The Producers Guild of America will mount its 31st award show on January 18, 2020, not a significant change; its next awards is set for January 19, 2019. However, it’s the first move in the collapsed awards corridor for the 2020 awards season. The Screen Actors Guild Awards are the second, to be held the following week on Sunday, January 26, 2020, around the same time as their 2019 awards show on January 27.
Now things are stacking up as the Directors Guild of America moves its ceremony to one day ahead of the SAG Awards: the 2020 DGA Awards will take place on Saturday, January 25, 2020, a week ahead of the 2019 ceremony scheduled for February 2, 2019.
In 2020, the Academy will host the Oscars February 9, the earliest date in its history. (The Olympics pushed back the 2018 Oscars to March 4; the 2019 Oscars will air February 24.) The Academy wants to shorten the lengthy road to the Oscars with its multiple rounds of guild and critics awards, from the Critics Choice to the Golden Globes. Those acceptance speeches get tired by Oscar night, when everyone already feels they know what will happen.
However, that will only have the effect of other awards cramming into January and early February. (They’re rewarding the previous year’s movies opening up to December 31, in theory.) What used to be spread out over two months will now take place in five weeks, with many ripple effects, especially on the pre-Oscar box office.
Nominations for the PGA Awards are reliable indicators of eligibility for other groups, from the Oscars to BAFTA and the Globes. The Guild’s Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures is often a strong predictor of the Best Picture Oscar.
New Foreign-Language Czars
Other Academy changes include a pair of new foreign film czars — writers branch governor Larry Karaszewski (“The People vs. Larry Flynt”) and documentary branch member Diane Weyermann (Participant Media) are replacing outgoing veteran producer Mark Johnson as chairs of the AMPAS Foreign Language Film Award executive committee.
Photo by Rob Latour/Variety/REX/Shutterstock
Johnson stepping down is no surprise, as AMPAS president John Bailey, an active foreign committee participant, has been working hard to make changes, widening and diversifying the Academy’s volunteer foreign-language committee, which draws from all 17 branches of their voting pool. Johnson had supporters and detractors as he wielded considerable influence over the contenders for Best Foreign Language Film, chairing the committee for 17 out of the last 18 years. While he added layers of extra committees to make sure the best films were in the final Oscar hunt, he handpicked those voters, to the consternation of many Academy members. Well, he had a good run.