Reading the biography of any successful entertainer – film and television stars, singers and musicians – and you will invariably read of the awards that they have won, and usually a number of others that they were nominated for, which in many cases is a genuine second prize. So how did these awards originate, what are they awarded for, and who decides the nominees and, most importantly, the winners?
The following are lists of the most important awards, which are very often highly prized acknowledgements of the talent displayed by the performer, and valued as such by the individual. Admittedly, some of the award presentation ceremonies may leave you cold – there seem to be so many and come around so quickly that the attitude can be – ‘Oh! No – not another one.’ – but the vast majority are annual only, and they do reward considerable effort as well as talent, on behalf of the individual winners and nominees.
There are 4 Major Film Category Awards: Critics Awards, Festival Awards, Audience Awards, Industry Awards.
CRITICS AWARDS – a noted group of critics vote annually
Film Critics Award (FIPRESCI) – founded in 1930, now having members from more than 50 countries, with awards being presented by international film critics at a variety of festivals.
Crystal Globe Award (Globes de Cristal, France) – by the French Press Association, for home art culture, first held in 2006 and now encompassing 15 categories in film and TV productions.
International Indian Film Academy Awards – by the Indian Film Academy, for the Hindi language film industry, first awarded in 2000.
International Online Film Critics’ Poll – film critics from United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Poland, France and Canada. The award was created in 2007 to recognize excellence in film every two years, judged by journalists in addition to film critics.
BAFTA – UK film and television awards first held in 1949 – notionally a charity with around 6,000 members who vote on categories similar to the ‘Oscars’, on any films seen on British TV.
New York Film Critics Circle – awarded since 1935 by NY-based media critics, for worldwide performances in film (several other large US cities have similar Circles).
FESTIVAL AWARDS – to the best film shown at a specific festival
There is a plethora of festivals now, but the most prestigious are recognised as being:
Venice – perhaps the oldest having first been held in 1932, The major awards are Golden Lion to the best film shown, Golden Lion Honorary for outstanding individual contribution to film-making, and Lion of the Future – self-explanatory!
Cannes – also originated in the 1930s, and one of the best known with the Palme d’Or for best film highly prized.
Toronto – since its founding in 1976, it has come to be appreciated for its concentration on independent films from around the world, and involvement of the public in influencing awards.
AUDIENCE AWARDS – which are voted for by the general public
People’s Choice Awards – originating in 1975, now the method used is ‘True Reach, Visible Measures deploys a robust and patented set of technologies with the goal of capturing the universe of Internet video viewership data in near real-time.”(“Shoot” – October 2009) Estimates are that around 35 million votes are recorded.
INDUSTRY AWARDS – selected by professionals, peers working in the movie industry
Academy Award (Oscars) – first presented in 1929, these are the most prestigious as the voters are themselves invited by the Board of Governors, being ‘stars’ of at least three films, and/or have been nominated for an award; ‘stars’ means leaders of film-making categories ranging from acting through directors, producers and screen-writers to music-score writers and make-up artists, in all nearly 20 categories. The origin of the nickname is disputed, but it was finally adopted in 1939.
Saturn – as for ‘Oscars’, but restricted to science-fiction productions, and first awarded in 1972.
Golden Globe – again as above, voted on by (currently) 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, with separate film (15 categories) and TV (11 categories) awards, and first held in 1944.
Three specific award surveys are conducted by the Directors Guild of America (film, TV and Service and Achievement awards since 1936); Writer’s Guild (film, TV, radio and video games from 1949); and the Screen Actors Guild (film, TV and radio beginning in 1995).
WORLD MUSIC AWARDS
These awards are somewhat simpler to describe, as they are decided by total sales, on-line voting by the general public to assess popularity, and are also distributed by continent.
Record sales to determine the best-selling artists during the past 12 months are decided by the organisation’s research. So the awards demonstrably honour those at the top of their profession in that year.
Awards are for: World’s Best Male Artist, Best Female, Best Group, Best Electronic Dance Music Artist, Best Entertainer of the Year, Best Live Act, Best Song, Best Album, and Best Video.
The World Music Awards were first held in 1989 in Monte Carlo, and have been held there annually except in 2004 (Las Vegas), 2005 (Los Angeles), and 2006 (London).
Additionally, a Legend Award is a reward for artists who have made an outstanding contribution to music, less than 50 as of 2016.
Further, a Diamond Award acknowledges artists who have sold 100 million albums – to date only six artists have made the cut: Rod Stewart, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Celine Dion and Bon Jovi. British-American band Fleetwood Mac have recently been reported to have reached this level of success, and so may soon join this select group.