The end of each year brings along many perks that simply cannot be ignored. Yes, you will be yet another year older, but hey, that’s completely manageable if you’ve got a ton of Christmas presents to compensate for it, right? Then, we’ve got the New Year’s celebrations, which do not mark only the beginning of another year, but also the beginning of film award season. Not quite, some happen before December turns into January, but hey, most of them are indeed situated in the first couple of months of every year. Let’s explore some of the most famous and sought after awards and festivals.
This is one of my favourite year-round award ceremonies, mainly because it sheds light on a lot of wonderful, less-marketed European gems. Pick any of their official selection entries and you will not be disappointed. This year’s ceremony already took place a week ago, and the big winner was the Swedish satirical drama The Square.
An early trend-setter in terms of both nominations and awards for the so-called Big 3, a Golden Globe is a welcome addition to every filmmaker out there. Segmenting best picture into Drama and Comedy is an interesting touch, while awards for the Television side of the industry are also fun to witness (albeit a tad predictable).
This is the largest independent film festival in the US, originally started in 1978 but then renamed in 1984 to Sundance Film Festival in honour of the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Since then, it has always offered a great showcase of indie films, some which subsequently rose to the big stage, others that stayed in their respective niches.
The second big one to be held in Berlin this award season, the Golden Lion it offers is one of the most prized possessions that a filmmaker can have. Judging by attendence figures, the Berlin International Film Festival is the largest film festival in the world.
The BAFTAs always take place somewhere in-between the Golden Globes and the Oscars, and are almost always presented by the awesomely funny Stephen Fry. He became such a trademark of this award ceremony, that changing him as host would undoubtedly see many disappointed viewers, me included.
I think the Oscars need no description, since they are the very definition of film awards in the eyes of many. I might not have agreed with their Best Picture choices for an almost worrying number of years now, but it’s hard to deny that this is the moment that big cinema reunites. And it’s always a delight. Except for those filmmakers who are led to believe that they’ve won Best Picture, only to have it taken away one minute later.
Somehow, the first and last awards in this chronological list happen to be my favourites. Having a Palme d’Or pretty much means that you’ve made it big time as a filmmaker. Not making any distinction between films based on their spoken language(s), the Cannes Film Festival is a wonderful and diverse competition that seeks to award the very best in the business.