voters:: Entire active membership votes; recommendations for honorary awards are made by a select committee with the board of governors making final decisions.
Key dates:: Film nomination ballots will be sent Dec. 15 and are due Jan. 9. Noms will be announced the week of Jan. 12. Fi-nal ballots will be sent Jan. 15 and are due Feb. 3. Nominees dinner will be Feb. 6. Award ceremony will be held Feb. 8 at the Century Plaza Hotel.
Topper:: Richard Crudo, prexy
Contact:: Patricia Armacost, (323) 969-4333
Web site:: www.theasc.com
Art Directors Guild (IATSE Local 876)
Backstory: Org was founded in 1937 to support the craft of art direction.
Kudo: Excellence in Production Design Awards have been handed out since 1996; nine will be given out in 2004.
Membership:: There are 1,500 active members. Branches include production designers, art directors and assistant art directors.
Voters:: Competitive awards are voted on by the entire active membership. Special awards (including lifetime achievement and outstanding contribution to cinematic imagery) are determined by committee and approved by the exec board.
Key dates:: Nomination ballots will be mailed out Dec. 13 and are due back Jan. 13. Nominees announced Jan. 15. Final bal-lots mailed out Jan. 15 and due back Feb. 11. Winners will be announced at an award banquet Feb. 14 at the BevHilton.
Topper:: Tom Walsh, president
Contact:: Karen Jacobsen, (818) 762-9995
Web site:: www.artdirectors.org
British Academy of Film & Television Arts
Backstory: Founded in 1947, org promotes excellence in the film, TV and interactive entertainment industries in above- and below-the-line categories.
Kudo: The BAFTA Award was first handed out in 1949, when only three categories existed. The org will give out approxi-mately 28 trophies in 2004, not including special kudos such as the BAFTA Fellowship and Orange Film of the Year.
Membership:: There are approximately 4,000 members.
Voters:: Voting members (about 3,500) nominate and select 12 winners in five categories (film, actor, actress, supporting actor and actress). All members vote for top five categories. Once narrowed down to five, specialty categories are chosen by expert secret juries (who need not be BAFTA members). This year voting will be online at a specially dedicated Web site:.
Key dates:: List of eligible films will be announced and online voting for the top 12 voted titles/perfs in each category will be-gin Dec. 15 and end Jan. 6. Voting for the top five in each category will begin Jan. 9 and end Jan. 14. Final noms will be an-nounced Jan. 19. Final voting will begin Jan. 19 and end Feb. 2. Awards gala will be held in London at the Leicester Square Odeon on Feb. 15.
Topper:: Richard Attenborough
Contact:: Doreen Dean, +44 207 292 5817
Web site:: www.bafta.org
Broadcast Film Critics Assn.
Backstory: Founded in 1995, org is a critics collective awarding films for cinematic achievement.
Kudo: Critics’ Choice awards have been handed out since 1996. Awards in 20 categories will be given in 2004.
Membership:: There are 184 BFCA members, made up of television, radio and online critics in the U.S. and Canada.
Voters:: All members have voting rights in all categories.
Key dates:: Nominating ballots will be sent Dec. 8 and must be returned by Dec. 14. Noms will be announced Dec. 16. Final ballots will be sent Jan. 5 and are due back Jan. 8. Critics’ Choice Awards ceremony will take place Jan. 10 at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Topper:: Joey Berlin, president
Contact:: Joey Berlin, (310) 860-2665
Web site:: www.bfca.org
Costume Designers Guild (IATSE Local 892)
Backstory: Org was founded in 1953 to represent the interests of costume designers.
Kudo: The first award ceremony was held in 1998. Awards will be given in five categories this year as well as numerous hon-orary kudos.
Membership:: The membership includes approximately 600 members who work in film, TV and commercials.
Voters:: All active members of the guild can nominate and make final decisions for TV and film. The commercial category is decided by a special panel.
Key dates:: Nomination ballots will be sent Nov. 10 and must be returned by Dec. 12. Nominations will be announced Dec. 29. Final ballots will be sent Jan. 5 and are due back Feb. 6. The award ceremony will be held Feb. 21 at the BevHilton.
Topper:: Debra Nadoolman Landis, prexy
Contact:: Costume Designers Guild, (818) 905-1557
Web site:: www.costumedesignersguild.com
Directors Guild of America
Backstory: Founded in 1936, as the Screen Directors Guild (it changed to the DGA in 1960), org protects the economic and creative rights of directors and awards their accomplishments.
Kudo: The DGA award for outstanding directorial achievement was first given in 1948. Nine kudos will be given in 2004, not including four to six special achievement honors like lifetime achievement.
Membership:: There are 12,700 members.
Voters:: Except for special awards, which are chosen by committee, the general membership nominates and votes on entries in the film and docu categories.
Key dates:: Feature film ballots will be sent Dec. 8 and are due back Jan. 5; nominations will be announced Jan. 6. Final ballots will be sent out to the general membership Jan. 6 and are due back Jan. 30. The DGA Awards dinner will be Feb. 7 at the Century Plaza Hotel.
Topper:: Michael Apted, president
Contact:: Laraine Savelle, (310) 289-2038
Web site:: www.dga.org
Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.
Backstory: Founded in 1943, org gives out Golden Globes to honor outstanding successes in the film and TV industries. Membership: comprises journos who report on the entertainment industry for foreign publications.
Kudo: Golden Globes were first given out in 1944. The org will give out 25 awards in 2004, not including special kudos such as the Cecil B. DeMille Award.
Membership:: There are 90 members; 89 are active and one is a first-year member.
Voters:: Nominees and finalists are selected by the org’s active members, who have been in the HFPA for at least a year.
Key dates:: Ballots will be mailed Dec. 5 and are due back Dec. 15. Nominations will be announced Dec. 18 at BevHilton. Fi-nal ballots will be sent Jan. 5 and are due back Jan. 21. Golden Globes will be held Jan. 25 at the BevHilton.
Topper:: Lorenzo Soria, prexy
Contact:: Lisa Tyler, (310) 657-1731
Web site:: www.hfpa.org
Hollywood Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists Guild
(IATSE Local 706)
Backstory: Founded in 1999, org recognizes outstanding talent in below-the-line areas of makeup, hair and special effects.
Kudo: Guild awards were first given in 2000, and 17 categories not including special awards will be given in 2004.
Membership:: There are approximately 1,600 members in the West Coast Local 706 division of the guild, comprising industry makeup and hair artists.
Voters:: Worldwide entries are submitted to the guild and a list is sent out to all Local 706 members, who then produce nomi-nees. After an accounting firm tallies the top pics, the general membership votes for a winner in each category.
Key dates:: Deadline for submissions is Nov. 3. Nomination ballots will be mailed Nov. 17 and are due back Dec. 8. Noms will be announced Dec. 15. Final ballots will be mailed Dec. 19 and are due back Jan. 7. Kudofest will be Jan. 17 at the BevHil-ton.
Topper:: Michelle Vittone-McNeil, chairwoman
Contact:: Patti Nelson, (818) 295-6986
IFP/West Independent Spirit Awards
Backstory: Founded in 1980, org supports and honors above- and below-the-line talent in indie features.
Kudo: Findies (Friends of Independents) were awarded in ’84 and ’85. The first Independent Spirit Award was given in 1986; 17 will be awarded in 2004.
Membership:: There are 10,000 members; including indie filmmakers, industry pros and indie film enthusiasts.
Voters:: A 14-member nomination committee made up of actors, directors, producers and other industryites watch submitted films and nominate five finalists per category. The general membership votes for a winner in each area.
Key dates:: Nominations will be announced Dec. 3. Final ballots will be sent out Jan. 10 (or so) and are due back Feb. 17. Spirit Awards will be announced Feb. 28 at a Santa Monica ceremony.
Topper:: Dawn Hudson, exec director of IFP/LA
Contact:: Production office, (310) 432-1240
Web site:: www.ifp.org
Intl. Documentary Assn.
Backstory: Founded in 1982, org honors outstanding accomplishments in nonfiction film and video.
Kudo: First IDA Awards were given in 1984; there will be seven regular categories, four special awards presented in 2004.
Membership:: There are 3,000 members in 50 countries, including docu producers, directors, researchers and other individuals and orgs involved in docu-making.
Voters:: Members may volunteer for screening committees to select nominees, but a blue-ribbon panel picks the final winners and finalizes recipients of special achievement honors.
Key dates:: Nominees were announced Oct. 3; awards gala to be held Dec. 12 at the Directors Guild of America.
Topper:s: Michael Donaldson, president; Sandra Ruch, executive director
Contact:: Tracie Lewis, (213) 534-3600, ext. 7438
Web site:: www.documentary.org
Los Angeles Film Critics Assn.
Backstory: Founded in 1975, org honors cinematic achievements.
Kudo: L.A. Film Critics Awards were first handed out in 1975; 17 and occasional special citations will be given in 2004.
Membership:: There are 50 members comprising critics from Los Angeles-area periodicals and TV and radio outlets.
Voters:: All awards are voted on by the entire membership; committees for experimental/independent films and documentaries make recommendations to the general assembly.
Key dates:: Voting takes place, and award winners will be announced Dec. 13. Award ceremony will be held Jan. 26 at the St. Regis Hotel in Century City.
Topper:: Jean Oppenheimer, president
Contact:: Jean Oppenheimer, (323) 932-0689
Web site:: www.lafca.com
Motion Picture Sound Editors
Backstory: Founded in 1953, org honors professional sound and music editors in film and TV with kudos in various areas of sound editing including dialogue, ADR, special effects, Foley and music.
Kudo: The Golden Reel Award was first given in 1953; 19 will be awarded in 2004.
Membership:: There are over 400 members, hailing from all areas of the sound industry.
Voters:: General membership votes on all feature categories. A blue-ribbon panel narrows submissions in other categories to eight noms and then selects winners.
Topper:: David Bondelevitch, prexy
Contact:: David Bondelevitch, (818) 506-7731
Web site:: /awardupdates.html
Backstory: Founded in 1909, org is committed to helping right social injustice. Awards honor achievement in film, TV, liter-ary work and music.
Kudo: The org’s Image Award was first given in 1969. It will be handed out in 35 categories in 2004.
Membership:: There are more than 500,000 members internationally.
Voters:: After submissions are received, a committee of industry pros and NAACP leaders select five nominees in each cate-gory. From there, the national readership of org’s Crisis mag and the leadership of the various branches makes final selections. NAACP members get ballots in their magazine or they can vote online at http://www.naacpimageawards.net.
Key dates:: Nominations will be announced Jan. 7. Voting will begin Jan. 7 and end Feb 27. Awards will be announced at a kudofest taped March 6 at the Universal Amphitheater. The show is skedded to air March 11 on Fox.
Topper:s: Julian Bond, chairman of the board; Kweisi Mfume, prexy-CEO and official NAACP spokesman
Contact:: NAACP Image Awards, (323) 938-5268
National Board of Review
Backstory: Founded in 1908 as the National Board of Censorship of Motion Pictures (an ancestor of the Motion Picture Assn. of America), New York-based org honors quality in domestic and international cinema.
Kudo: National Board of Review kudos officially began in 1929, of which as many as 22 categories will be awarded in 2004.
Membership:: There are close to 150 members made up of critics, journalists and other individuals involved with film.
Voting: Awards in the major categories, including an annual top 10 list of pics, are voted on by entire membership. Honorary honors (including career achievement and a Billy Wilder kudo for film direction) are decided by the board of directors based upon recommendations from the exceptional photoplay committee.
Key dates:: Awards will be announced Dec. 3 and distributed at Tavern on the Green at a gala ceremony Jan. 13.
Topper:: Sarah Merritt Eastman, chairman of the board of directors
Contact:: Bob Policastro, (212) 465-9166
National Society of Film Critics
Backstory: Founded in 1966, national critics org honors greatness in filmmaking.
Kudo: First NSFC Awards were given in 1966, with awards in up to 12 categories to be handed out in 2004.
Membership:: There are 55 members, elected by committee, consisting of critics for newspapers, magazines and journals throughout the country.
Voting: Awards are voted on by general membership. Committees make recommendations for the experimental and nonfic-tion awards.
Key dates:: Awards will be announced Jan. 3 in New York City.
Topper:s: Peter Rainer, chairman; Elizabeth Weiss, executive director
New York Film Critics Circle
Backstory: Founded in 1935, org recognizes the best films and filmmakers of the year.
Kudo: First NYFCC Awards given in 1935, with approximately 13 to be given in 2004.
Membership:: There are 32 members including critics for daily and weekly publications based in New York.
Voting: All awards are voted on by the membership.
Key dates:: Awards will be announced Dec. 15 and the gala will be held Jan. 4 at Noche.
Topper:s: Andrew Johnston, chairman
Contact:: Donna Daniels, (212) 869-7233
Producers Guild of America
Backstory: Screen Producers Guild was founded in 1950; it merged with the Television Producers Guild in 1966. It then amalgamated with the American Assn. of Producers in March 2001. Org honors the creativity of and protects the economic rights of film and TV producers.
Kudo: The Golden Laurel, first given in 1989, was changed to the PGA Award in 2002. The org will give out five honors in 2004, not including special ones like the Vanguard, Visionary and lifetime achievement kudos.
Membership:: There are approximately 1,800 active members comprising producers, exec producers and associate producers in the film and TV industries.
Voters:: The general active membership’s top five picks in each main category, not including honorary kudos, become the nominees. The entire active membership votes for the winner.
Key dates:: Film nomination ballots will be sent out Dec. 8 and are due back Dec. 31. Nominees will be announced Jan. 5. Fi-nal ballots will be sent Jan. 5 and are due back Jan. 15. PGA Awards will be announced Jan. 17 at the Century Plaza Hotel.
Topper:: Kathleen Kennedy, president
Contact:: Cherish Peterson, (310) 358-9020 ext. 103
Web site:: www.producersguild.org
Screen Actors Guild
Backstory: Founded in 1933, org honors members for performances in film and TV.
Kudo: Lifetime achievement kudos were first given in 1962, with SAG awards beginning in 1995; 13 will be given in 2004, as well as the 40th annual lifetime honor.
Membership:: There are approximately 98,000 eligible members nationwide comprising actors, singers, dancers, stunt per-formers, voiceover and background performers and puppeteers.
Voters:: Each September, 4,200 members are selected at random and are divided evenly into categories for film and TV. Each committee then nominates performers in each area for the entire active membership to vote upon in February. Life achievement kudos are selected by the national award committee, which is made up of board members.
Key dates:: Nomination ballots will be sent Dec. 15 and are due back Jan. 13. Nominations will be announced Jan. 15. Final ballots will be sent Jan. 26 and are due back Feb. 20. The SAG Awards will be held Feb. 22 at the Shrine Exposition Center.
Topper:: Melissa Gilbert, president
Contact:: Rosalind Jarrett, award publicist, (310) 235-1030
Writers Guild of America
Backstory: Authors Guild was formed in 1912 and changed to the WGA in 1933. Org honors outstanding work of writers in the film, TV and multimedia industries.
Kudo: WGA Awards were first handed out in 1947; 17 will be given out in 2004, not including additional honorary kudos.
Membership:: There are members comprising screen, broadcast, cable and interactive writers in entertainment and news.
Voters:: Competitive awards for film scribes are selected by all current members in good standing. Noms for honorary awards (including lifetime contribution to film screenwriting) are selected by previous recipients. Final honorees are chosen by the guild’s board of directors.
Key dates:: Preliminary ballots will be mailed out Dec. 31. The deadline for preliminary ballots is Jan. 20. Nominees for films will be announced Jan. 22. Final ballots will be mailed Jan. 23. The deadline for final screen ballots is Feb. 17. Winners will be announced Feb. 21 at simultaneous presentations at the Century Plaza Hotel in L.A. and the Pierre Hotel in N.Y.
Topper:s: Victoria Riskin, president
Contact:: Vicky Gallion, (323) 782-4574