With the 2014 awards season now finally history, Deadline rewinds to near the beginning with our highly successful fourth annual The Contenders Presented By Deadline on November 1st, when each studio/distributor rolled out their most promising prospects for an audience of Academy voters an87th Annual Academy Awards - Showd key guild members. Serving as a preview of the season, the all-day sold-out event consisted of special presentations, film clips and onstage interviews with awards hopefuls in order to give the industry audience an idea of what to look for or a more in-depth view of films they may already have seen.

87th Annual Academy Awards - ShowSo congratulations to everyone who participated, and particularly to those whose awards path had early beginnings that day and led eventually all the way to Oscar night. Among those “contenders” who turned out now to be newly minted Academy Award winners were Patricia Arquette (Supporting Actress for Boyhood), J.K. Simmons (Supporting Actor for Whiplash), John Lesher (Best Picture producer for Birdman), and Don Hall and Chris Williams (Best Animated Feature for Big Hero 6).

BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (L-R) Producer James W. Skotchdopole, Sean Penn, Director Alejandro G. Iñárritu and ProducerJohn LesherAnd congratulations as well to all our “contenders” who landed Oscar nominations this year including Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois (Best Original Song for “Lost Stars,” from Begin Again), Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman (Best Picture producers for The Imitation Game), Dean DeBlois and Bonnie Arnold (Best Animated Feature for How To Train Your Dragon 2), Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable and Travis Knight (Best Animated Feature for The Boxtrolls), Anthony McCarten (Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Picture producer for The Theory Of Everything), Lisa Bruce (Best Picture producer for The Theory Of Everything), Jeremy Dawson (Best Picture Producer for The Grand Budapest Hotel), Jason Hall (Best Adapted Screenplay for American Sniper), Bennett Miller (Best Director for Foxcatcher) and Damien Chazelle (Best Adapted Screenplay for Whiplash). 

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM OF THE YEAR Big Hero 6 (L-R) Chris Williams, Roy Conli, and Don HallAnd when you add other participants in The Contenders who won awards and received nominations over the course of so many other shows, you have another impressive list including Jennifer Aniston, David Oyelowo, Ava DuVernay, Mike Leigh, The Lego Movies’ Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Chadwick Boseman, Miles Teller, Ellar Coltrane, Shailene Woodley, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross just to name a few.

Deadline is happy to present The Contenders each year and we’ll be back next November to do it all again. It’s been a great season. Looking forward to the next one.