5 Awards Shows on One Night! Inside the Most Crammed Awards Season Ever

It’s gonna rain awards stuff for the next 40 days and 40 nights

steve pond

Can I vent?

I know I’ve written about this year’s Oscars schedule a lot, and even I’ve gotten a little tired of mentioning how crazy January is going to be. But now January is actually here, so I’m going to say it again: This month is going to be crazy.

You can blame it on the earliest Oscars ever, Feb. 9. The early date, which will not be repeated in 2021 or 2022, means that every other event — three major film festivals, 10 significant nomination announcements, 24 awards ceremonies and countless receptions and parties — has to be crammed into the limited time between now and then, two or three weeks shorter than it usually is. Basically, it’s gonna rain awards stuff for the next 40 days and 40 nights.

Ricky Gervais

Golden Globes / NBC

Week 1: Jan. 1-5
You can watch a little football and a few screeners on New Year’s Day, but then it’s time to get moving. Thursday, Jan. 2 is the last day of voting for the Writers Guild, American Society of Cinematographers and Scripter Awards, and it also brings the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s Awards gala, where the locals will dress to the nines and the honorees will include Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Jennifer Lopez, Joaquin Phoenix, Renee Zellweger and lots more.

But don’t linger in the desert because Friday is the American Film Institute’s annual awards luncheon to honor the top 10 films and TV shows of the year, which happens at the same time that the American Society of Cinematographers throws a brunch to announce its film nominees. Saturday is the Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominees Brunch in the morning, the BAFTA Los Angeles Awards Season Tea Party in the afternoon and some pre-Golden Globes parties in the evening, with the National Society of Film Critics announcing its awards in the afternoon, as well.

Sunday is the Globes themselves, followed by parties in every nook and cranny of the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Critics Choice Awards

Critics’ Choice Awards / Getty Images

Week 2: Jan 6-12
You’d better not have partied too hard during the wild Globes weekend, because Monday the 6th will bring the Writers Guild film nominations, the Directors Guild’s TV and doc noms and the Visual Effects Society’s VES Awards nominations. And in the evening in New York City, the Cinema Eye Honors ceremony will take place to honor nonfiction film.

But Monday will only be a warmup because Tuesday the 7th will start in the wee hours (or, actually, just before midnight Monday in Los Angeles) when the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) BAFTA announces its nominations. A few hours later, the two major Hollywood guilds that are the most reliable Oscar predictors, the Directors Guild and Producers Guild, will both reveal their film nominations. The last time two of the four major guilds announced film nominees on the same day was 2011, when the PGA and WGA did it. Oh, and the deadline for Oscar nomination voting will be at 5 p.m. this day, while final voting will begin for three of the four major guilds–the DGA, PGA and WGA.

The rest of the week will only include the film nominations for the ICG Publicity Awards and a two-day window for final voting for the Critics’ Choice Awards, while the weekend brings the Make-Up Artist and Hair Stylists Awards on Saturday and the Critics’ Choice Awards on Sunday.

SAG Awards Trophy

SAG Awards

Week 3: Jan. 13-19
Everybody has an early wakeup call on Monday: Oscar nominations will be announced at 5:30 a.m. PST, which means nominees will spend the rest of the day telling everyone how pleased and surprised they are, and the rest of us will try to figure out What It All Means. If we want, though, we can watch the college football championship game in the evening to see who wins that award.

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival, which usually waits until the end of January to kick off, will instead begin on Wednesday the 15th, and will include tributes to Renee Zellweger on Thursday and the “Marriage Story” team of Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson on Friday. And final voting will end for the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Producers Guild Awards, Golden Reel Awards, ACE Eddie Awards and Costume Designers Guild Awards.

On the weekend, the Santa Barbara tribute to “Virtuosos,” including Cynthia Erivo, George MacKay, Taron Egerton, Florence Pugh and Awkwafina, will happen at the same time as the Producers Guild Awards on Saturday, while the Screen Actors Guild Awards will likely overshadow the Motion Picture Sound Editors’ Golden Reel Awards on Sunday.

Directors Guild Awards

Directors Guild Awards / Getty Images

Week 4: Jan. 20-26
This is the week where awards season really hits the fan. Santa Barbara has tributes to Laura Dern on Tuesday and Brad Pitt on Wednesday; voting ends for the WGA, DGA and ASC; and the Sundance Film Festival kicks off on Thursday, luring a good chunk of indie Hollywood to Park City.

And while the last Saturday of January, which this year falls on the 25th, is normally a day on which one awards show takes place (the Art Directors Guild in 2018, Producers Guild in 2017 … ), this year it just might be the most crowded awards night ever. Five different shows will take place simultaneously across Los Angeles: the Directors Guild Awards at the Ritz-Carlton, the Cinema Audio Society Awards at the Intercontinental, the USC Libraries Scripter Award on the USC campus, the American Society of Cinematographers Awards at the Ray Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood and the Annie Awards at Royce Hall at UCLA.

Plus, it’ll be the day before the Grammys, closing night in Santa Barbara and the first Saturday of Sundance, where premieres will include Rodrigo Garcia’s “Four Good Days” with Glenn Close and Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering’s untitled documentary about sexual misconduct in the music industry.

Oscar Nominees Luncheon

Oscar Nominees Luncheon

Week 5: Jan. 27-Feb. 2
The Oscar Nominees Luncheon has been held in either February or March since it began in the early 1980s, and always at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. But not this year: Instead, it’ll take place in January for the first time ever, on Monday the 27th, and it’ll move across town to the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland, because the Oscar production crew will already be installed at the Dolby Theater in that complex to meet their deadlines for a Feb. 9 show. It’ll feel really weird to many of the people in that room.

The Costume Designers Guild Awards will take place the next night and the Visual Effects Society Awards the night after. And on Thursday final Oscar voting will begin.

And then on Saturday, the Writers Guild Awards may need to hand out their big film awards in the middle of the show to give nominees time to catch the red-eye to London, because BAFTA will be holding the British Academy Film Awards on Sunday the 2nd. BBC will end up airing that show opposite the Super Bowl, an event that’s usually studiously avoided by all awards-season events. But this year, there’s no time for that.

And then Monday arrives, and it’s Oscar week.

Good luck, everybody. We’re all gonna need it.

Steve Pond

Steve Pond

Awards Editor • steve@thewrap.com • Twitter: @stevepond



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