PGA Awards: Oppenheimer Takes Top Film Prize; Scorsese Honored

In the world of classic Hollywood cinema, few names are as revered as that of Martin Scorsese. The iconic filmmaker recently came full circle in his career when he received the prestigious David O. Selznick Achievement Award at the 2024 PGA Awards. This recognition comes 60 years after Scorsese first made waves in Hollywood, as a budding 22-year-old who had just won the Jesse L. Laskey Intercollegiate Award.

The Night to Remember for Scorsese

Guillermo del Toro, a fellow filmmaker, took up the role of introducing Scorsese at the awards show. He termed the director of “Killers of the Flower Moon” as an indispensable titan of cinema. An excited Scorsese subsequently took the stage and recounted his experience at the 1965 awards show where he shared a memorable moment with legendary German actress Elke Sommer on stage.

The Star-Studded Affair in 1965

“Alfred Hitchcock, James Stewart, Jack Benny, Samuel Goldwyn, Jack Warner, Norman Lear, Lew Wasserman, Julie Stein, Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, Janel Leigh, Dick Van Dyke, Elke Sommer, and David O. Selznick,” Scorsese reminisced, referring to the iconic figures he shared the stage with on March 8, 1965. The young Scorsese, at the time, was receiving the Jesse L. Laskey intercollegiate award for a film he had made while at NYU. Recounting a funny incident, Scorsese mentioned how he was nudged by Cary Grant to kiss Elke Sommer, whom he gladly obliged.

Inspiration Behind ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’

In his acceptance speech, Scorsese revealed how Selznick’s film, “Duel of the Sun,” which he saw at age four, had inspired elements in his recent film “Killers of the Flower Moon.” He vividly remembered the first time his young eyes witnessed the magic of classic Hollywood cinema through this movie. The remarkable scenes and set pieces from “Duel of the Sun” made such a lasting impression on Scorsese that they found their way into “Killers of the Flower Moon,” decades later.

The Perfect Full-Circle Moment

The legendary filmmaker concluded his speech by expressing his elation at witnessing the juxtaposition of his journey from being a young recipient of an award at the age of 22 to standing on the stage as an accomplished filmmaker at 81. “I was 22 when Cary Grant told me to kiss Elke Sommer. Now I’m 81…and I’m glad I kissed her!” he quipped.

The prestigious David O. Selznick Achievement Award acknowledges producers for their exceptional contributions to motion picture. Some of the previous recipients of the Selznick Award include eminent names like Steven Spielberg, Barbara Broccoli, Mary Parent, Tom Cruise, Brian Grazer, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy, and George Lucas.

“Oppenheimer” Triumphs at 2024 Producers Guild of America Awards

The 2024 Producers Guild of America Awards marked a significant night for “Oppenheimer,” which clinched the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures. This victory came closely on the heels of its win at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, underscoring the film’s industry-wide acclaim.

A Night of Celebrations and Firsts

“Oppenheimer” wasn’t the only highlight of the evening. “Beef,” “Succession,” and “The Bear” also emerged as winners, each having secured a win at the SAG Awards the previous day. Emma Thomas, the producer behind “Oppenheimer,” expressed her gratitude to her peers, highlighting the unique challenges and rewards of film production. She notably praised Christopher Nolan, the film’s director and her husband, for his unparalleled contribution to their project.

The ceremony was also a stage for diverse talent across the industry, from Sarah Silverman’s opening to the heartfelt tributes by Kenneth Branagh in the in memoriam segment. The event celebrated achievements across various categories, including episodic television, documentaries, animated features, and more, with notable presentations by stars like Brie Larson, Roy Wood Jr., and X Mayo.

Honoring the Industry’s Best

The PGAs also served as a platform to honor individuals with significant contributions to the industry. Gail Berman received the Norman Lear Achievement Award, reflecting on the challenges and successes of her career, notably her work on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Charles D. King was awarded the Milestone Award, becoming the first Black recipient of this honor, acknowledging his impact and the legacy of those who paved the way for his success.

Martin Scorsese received the David O. Selznick Achievement Award, presented by Guillermo del Toro, recognizing his illustrious career and contributions to cinema, including his collaboration with the Osage Nation on “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

Looking Forward

The 35th annual Producers Guild Awards not only celebrated last year’s cinematic achievements but also looked to the future with the announcement of an initiative aimed at securing health insurance benefits for all qualifying full-time producers. This move underscores the guild’s commitment to the wellbeing of its members and the sustainable growth of the industry.

Tags: Oppenheimer, Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan, Producers Guild of America Awards, Beef, Succession, The Bear

Complete list of winners from the 2024 PGA Awards

Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures

American Fiction
Anatomy of a Fall
The Holdovers
Killers of the Flower Moon
Oppenheimer (WINNER)
Past Lives
Poor Things
The Zone of Interest

Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures

The Boy and the Heron
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (WINNER)
The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Motion Pictures

20 Days in Mariupol 
American Symphony (WINNER)
Beyond Utopia 
The Disappearance of Shere Hite 
The Mother of All Lies 
Smoke Sauna Sisterhood 
Squaring the Circle (The Story of Hipgnosis)

Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Drama

The Crown 
The Diplomat 
The Last of Us 
The Morning Show 
Succession (WINNER)

Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Comedy

The Bear (WINNER)
Jury Duty 
Only Murders in the Building 
Ted Lasso 

David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Limited or Anthology Series Television

All the Light We Cannot See 
Daisy Jones and the Six 
Lessons in Chemistry 

Award for Outstanding Producer of Televised or Streamed Motion Pictures

Black Mirror: Beyond the Sea (WINNER)
Mr. Monk’s Last Case: A Monk Movie
Quiz Lady
Red, White & Royal Blue

Award for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television

60 Minutes 
The 1619 Project 
Albert Brooks: Defending My Life
Being Mary Tyler Moore
Welcome to Wrexham (WINNER)

Award for Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment, Variety, Sketch, Standup & Talk Television

Carol Burnett: 90 Years Of Laughter + Love 
Chris Rock: Selective Outrage 
Dave Chappelle: The Dreamer 
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (WINNER)
Saturday Night Live 

Award for Outstanding Producer of Game & Competition Television

The Amazing Race 
RuPaul’s Drag Race (WINNER)
Squid Game: The Challenge 
Top Chef 
The Voice 

Award for Outstanding Sports Program

100 Foot Wave (S2)
Beckham (S1) (WINNER)
Formula 1: Drive to Survive (S5)
Hard Knocks: Training Camp With the New York Jets (S18)
Shaun White: The Last Run (S1)

Award for Outstanding Children’s Program

Goosebumps (S1)
Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai (S1)
Sesame Street (S53) (WINNER)
Star Wars: The Bad Batch (S2)
The Velveteen Rabbit

Award for Outstanding Short-Form Program

Carpool Karaoke (S5C)
I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson (S3)
The Last of Us: Inside the Episode (S1)
Only Murders in the Building: One Killer Question (S3)
Succession: Controlling the Narrative (S4) (WINNER)

PGA Innovation Award 

Body of Mine (WINNER)
The Eye and I
JFK Memento
Letters From Drancy
MLK: Now Is the Time
Ocean of Light: Dolphins VR
Our Ocean Our Future
Out of Scale, A Kurzgesagt Adventure
Space Explorers: Blue Marble Trilogy
Wallace & Gromit in the Grand Getaway
The World’s Largest Tailgate 

Wrapping Up

As “Oppenheimer” and other winners celebrate their well-deserved recognition, the Producers Guild of America continues to showcase the best of the industry, honoring the creativity, perseverance, and innovation that define modern filmmaking. For more on the latest in film and entertainment, visit

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