A guide to the guilds, academies, institutes and associations behind the trophies
NATIONAL BOARD OF REVIEW Backstory: The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures was founded in 1909 in New York City, just 13 years after the birth of cinema. In an effort to avoid government censorship of films, the NBR became the unofficial clearinghouse for new movies. It “honors the distinctive voice of the individual artist, honoring excellence and supporting freedom of expression in film as well as film history.” The organization also works to foster commentary on all aspects of film production and underwrites education film programs and seminars for film students. The NBR also awards scholarships and grants to promising film students and directors, ranging from $500 to $5000
Kudo: In 1929, the NBR was the first group to choose the 10 best English-language movies of the year and the best foreign films. Approximately 22 awards will be handed out this year as the NBR celebrates its centennial.
Membership: Approximately 120 members made up of young film professionals, journalists, educators, students and historians.
Key dates: Awards will be announced Dec. 4 and distributed during the 100th year gala celebration Jan.14 at Cipriani 42nd Street, sponsored by Bulgari
Toppers: Annie Schulhof, prexy
Contact: Rubenstein Communications, (212) 843-8000 Website: nbrmp.org
NATIONAL SOCIETY OF FILM CRITICS Backstory: Founded in 1966, this national crix org honors excellence in filmmaking. Kudo: The first NSFC Awards were given in 1966. Awards in 11 categories will be handed out for 2008. Membership: There are 63 members, elected by current members, consisting of critics for newspapers, magazines and journals throughout the country. Voting: Awards are voted on by the general membership. Committees make recommendations for the experimental and nonfiction awards. Key dates: Awards will be voted on and announced Jan. 3 at Sardi’s in New York. Toppers: David Sterritt, chairman; Elisabeth Weis, executive director Contact: Elisabeth Weis Email: email@example.com
PRODUCERS GUILD OF AMERICA Backstory: The Screen Producers Guild was founded in 1950. It merged with the Television Producers Guild in 1966, and then amalgamated with the American Assn. of Producers in March 2001. Today, the org seeks to advance the profession of film, TV and new media producers while honoring their work. Kudo: The Producers Guild Awards were established in 1989. The org will give out eight honors for 2008 work, not including honorary distinctions like the Milestone, Vanguard and Career Achievement awards. Membership: More than 3,500 members including producers, exec producers and associate producers working in the film, TV and new media industries. Voters: For most competitive honors, segments of the membership in film and television pick five productions in each category, which become the noms. The sole exception is the new feature documentary category, for which the nominees is selected by a blue-ribbon panel composed of experienced documentary film producers, along with at least one member of the PGA’s board of directors. The entire membership votes for the winners in all categories. Key dates: TV series nomination ballots became available Oct. 6 and are due Nov. 3. Theatrical pics submission forms are due Nov. 7, and longform TV forms are due Nov. 21. Both ballots are available online Dec. 1 and are due Jan. 2. Noms will be announced Jan. 5, at which time final ballots will be available online. Final ballots are due back Jan. 23. The awards will be announced Jan. 24 at the Hollywood Palladium. Topper: Marshall Herskovitz, prexy Contacts: (310) 358-9020; Emily Kimmel, director of legal affairs and arbitrations; Chris Green, director of communications; Eddie Michaels, publicist, Insignia Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: producersguild.org
SCREEN ACTORS GUILD Backstory: Founded in 1933, SAG is the nation’s largest labor union representing working actors and honors members for performances in film and TV. This year SAG is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Kudo: The SAG Actor Awards began in 1995. The Actor statuettes are given out in five film and eight television categories. In 2008, SAG instituted the first honors for film and television stunt ensembles. The Life Achievement Award was first presented in 1962. James Earl Jones will receive SAG’s 45th annual Life Achievement Award. Membership: Nearly 120,000 members including actors, singers, dancers, stunt performers, voiceover and background performers and puppeteers. Voters: Each April, the SAG Awards’ film and television nominating committees are selected at random, each consisting of 2,100 members. Each committee then nominates performers in the film and television categories for the entire active membership to vote upon in January. Life achievement kudos are selected by the national honors and tributes committee. Key dates: Submissions close Oct. 29. Nomination ballots will be sent Nov. 26 and are due back Dec.16. Noms will be announced Dec. 18 at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood. Final ballots will be sent Dec. 26 and are due back Jan. 23. The 15th annual SAG Awards will be held Jan. 25 at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles, simulcast live on TNT and TBS. Topper: Alan Rosenberg, prexy Contacts: Kathy Connell, producer; Jon Brockett, awards supervisor, (323) 549-6707; Rosalind Jarrett, publicity executive, (323) 549-6612 Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sagawards.org
VISUAL EFFECTS SOCIETY Backstory: VES is a professional honorary society dedicated to advancing the arts, sciences and applications of visual effects and to upholding the highest uniform standards and procedures for the visual effects profession. VES is the entertainment industry’s only official organization representing the extended community of visual effects practitioners including supervisors, artists, producers, technology developers, educators and studio executives. Kudo: The first VES awards were given out in 2002; more than 20 awards will be handed out in 2009. Membership: Approximately 1,800 global members contributing to all areas of entertainment from film, television and commercials to musicvideos, games and new media; members include visual effects supervisors, visual effects directors, vfx directors/supervisors, producers/project managers, production pipeline managers, etc. Voters: All members, including associate members, in good standing are eligible for the final voting. Key dates: VES judges meet and vote on nominations Jan. 17; noms are announced Jan. 19. Online voting opens Jan. 30 and closes Feb. 11. The Visual Effects Society Awards will be presented Feb. 21 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Beverly Hills Topper: Jeffrey A. Okun, Chair, VES Awards Committee Contact: Brent Armstrong, (818) 981-7861 Email: email@example.com Website: http://www.vesawards.com
WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA Backstory: The Authors Guild was formed in 1912 and changed to the WGA in 1933. The org honors the work of writers in the film, TV and multimedia industries. Kudo: The Writers Guild Awards were first handed out in 1947; trophies will be given out in 2009 for 2008 work in 25 categories, not including honorary kudos. Membership: More than 11,000 members who work for screen, broadcast, cable and interactive in entertainment and news. Voters: Competitive awards for film and TV scribes are selected by all current members in good standing. Nominees for honorary awards (including the Laurel for lifetime contribution to film screenwriting) are selected by previous recipients. Final honorees are chosen by the guild’s board of directors. Key dates: Preliminary voting begins Nov. 10 for TV, with a voting deadline of Dec 1. Voting for film begins Dec. 4, with a deadline of Jan. 6. Noms for TV will be announced Dec. 8; film noms will be announced Jan. 7. Final voting begins Jan. 9 and ends Feb. 2. Winners will be announced Feb. 7 at simultaneous presentations at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in L.A. and the Hudson Theater in the Millennium Broadway Hotel in N.Y. Toppers: WGAE prexy: Michael Winship; WGAW prexy: Patric M. Verrone Contacts: WGAW: Jennifer Burt (323) 782-4569; WGAE: Marsha Manns (212) 767-7805 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (WGAW); email@example.com (WGAE) Website: wga.org; wgaeast.org