Producers Guild of America Awards 2021: Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland bags top prize; see full list of winners

Nomadland is only the second film directed by a woman to win the producers’ Darryl F. Zanuck award for outstanding producer of a motion picture. The other was Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker in 2010.

FP Staff March 25, 2021 08:39:05 IST
Producers Guild of America Awards 2021: Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland bags top prize; see full list of winners

Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland cemented its Oscar front-runner status Wednesday, winning the top award at the 32nd annual Producers Guild of America Awards.

Nomadland, Zhao’s recession-era portrait of itinerant people in the American West, is only the second film directed by a woman to win the producers’ Darryl F. Zanuck award for outstanding producer of a motion picture. The other was Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker in 2010.

Check out the announcement here

In a delayed, virtual and very long awards season that has marched along during the pandemic with little of the usual pomp, declaring a clear front-runner has been challenging. But if any film could claim that mantle, it’s Nomadland, winner of the Golden Globe best picture award for drama. Zhao, too, is considered the favourite for best director. If she does win, she would only the second female director to do so, again after Bigelow.

Nomadland, made for less than $5 million and with many nonprofessional actors, is an unusually low-budget winner for the PGA honour, which has traditionally gone to larger-scale productions.

“In a year where we have been all been leading such isolated lives and movies felt so vital, we are proud to have produced a film about community and what connects us,” said producer Peter Spears, accepting the award in a taped message.

The PGA Awards are watched especially closely as an Oscar bellwether. The producers use the same preferential ballot as the film academy, and their best-picture fields often nearly mirror each other. This year, the producers nominated a few movies the academy passed over for best picture (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, One Night in Miami, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) while skipping one that landed the Oscar nomination: “The Father.”

In the 11 years since the Oscars expanded the best-picture category, the two groups have picked the same winner eight times. They differed last year, when the guild chose 1917 and the academy crowned Parasite; in 2017, when La La Land triumphed with the PGA and Moonlight won the Oscar; and in 2016, when the The Big Short topped the producers’ awards and Spotlight won the Academy Award.

Other awards went to Pixar’s Soul for animated film and My Octopus Teacher for documentary.

The awards on Wednesday were held virtually and pre-taped for an invite-only audience. Opening the ceremony, “Black-ish” actor Tracee Ellis Ross said of the show: “This, in and of itself, is an experiment in producing.”

Check out the full list of winners here

Nomadland - Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures

Soul- Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures

The Crown, Season 4 - Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Drama

Schitt’s Creek, Season 6 - Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Comedy

The Queen's Gambit - David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Limited Series Television

Hamilton - Award for Outstanding Producer of Televised or Streamed Motion Pictures

The Last Dance- Award for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver- Award for Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment & Talk Television

RuPaul’s Drag Race, Season 12- Award for Outstanding Producer of Game & Competition Television

My Octopus Teacher - Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Motion Pictures

(With inputs from The Associated Press)

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