PGA unveils nominations

Winners to be announced Jan. 24

The Producers Guild of America was on a sci-fi high in its first-ever slate of 10 nominees for best pic.

In Tuesday’s announcement of noms, the org offered good news for those who had hoped a 10-pic lineup would broaden the range of films getting kudos attention. The PGA cited the sci-fi trio of “Avatar,” “District 9” and “Star Trek,” toon “Up,” comedy-drama “Up in the Air,” major-studio big-name vehicle “Invictus,” specialty titles “An Education,” “The Hurt Locker” and “Precious,” and a WWII saga (“Inglourious Basterds”).

“Up” also received a nomination in the PGA’s animated category along with “9,” “Coraline,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and “The Princess and the Frog.”

The org will announce the winners Jan. 24 in ceremonies at the Hollywood Palladium based on voting by its 4,200 members.

While there was no flat-out farce or foreign-language title in the smorgasbord of genres, commercial films fared well. When the guild last summer followed the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ lead in expanding the nom slate to 10 films, some feared that the expanded slate would be filled with small-scale niche films.

However, the guild has always been receptive to commercial titles: Last year, it nommed “The Dark Knight,” as well as “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Frost/Nixon,” “Milk” and eventual winner “Slumdog Millionaire.”

AMPAS opted for “The Reader” rather than “Dark Knight.” More than three-quarters of past PGA nominations for the best picture have subsequently scored Oscar mentions.

The PGA’s trophy — the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award — has matched the Oscar best picture in 13 of its 20 years.

Among the contenders missing the PGA cut were “500 Days of Summer,” “The Blind Side,” “The Hangover,” “It’s Complicated,” “The Last Station,” “The Lovely Bones,” “The Messenger,” “Nine,” “A Serious Man” and “A Single Man.”

The PGA’s selections of accredited producers have been used by AMPAS for the past three years as guidelines in determining the nominated producers in the Oscar best picture category. The producers branch of the Academy has about 8% of the voting membership with 452 out of 5,777.

“We’re kind of knocked down by this,” said Carolynne Cunningham, who produced “District 9” with Peter Jackson. “We didn’t expect it, partly because it was so much fun to do. Everyone we talk with tells us what an entertaining film it is.”

Other producers listed by the PGA were James Cameron and Jon Landau for “Avatar”; Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey, “An Education”; Lawrence Bender, “Inglourious Basterds”; Clint Eastwood, Rob Lorenz, Lori McCreary, Mace Neufeld, “Invictus”; Lee Daniels, Gary Magness, Sarah Siegel-Magness, “Precious”; J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, “Star Trek”; and Jonas Rivera, “Up.”

The PGA said Tuesday that it had not yet determined the accredited producers on “The Hurt Locker” and “Up in the Air.” Producers listed on Summit’s release of “Hurt Locker” are Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro, while the “Up in the Air” producers listed by Paramount are Daniel Dubiecki, Jeffrey Clifford, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman.

The PGA announced a quartet of nominees for its documentary award — “Burma VJ,” “The Cove,” “Sergio” and “Soundtrack for a Revolution.” It also tapped half a dozen finalists for its longform TV award with nods to the producers of “Georgia O’Keeffe,” “Grey Gardens,” “Little Dorrit,” “Prayers for Bobby,” “The Prisoner” and “Taking Chance.”

The Directors Guild of America will announce its feature film nominees on Thursday. Oscar noms will be announced Feb. 2.

Producers: James Cameron, Jon Landau
“District 9”
Producers: Carolynne Cunningham, Peter Jackson
“An Education”
Producers: Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey
“The Hurt Locker”
Producer(s): Awaiting final credit determination.
“Inglourious Basterds”
Producer: Lawrence Bender
Producers: Clint Eastwood, Rob Lorenz, Lori McCreary, Mace Neufeld
“Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire”
Producers: Lee Daniels, Gary Magness, Sarah Siegel-Magness
“Star Trek”
Producers: J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof
Producer: Jonas Rivera
“Up in the Air”
Producer(s): Awaiting final credit determination.

Producer(s): Awaiting final credit determination.
Producer(s): Awaiting final credit determination.
“Fantastic Mr. Fox”
Producer(s): Awaiting final credit determination.
“The Princess and the Frog”
Producer: Peter Del Vecho
Producer: Jonas Rivera

Burma VJ
Producer: Lise Lense-Moller
“The Cove”
Producers: Paula DuPre Pesman, Fisher Stevens
Producer(s): Awaiting final credit determination.
“Soundtrack for a Revolution”
Producer(s): Awaiting final credit determination.

Georgia O’Keeffe
Producer(s): Awaiting final credit determination.
“Grey Gardens”
Producers: David Coatsworth, Lucy Donnelly, Rachael Horovitz, Michael Sucsy
“Little Dorrit”
Producers: Lisa Osborne, Anne Pivcevic
“Prayers for Bobby”
Producers: Stanley M. Brooks, Damian Ganczewski, David Permut, Daniel Sladek, Chris Taaffe
“The Prisoner”
Producer(s): Awaiting final credit determination.
“Taking Chance”
Producers: Lori Keith Douglas, Ross Katz, Brad Krevoy, Cathy Wischner-Sola
Note: The Long-Form Television category encompasses both movies of the week and miniseries. The eligibility period for this category was Jan. 1, 2009 through Dec. 31, 2009.

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