The idea of expanding the best-picture slate from five to 10 nominations came as something of a shock three months ago.
Now it’s a trend.
The Producers Guild of America, whose top nominees usually match quite closely with the best-picture slate at the Oscars, announced today that they are joining the Academy in doubling the number of nominees for their top prize, the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures. The move has been expected for some time – and, admitted PGA President Marshall Herskovitz in the press the release announcing the change, the Academy’s June move was definitely a factor.
“The PGA board approved the expansion of our Best Produced Picture category nominations to support our colleagues at the Academy,” Herskovitz said, “but also because we feel it better represents the unprecedented diversity of films being produced today.”
It’s still pretty unclear if Academy voters are going to find 10 films from 2009 worthy of the nomination – but at least they won’t be the only ones looking for ten deserving contenders.
Then again, if the Academy nominated the way the PGA did, the move to 10 might not have been necessary. Last year, “The Dark Knight” secured one of the Producers Guild’s five best-picture nominations; the Academy ignored that film in favor of “The Reader,” a snub that was certainly a contributing factor in the move to an expanded, and theoretically more diverse, slate of nominees.
The Producers Guild nominees will be announced on January 5, 2010, and the winners on January 24, putting them more than a month ahead of the Oscars timetable.
The Producers Guild of America website is here.