The race for the best picture Oscar should come into better focus Saturday night when the Producers Guild of America holds its 24th annual awards ceremony at the Beverly Hilton hotel.
The guild's Darryl F. Zanuck Award for motion pictures has traditionally been a powerful indicator of which film will win the top prize on Oscar night, making it a cherished honor among filmmakers.
Director/star Ben Affleck's Iran-hostage drama Argo has emerged as an early awards-season favorite, winning Golden Globe and Critics Choice awards for best picture—overshadowing Steven Spielberg's epic Lincoln, which earlier this month collected a leading 12 Academy Award nominations.
Argo and Lincoln are both nominated for the PGA Award, along with Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Moonrise Kingdom, Silver Linings Playbook, Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty.
Nominated for the PGA Award for animated films are Brave, Frankenweenie, ParaNorman, Rise of the Guardians and Wreck-It Ralph.
The PGA will also hand out awards for documentary films and a variety of television categories.
During the ceremony at the Beverly Hilton, the guild will present Bob and Harvey Weinstein, co-founders of The Weinstein Co., with its Milestone Award for historic contributions to the entertainment industry. J.J. Abrams will receive the Norman Lear Award for Television, and producer Russell Simmons will receive the Visionary Award.
Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, producers for Les Miserables, will receive the guild's highest honor, the David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures, honoring careers that have included the films Fargo, Billy Elliot, O Brother Where Art Thou? and Frost/Nixon.
The film Bully will be honored with a Stanley Kramer Award.