Awards season officially begins in earnest on Saturday with the sold out all-day event, The Contenders Presented By Deadline. This fourth annual showcase for the major Oscar hopefuls is expected, as usual, to draw large numbers of Academy members, as well as those from key guilds such as the SAG Nominating Committee, WGA, DGA and PGA, along with other invited industry notables.
Contenders features a record 12 studios and distributors this year. Due to increasing demand it is being held at a new, larger venue, the Directors Guild theater in West Hollywood, and promises to be the place to be if you have any stake or interest in where the 2014 awards race is heading. This totally unique and exclusive event is designed to give voters a real overview of the contenders and perhaps to encourage them to see these films, or if they already have, to revisit the movies and get further insight into them. Doors open at 8 AM with a continental breakfast and the first presentation gets underway at 9 AM. I will be moderating a number of panels along with Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. and Dominic Patten.
The Weinstein Company (Begin Again, Snowpiercer, CitizenFour, St. Vincent, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, Big Eyes, Keep On Keepin’ On , The Imitation Game) kicks things off and 20th Century Fox ( The Fault In Our Stars, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, Gone Girl, Exodus: Gods And Kings) will close it with a bang at the end of the exciting day.
In between voters will hear from Dreamworks Animation (How To Train Your Dragon 2), Focus Features (The Boxtrolls, Kill The Messenger, The Theory of Everything),Universal ( Get On Up, Unbroken), Paramount (Noah, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, Interstellar, Top Five, The Gambler , Selma), Fox Searchlight (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wild, Birdman) and Warner Bros (The Lego Movie, The Judge, Inherent Vice, The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies, American Sniper). The crowd also will hear from Sony Pictures (Fury), Sony Pictures Classics ( Mr. Turner, Foxcatcher, Whiplash), Walt Disney Pictures (Big Hero 6, Into The Woods), and IFC Films (Boyhood). The presentations will include never before seen footage, trailers, clips and behind the scenes along with on stage discussions with key creative filmmakers and stars.