A brief overview of awards given during award season

By: Kaitlyn Germann

Award season allows for the finest contestants in a variety of categories to be chosen and recognized for their great talent and skills. The most renowned and noteworthy award show, the Academy Awards, is not the only award show that celebrates the efforts of those who work in film and television; a wide selection of other award shows, such as the Screen Actors Guild, or SAG, Awards, the Film Independent Spirit Awards, or the Writers Guild Awards, aim to highlight specific types of work within the film industry.

These smaller award shows, which are, admittedly, less known than the Academy Awards, exist more to spotlight certain roles in each very clustered section of the industry, and allow for the best in those sections to be chosen and celebrated for their talents, as opposed to being a part of a larger award show which is, though more prominent, less detailed in its awards, and not made for a very distinct category of work within the industry.

A handful of types of awards categories within these smaller awards shows recognize aspects of the industry which aren’t celebrated by the larger award shows in any regard. Such as with the Independent Spirit Awards, where films with a budget over $20 million aren’t allowed to be nominated, there are categories that recognize great feature films with a low budget or emerging producers and directors. These more individualized approaches to awards allow for smaller, independent filmmakers to be noticed and have something behind their name.

Some who have been nominated for an Independent Spirit Award include Debra Granik, Tamara Jenkins, and Karyn Kusama, for the Annual Bonnie Award, which recognizes a mid-career female director and awards them a $50,000 unrestricted grant. This award is just an example of the multitude of types of awards given in these less acknowledged award ceremonies, others include Alex Moratto, Ioana Uricaru, and Jeremiah Zagar, who’ve been nominated for the Someone to Watch award, which acknowledges a filmmaker with a single vision who’s not been significantly recognized yet.

Though there are, of course, many awards to recognize feature films of all types, there are also awards given out during the year which encompass other art forms, including music. The most known music awards show being the Grammys Awards, is definitely not the only music awards show, other award shows which emphasize music include the iHeartRadio Music Radio awards, and the BRIT awards.

Another show that stars films and filmmakers is the Annie Awards. Whilst the other film-centric award shows may feature an award or two for animated films, the Annie Awards focuses all of its attention on animated films and filmmakers, which is very different than the other types of shows, as none of them focus on a single genre of film, but rather a select few out of many genres.

The way in which different award shows choose to recognize smaller filmmakers and films is something which enables these smaller filmmakers to have something to aim to achieve, but also something which simply recognizes these smaller filmmakers and films.