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Awards Season Begins


(January 4, 2016 – Toronto, ON) – The coming of each new year brings with it a renewal of the film calendar which begins with a string of honours and awards for films and in some cases TV shows produced in the previous year. Everyone has come to call it Awards Season, which sounds so much nicer than winter.

The kickoff begins this week with a fairly local event which a huge impact. The Toronto Film Critics Association will gather for their 2016 Gala tomorrow night and announce their final winners including the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award which carries with it a cheque for a jaw-dropping $100,000.

This Friday, January 8, the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) will be announced by BAFTA’s Chair Anne Morrison who will be joined by Stephen Fry and Gugu Mbatha-Raw to announce the nominations for the EE British Academy Film Awards in 2016.

On Sunday, the 73rd Golden Globe Awards which will be broadcast live from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. We say “live” but we mean in delay. The producers have opted to go with Ricky Gervais as host for the fourth time and no one, not even Gervais himself, knows what might come out of his mouth. Our bet is on the Canadian co-pro Room, but it is competing against a very strong list of drama films including Carol, Mad Max: Fury Road, the shot-in-Canada Revenant and Spotlight, a film that includes Rachel McAdams in its great cast and was named Best Picture of the Year by the US-based National Society of Film Critics yesterday. The journalism drama, which follows the true story of the Boston Globe investigation into sex abuse in the Catholic Church, was also given the award for best screenplay.

In the Best Performance in a Motion Picture – Drama category, Brie Larson, the star of Room is up against Saoirse Ronan the star of Brooklyn, also a Canadian co-pro. Others in the running for a Globe in that category include Cate Blanchett who plays the titular Carol in that movie and Rooney Mara who costars with Blanchett in the film. Alicia Vikander is nominated for her work as Gerda Wegener in The Danish Girl.

Carol has a total of five Golden Globe nominations and Room has three including one for the author and playwright Emma Donoghue.

The Canadian Screen Awards (statuette pictured above) will announce their 2016 nominees on January 19 and Northernstars will be there to cover that event. You can watch live on the Fanzone website. Bookmark this url: http://fanzone.academy.ca and remember to visit on the 19th a little before 10:30am.

The 27th Annual Producers Guild Awards will be announced on January 23rd. Considered a strong prognosticator for the Best Picture Oscar®, the announcement of the Guild’s Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures is one of the most eagerly-anticipated of the season.

The Screen Actors Guild Awards will be announced on January 30th. ACTRA Toronto has already announced that Sarah Gadon will receive their coveted Award of Excellence for 2016. That and other awards will be handed out at the 14th Annual ACTRA Awards in Toronto gala on Saturday, February 20th.

The Directors Guild of Canada holds its annual award presentation toward the end of the year. For 2015 the DGC handed out 19 awards on October 24th including a DGC Lifetime Achievement Award for David Cronenberg. South of the border, the DGA (Directors Guild of America) will hold their Awards Dinner on Saturday, February 6th.

We have saved the biggies for last. AMPAS, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has been issuing an almost constant stream of pre-nomination media releases. Last time we checked, nine films remain in contention for the Best Foreign Language Film. Canada was shutout this year. There are 112 original scores being pared down to the final list and 74 songs that need to be listened to. There are 20 films still in the Best Visual Effects category and back on December 1st, 15 documentary features had advanced to the semi-final selection for Oscar® glory. The final list of nominees will be announced on Thursday, January 14th. In the past few years, Northernstars has carried the nomination announcement broadcast live and we hope to do so again this year. The Academy Awards® will air live on ABC on Sunday, February 28, 2016.

And in Canada, Screen Week will culminate with the Canadian Screen Awards Broadcast Gala on CBC on March 13. Northernstars will be there to cover that event.

Best of luck to all the nominees.