The Producers Guild of America’s 32nd annual PGA Awards handed Searchlight Pictures’ Nomadland its marquee honour tonight, bestowing the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures on the Chloé Zhao film that has been on a roll since taking the top awards at Venice and Toronto when it debuted last fall.
The victory continues the Frances McDormand-starring drama’s impressive run through the movie awards season, following wins already at the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Awards. It us up for six Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, Adapted Screenplay and Editing (the latter three solo noms for Zhao).
The pic topped a Zanuck field that included Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Judas and the Black Messiah, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Mank, Minari, One Night in Miami, Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal and The Trial of the Chicago 7. Nomadland is looking to become the 22nd film in 32 years to win the PGA and the Best Picture Oscar (last year, 1917 won here but lost to Parasite at the Academy Awards).
Other film-side winners revealed at the PGA Awards’ 87-minute virtual ceremony included Pixar’s Oscar-nominated Soul taking the Animated Film category, and Netflix’s My Octopus Teacher winning for Documentary, with producer Craig Foster of course thanking his star in his acceptance remarks, which like for all winners were made remotely.
The virtual ceremony did attract an A-list roster of presenters including Viola Davis, Daniel Kaluuya, Sacha Baron Cohen, Carey Mulligan, Steven Yeun, Amanda Seyfried Paul Raci, Regina King, Eddie Redmayne, Swankie, Riz Ahmed, Darren Criss, Kaley Cuoco, Daveed Diggs, Gal Gadot, Mindy Kaling, Paul Mescal, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sarah Jessica Parker and Jurnee Smollett. Nicole Kidman did the honors announcing Nomadland‘s win.
On the TV side, Pop TV’s Schitt’s Creek repeated its Emmy and Golden Globes wins in the Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Comedy category, and there were a pair of victories for Netflix: Season 4 of The Crown for the Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Drama, and the Anya Taylor-Joy-starring The Queen’s Gambit for Limited Series.
Two TV shows cemented three-year winning streaks tonight: Season 12 of VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race won Outstanding Producer of Game & Competition Television trophy and HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver won for Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment & Talk Television.
“Thank you so much for this PGA Award,” said Oliver, who not surprisingly might have gotten off the Zoomed ceremony’s quip of the night. “We appreciate it very much, especially this year. Production this year has been, to put it mildly, a bit f*cking tricky. …”
Other winners included ESPN’s Michael Jordan-Bulls dynasty docuseries The Last Dance in the Non-Fiction Television race and Disney+’s filmed stage performance of Hamilton for Outstanding Producer of Televised or Streamed Motion Pictures.
The PGA skipped its usual honorary awards this year, but did recognize its outgoing longtime national executive director Vance Van Petten with its Charles Fitzsimons Award. During Van Petten’s 20-year tenure he his grew the guild’s membership from 350 to over 8,000 and among other things launched the PGA Awards and the annual PGA Produced By Conference.
Here’s the full 2021 winners list:
Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures
Producers: Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, Chloé Zhao
Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Drama
The Crown (Season 4)
Producers: Peter Morgan, Suzanne Mackie, Stephen Daldry, Andy Harries, Benjamin Caron, Matthew Byam Shaw, Robert Fox, Michael Casey, Andy Stebbing, Martin Harrison, Oona O’Beirn
Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television
The Last Dance (Season 1)
Producers: (Eligibility determination Pending)
Outstanding Producer of Limited Series Television
The Queen’s Gambit
Producers: William Horberg, Allan Scott, Scott Frank, Marcus Loges, Mick Aniceto
Outstanding Producer of Televised or Streamed Motion Pictures
Producers: Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeffrey Seller
Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures
Producer: Dana Murray
Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment & Talk Television
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (Season 7)
Producers: (Eligibility determination pending)
Outstanding Producer of Documentary Motion Pictures
My Octopus Teacher
Outstanding Producer of Game & Competition Television
RuPaul’s Drag Race (Season 12)
Producers: (Eligibility determination pending)
Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Comedy
Schitt’s Creek (Season 6)
Producers: Eugene Levy, Daniel Levy, Andrew Barnsley, Fred Levy, David West Read, Ben Feigin, Michael Short, Kurt Smeaton, Kosta Orfanidis
Outstanding Sports Program
Defying Gravity: The Untold Story of Women’s Gymnastics (Season 1)
Outstanding Short Form Program
Carpool Karaoke: The Series (Season 3)
Outstanding Children’s Program
The Power of We: A Sesame Street Special
Charles Fitzsimons Award
Vance Van Petten
PGA/UCLA Vision Award