Invitations are in the mail (actually the email) to AMPAS and top guild members for Deadline’s seventh annual The Contenders event for the movie awards season. It’s set for all day Saturday, November 4, at the DGA Theater.
A record 19 studios and distributors are participating this year, with 35 films featured in clips and onstage discussions with actors, directors, producers, writers and others who are part of the filmmaking process. It’s essentially one-stop shopping for the voter as they hear the backstory of how these films got made from the people who made them. The much-anticipated event follows hot on the heels of Deadline’s very successful inaugural Contenders in London last week, where many stars, directors and studios participated in front of an invited audience of Academy and BAFTA members.
Films represented at LA’s The Contenders this year include Molly’s Game (STX Entertainment); Hostiles, Chappaquiddick (Entertainment Studios); Logan, War for the Planet of the Apes (20th Century Fox); Marshall (Open Road); The Big Sick, Wonderstruck (Amazon Studios); The Florida Project, Lady Bird, The Disaster Artist (A24); Victoria & Abdul, Darkest Hour, Phantom Thread (Focus Features); Get Out (Universal Pictures); Detroit (Annapurna Pictures); Dunkirk, Wonder Woman, Blade Runner 2049 (Warner Bros.); Battle of the Sexes, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, The Shape of Water (Fox Searchlight); Baby Driver, Roman J. Israel, Esq. , All the Money in the World (Sony); Call Me by Your Name, Maudie (Sony Pictures Classics); An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, Downsizing, mother! (Paramount Pictures); Thor: Ragnarok, Coco (Walt Disney Studios); Breathe (Bleecker Street/Participant Media); I, Tonya (Neon); The Hero (The Orchard); The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected), Mudbound (Netflix).
Mike Fleming Jr., Dominic Patten, Anthony D’Alessandro, Joe Utichi and I will be moderating the various panels throughout the day, which starts with breakfast at 8 AM and concludes at 4:45 PM. Lunch, of course, also will be served. Returning sponsors are Final Draft, Allied Integrated Marketing, Chapman University, Dell, Screen Engine/ASI, P0ltrona Frau and Cappellini. New this year are Pinewood Studios and Michter’s Whiskey. And for anyone who has attended this particular Contenders event before, you know there are always some great raffle prizes to be given away all day long.
As one Academy member told us after last year’s Contenders event: “I was thrilled and humbled to spend a day like this. There is no other event which celebrates the industry and the artists.” Another told us, “This is like Oscar on steroids!”
The Contenders is strictly an invitation-only, Deadline-produced event and is not presented in conjunction with any other organization including AMPAS.