The Television Critics Association honored the best in television tonight, and NBC’s Friday Night Lights was named Program of the Year for its fifth and final season. Though the show was never a ratings juggernaut, it has been beloved by critics throughout its tenure, and garnered a small but passionate fanbase. AMC’s Mad Men took home the Best Drama prize, while ABC’s Modern Family won Best Comedy at the 27th annual awards show.
It warms my heart to report that Nick Offerman shared the Best Individual Achievement in Comedy award with Modern Family’s Ty Burrell for his genius portrayal of Ron Swanson on NBC’s stellar comedy Parks and Recreation. HBO didn’t go home empty handed, as their smash-hit Game of Thrones won Best New Series. Hit the jump for the full list of winners.
We have some terribly sad news to report today as reports are coming in that Restrepo co-director and photojournalist Tim Hetherington was killed today in a mortar attack in Libya. The New York Times is also reporting that Hetherington’s fellow photographers Chris Hondros and Guy Martin were severely injured and in critical condition. Hetherington was in Misrata covering the front line of the current civil war in Libya. His last public communication was yesterday when he tweeted, “In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of NATO.”
Our deepest condolences go out to Mr. Hetherington’s friends and family. We will continue to hope for a full and speedy recovery for Mr. Hondros and Mr. Martin. Restrepo is a powerful film and it’s further evidence of how Hetherington gave his life to show an unglamorous and honest depiction of war. The film is currently streaming on Netflix: Watch Instantly and I strongly encourage you to check it out if you haven’t already.
Earlier this week, the Directors Guild of America named its nominees for Best Director. Now they’ve named their nominees for Best Documentary Director. And the nominees are:
- Lixin Fan for Last Train Home
- Charles Ferguson for Inside Job
- Alex Gibney for Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer
- Davis Guggenheim for Waiting for “Superman”
- Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger for Restrepo
Among the notable snubs were Banksy for Exit Through the Gift Shop and Amir Bar-Lev’s The Tillman Story. It’s possible that the DGA’s nominees will be the five Oscar nominees as well, but I honestly don’t see what’s so spectacular about Client 9. Obviously, I’m biased towards Exit Through the Gift Shop, but I think it’s the more enduring and thought-provoking work. Winners will be announced Saturday, January 29th. [TheWrap]
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released their shortlist of 15 documentaries that have advanced in the voting for Best Documentary nominations. The list includes Charles Ferguson’s Inside Job, Davis Guggenheim’s Waiting for Superman, and, one of my favorite films of the year, Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop. Unfortunately, the documentary Catfish was shutout. While some have speculated that it’s because of controversy regarding the documentary’s authenticity, that same controversy of “realism” also surrounds Exit Through the Gift Shop. However, as long as Gift Shop continues to have a shot at the top prize, I’m happy (although Inside Job and Waiting for Superman are also quality films).
Hit the jump for the press release and a list of the final 15 contenders. The 83rd Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on January 25, 2011.
Sundance has announced the 2010 Award Winning films and Animal Kingdom, The Red Chapel, Restrepo, and Winter’s Bone earned Grand Jury Prizes while Contracorriente, happythankyoumoreplease, Waiting For Superman, and Wasteland won the Audience Awards. Also, Homewrecker won Best of the NEXT Award.
While I attended the Sundance Film Festival for over a week and saw 20 something films, the only film I managed to catch from the above list was happythankyoumoreplease yesterday afternoon. But after my screening ended, the audience was clapping. Clearly, people really liked the film and since it hasn’t sold yet, winning the audience award should help Josh Radnor’s film land distribution. Also, it’s a really sweet romcom with a good cast. Hit the jump for more on the Awards winners including the complete list: