Story by: Jack Foley
AWARDS favourites, The Lord
of the Rings: The Return of the King and Cold
Mountain, are among the films on the shortlist to be named
best release of 2003, by Hollywood producers.
The Producers Guild of America (PGA) Awards have also selected
Master and Commander: The
Far Side of the World, Mystic
River, The Last Samurai
and Seabiscuit, as possible
recipients of the accolade, on January 17, in Los Angeles.
The PGA is one of the main Hollywood trade bodies and its ceremony
is yet another strong indicator of which films are likely to feature
strongly at the Oscars.
An honorary award will go to director, James Cameron, at the
event, in recognition of his work on movies such as Titanic, Aliens
and The Terminator.
Actor and producer, Warren Beatty, will also get an honorary
award, as will veteran Italian, Dino De Laurentiis, and Saturday
Night Live producer, Lorne Michaels.
As an indicator of the significance of the PGA awards, the best
picture winner has gone on to be named best film at the Oscars
in 10 of the past 14 years.
Last year, for instance, Chicago
was named best film, and went on to be the choice of the Academy
The PGA panel also award TV shows for excellence, and nominees
this year include the usual suspects - The West Wing and CSI:
Crime Scene Investigation, as well as Six Feet Under, Alias and,
naturally, real-time drama, 24.