Deadline Hollywood’s ‘THE CONTENDERS event was held in Los Angeles at The Landmark theatre on Saturday and Sunday, December 10th and 11th. Click here to watch the Moguls Panels in full and excerpts from the Studio Presentations.

“Deadline Hollywood has always tried to innovate while other showbiz media outlets merely imitate. So I created a two-day event completely free to participants and invitees called ‘The Contenders’. Twelve studios and distributors, both major and indie, presented their Award contender films directly to invited members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and select Hollywood Guilds. Attendees heard from over 40 filmmakers including producers, writers, directors, actors, cinematographers, and costume designers.” – Nikki Finke

Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond and Deadline Film Editor Mike Fleming co-moderated two PANEL DISCUSSIONS WITH STUDIO MOGULS:
■ Howard Cohen (Co-President, Roadside Attractions)
■ Rob Friedman (Co-Chairman and CEO, Summit Entertainment)
■ Jeffrey Katzenberg (CEO, DreamWorks Animation)
■ Ryan Kavanaugh (CEO, Relativity Media)
■ Rob Moore (Vice-Chairman, Paramount Studios)
■ Tom Ortenberg (CEO, Open Road)
■ Jeff Robinov (President, Warner Bros.)
■ Tom Rothman (Chairman and CEO, Fox Filmed Entertainment)
■ Stacey Snider (Partner, Co-Chairman and CEO DreamWorks)
■ Harvey Weinstein (Co-Chairman, The Weinstein Company)

STUDIO PRESENTATIONS (click links for videos):
Sony Pictures: Moneyball, The Ides Of March
Weinstein: The Artist, CoriolanusIron Lady, My Week With Marilyn, W.E.
Cohen Media Group: The Lady
Focus Features: Pariah
Summit Entertainment: 50/50, A Better Life
DreamWorks: The Help, War Horse
Fox Searchlight: The Tree Of Life
Paramount Pictures: Like Crazy
DreamWorks Animation: Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss In Boots
Sony Pictures Classics: In Darkness, A Separation
Warner Bros: Contagion, J. Edgar, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Pt 2
Lionsgate: Warrior

Comments from attendees
■ “The Contenders event was something I truly enjoyed. I wasn’t sure what I was in for, but I have to say, as an AMPAS member, it was a time-efficient opportunity to hear about some films that may have otherwise slipped through the cracks. Having heard the filmmakers talk about them inspired me to want to make more of an effort to see them – so that’s a good result. Also, it was a really nice touch to structure the event to make it easy for people to participate – from covering the parking, to scheduling the breaks, and of course, feeding us delicious food. Folks were genuinely excited about the raffles too. That was a bonus no one expected. The selection of theater was also top-notch – the Landmark has some of the best projection and sound, combined with comfortable seats.” (AMPAS member)

■ “If the two sessions & lobster sandwiches are representative of the Contenders Weekend… then wow….congrats on what must be the inaugural weekend of the new Oscar Race tradition.” (PGA member)

■ “Thank you for giving the Pariah talent and filmmakers the exposure and for welcoming new, diverse talent to the awards discussion! I will make a concerted effort to see Pariah now which might not have happened otherwise.” (AMPAS member)

■ “I was a SAG Nominating Committee attendee this weekend at the Contender’s Event. Although it is a busy time of year, I did attend both days. This was a fabulous, well-attended, extremely well-presented event. It was really an extraordinary opportunity on so many levels… informative, fantastic networking, and it really helped me single out which films I hadn’t yet watched that I really want to see prior to making my selections. I wanted to express my appreciation for all that you did for everyone in the room. Bravo!” (SAG member)

■ “Just wanted to say thank you for an excellent and beautifully produced day on Saturday, at the Landmark. Every detail of the day was precise, professional, and user friendly. I learned so much and enjoyed seeing so many of my colleagues and friends. I look forward to this event being a part of my annual itinerary, and my guess is that so will every other Academy or Guild member that hears how great it was this year.” (AMPAS member)

■ “The Contenders, was a bonafide success. Well attended, with an approving audience.  The short 30 min. segments were just the right length. Of course, The Moguls segment was highly anticipated, and worked well. But I felt the various segments highlighting each companies Oscar fare was also terrific. You should give a lot of credit to the staff and moderators who worked the event. Am hoping your bosses at PMC will support the event next year. Everyone thinks an independent presentation of Oscar prospects like The Contenders is a fresh idea. Again, good job, and hey, in the drawing, I actually won prize – a new NOOK Tablet at the end of the day!” (PGA member)

■ “My wife and I just got back from the first day of your new event, The Contenders. Bravo! Congratulations on a brilliant idea very well executed, with taste and class. We got home inspired, entertained, informed and yet again knowing that there is no other industry we want to be part of, no other job we can or want to do other than being storytellers in the entertainment industry. Thank you for a wonderful experience.” (WGA member)