It’s great to see some underrated documentaries among the nominees for the 25th annual Producers Guild Awards. One of them is a favorite of mine, Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story. There’s also the starvation in America issue film A Place at the Table, which hasn’t really gotten much attention elsewhere. Rounding out the five is Alex Gibney’s We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, Sebastian Junger’s Which Way Is the Front Line from Here?: The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington and Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine’s Life According to Sam, the latter two both being HBO productions that are also shortlisted for the Oscar.
It’s always worth noting how often the PGA Award winners and nominees correlate with the Oscar winner. Last year, Searching for Sugar Man won both honors. Past instances of films winning both include 2010’s The Cove and 2009’s Man on Wire. In 2011, PGA nominee Inside Job took the Academy Award while PGA winner Waiting for Superman wasn’t nominated. In 2012, PGA winner Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest wasn’t nominated for the Oscar and the Oscar winner, Undefeated, wasn’t nominated for a PGA Award. And back in 2008, PGA winner Sicko was an Oscar nominee but it lost to the not-PGA-recognized Taxi to the Dark Side.
Never mind the odds based on the history, there isn’t a lot of chance that either Life According to Sam or Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? will even garner an Oscar nomination let alone a win. As for my prediction for the PGA Award winner? This race is too difficult to guess and I might need to see Life According to Sam first to do so anyway.
Meanwhile, two of the only reality series I watch on TV, The Amazing Race and Top Chef (produced by Tom Colicchio, husband of A Place at the Table nominee Lori Silverbush), are up for the PGA Award for Outstanding Producer of Competition Television. And here’s an interestingly timely nominee: Duck Dynasty is up for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television.
All the nonfiction nominees can be found below. All other nominees can be found on the PGA website. Winners will be announced in a ceremony on January 19, 2014.
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures:
Ø A PLACE AT THE TABLE (Magnolia Pictures)
Producers: Julie Goldman, Ryan Harrington, Kristi Jacobson, Lori Silverbush
Ø FAR OUT ISN’T FAR ENOUGH: THE TOMI UNGERER STORY (First Run Features)
Producers: Brad Bernstein, Rick Cikowski
Ø LIFE ACCORDING TO SAM (HBO Documentary Films)
Producers: Andrea Nix Fine, Sean Fine, Miriam Weintraub
Ø WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS (Focus Features)
Producers: Alexis Bloom, Alex Gibney, Marc Shmuger
Ø WHICH WAY IS THE FRONT LINE FROM HERE? THE LIFE AND TIME OF TIM HETHERINGTON (HBO Documentary Films)
Producers: James Brabazon, Nick Quested
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television:
Ø 30 for 30 (ESPN)
Producers: Bill Simmons, John Dahl, Erin Leyden, Connor Schell
Ø Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (CNN)
Producers: Anthony Bourdain, Christopher Collins, Lydia Tenaglia, Sandra Zweig
Ø Duck Dynasty (A&E Networks)
Producers: Deirdre Gurney, Scott Gurney, Mike Odair, Hugh Peterson, Adam Saltzberg, Charlie Van Vleet
Ø Inside The Actors Studio (Bravo)
Producers: James Lipton, Shawn Tesser, Jeff Wurtz
Ø Shark Tank (ABC)
Producers: Mark Burnett, Becky Blitz, Bill Gaudsmith, Yun Lingner, Clay Newbill, Jim Roush, Laura Skowlund, Max Swedlow
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Competition Television:
Ø Amazing Race, The (CBS)
Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer, Elise Doganieri, Jonathan Littman, Bertram van Munster, Mark Vertullo
Ø Dancing With The Stars (ABC)
Producers: Ashley Edens-Shaffer, Conrad Green, Joe Sungkur
Ø Project Runway (Lifetime)
Producers: Jane Cha Cutler, Desiree Gruber, Tim Gunn, Heidi Klum, Jonathan Murray, Sara Rea, Colleen Sands
Ø Top Chef (Bravo)
Producers: Tom Colicchio, Daniel Cutforth, Casey Kriley, Jane Lipsitz, Erica Ross, Nan Strait, Andrew Wallace
Ø Voice, The (NBC)
Producers: Stijn Bakkers, Mark Burnett, John de Mol, Chad Hines, Lee Metzger, Audrey Morrissey, Jim Roush, Kyra Thompson, Nicolle Yaron, Mike Yurchuk, Amanda Zucker