War thriller ‘1917’ bags top PGA award ahead of Oscars

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Hollywood’s producers handed 1917 their top annual prize yesterday, according to a reliable Oscars source.

The movie, which follows two British soldiers on a perilous mission across no man’s land, has already scooped the Golden Globe for best drama, and has 10 Oscars nominations including for best picture.

Collecting the Producers Guild of America (PGA) film award at a celebrity-packed ceremony in Los Angeles, Director Sam Mendes said making the film was “humbling, joyful and by far the best experience of my professional life”. In a bold filmmaking experiment, 1917 travels through trenches and crater-filled battlefields in what appears to be almost one continuous shot stretching for two hours.

The PGAs have predicted 21 of the past 30 winners of the Academy Award for best picture, including Mendes’s 1999 victor American Beauty. Chosen by the 8,000-odd Hollywood movers and shakers of the PGA, the awards were attended by A-listers such as Brad Pitt, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Nicole Kidman.

Brad Pitt greets fans at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California. PHOTO: AFP