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Producers Guild to Honor James Cameron

A year after losing to “The Hurt Locker,” Cameron will return to receive the PGA’s top award

The Producers Guild is trying to make it up to James Cameron.

Eight months after Cameron’s “Avatar” was beaten by “The Hurt Locker” in a upset at the Producers Guild of America awards, the PGA has named him the recipient of the 2011 Milestone Award, which goes to a producer “who has made historic contributions to the entertainment industry.”

James Cameron“Avatar” went into last January’s PGA ceremony a clear favorite to win the top award, given the Producer Guild’s attraction to commercially successful films. Its loss to “The Hurt Locker” was the clearest sign yet that the Oscar race had a new frontrunner, and is widely believed to have been caused by the preferential system of counting ballots, in which voters rank their choices one-through-ten, and the film with the most Number One votes is not necessarily the winner.

“As one of the most respected and admired storytellers of our time, James Cameron has inspired audiences with his creativity time and time again,” said PGA co-presidents Hawk Koch and Mark Gordon in a press release announcing the selection. “We are proud to recognize his many talented contributions to the film and entertainment industry with the Guild’s highest honor.”

Besides “Avatar,” Cameron has directed and produced “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” “True Lies” and “Titanic.” He also produced “Point Break” and “Strange Days” for his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow, director of “The Hurt Locker.”

And if the award isn’t enough to make things right with Cameron, maybe the entirely rugged and intense photo the PGA sent out with the announcement (above) will help matters as well.