PGA unveils film nominations

Winners will be announced on Jan. 24

The Producers Guild of America has tapped “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The Dark Knight,” “Frost/Nixon,” “Milk” and “Slumdog Millionaire” as nominees for its top feature award.

The winner, determined by voting of the 4,000 members of the PGA, will be announced Jan. 24 at the Hollywood Palladium.

The PGA’s announcement Monday contained no major surprises. Nominees for its Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award include Kathleen Kennedy & Frank Marshall and Cean Chaffin for “Benjamin Button”; Christopher Nolan, Charles Roven and Emma Thomas for “The Dark Knight”; Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Eric Fellner for “Frost/Nixon”; Dan Jinks & Bruce Cohen for “Milk”; and Christopher Colson for “Slumdog Millionaire.”

The group also announced its documentary feature nominees: Simon Chin for “Man on Wire,” Julie Bilson Ahlberg and Errol Morris for “Standard Operating Procedure,” and Carl Deal and Tia Lessin for “Trouble the Water.” The PGA launched the category last year with “Sicko” winning the first trophy.

Animated feature mentions went to Clark Spencer for “Bolt,” Melissa Cobb for “Kung Fu Panda” and Jim Morris for “Wall-E.” “Ratatouille” won the award last year.

The PGA Awards also will include kudos in five TV categories. Those nominations were unveiled last month.

“Button,” “Frost/Nixon” and “Slumdog” received Golden Globe mentions for top drama along with SAG noms for the guild’s ensemble trophy.

Winner of the PGA award has gone on to claim the best picture Oscar in 12 of the last 19 years. “No Country for Old Men” won both last year, but the orgs split during the three previous years as the PGA opted for “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Brokeback Mountain” and “The Aviator” while Academy voters chose “The Departed,” “Crash” and “Million Dollar Baby.”

More than three-quarters of the PGA nominations have also subsequently secured Oscar mentions for picture. In addition to “No Country,” both orgs tapped “Juno,” “Michael Clayton” and “There Will Be Blood” last year while the PGA opted for “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” and the Acad selected “Atonement.”

The producing team of Jinks and Cohen won the PGA Award and the Oscar for “American Beauty” in 2000. Grazer won it in 1996 for “Apollo 13.”

The PGA’s selections of accredited producers have been used by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences over the past two years as guidelines in determining the nominated producers in the Oscars’ picture category. The Academy currently has 462 voting members in its producers branch out of 5,810 total members.

And the nominees are:

The Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures
“The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button,” Kathleen Kennedy & Frank Marshall, Ceán Chaffin
“The Dark Knight,” Christopher Nolan, Charles Roven, Emma Thomas
“Frost/Nixon,” Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Eric Fellner
“Milk,” Dan Jinks & Bruce Cohen
“Slumdog Millionaire,” Christian Colson

The Producers Guild of America Producer of the Year Award in Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures
“Man On Wire,” Simon Chinn
“Standard Operating Procedure,” Julie Bilson Ahlberg, Errol Morris
“Trouble The Water,” Carl Deal, Tia Lessin

The Producers Guild of America Producer of the Year Award in Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures
“Bolt,” Clark Spencer
“Kung Fu Panda,” Melissa Cobb
“Wall-E,” Jim Morris

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