Awards Season Blasts Into Party Overdrive with Ballots on the Way

During awards season, there are always a flood of events. But this week and next are particularly frenzied, for three reasons: Ballots go out next week for the SAG Awards and Nov. 27 for the Golden Globes; and a lot of people are in town for Saturday’s Governors Awards.

Wednesday night alone saw nearly simultaneous events of an AFI Fest gala screening of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”; Spike Jonze doing a fest Q&A for “Her” (with producer Megan Ellison speaking briefly); “12 Years a Slave” at the Museum of Tolerance; Bruce Dern at a SAG nom com screening of “Nebraska”; a multi-guild screening at the Academy for “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” attended by Zindzi Mandela; and a Cinema Italian Style event attended by Paolo Sorrentino, the director of foreign-language entry “La Grande Bellezza.”

Also on Wednesday was an impressive alternative to the usual meet-and-greet at the Buffalo Club in Santa Monica, where T Bone Burnett oversaw a concert tied to the Coen brothers “Inside Llewyn Davis” and where performers included the film’s Oscar Isaac, Steve Martin on banjo and the Punch Brothers. Attendees included Norman Lear and Barbra Streisand and the event got a big thumbs-up from those who attended. (the Thursday night gala screening of the film wraps up AFI Fest.)

Upcoming in the next few days are fetes for “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Despicable Me 2,” “Philomena,” “Rush” and plenty more Q&A’s and screenings.

Many of these events are planned well in advance — you don’t schedule a concert or a big bash at Fig & Olive on the spur of the moment — but some events that are thrown together overnight feel somewhat haphazard, as if guest lists are being rejiggered at the last minute to accommodate second and third-tier choices when A-listers are already booked or when talent finally agrees to one more evening of passed hors d’oeuvres and palm pressing.

Thanksgiving weekend will provide a temporary lull in the frenzied festivities. And even the most rabid party-goer is likely to give thanks for that.

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