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.
Netflix programming boss Ted Sarandos was given the guild’s historic achievement award for overseeing the streaming giant’s rapid rise in Hollywood.
“It’s really hard to think that there’s any bias against streaming,” Sarandos told AFP, pointing to the firm’s 24 Oscar nominations — including two for best picture (“The Irishman” and “Marriage Story.”)
“I think people are celebrating the films and the work, so it’ll be great if we get the big one too.”
Pixar sequel “Toy Story 4” won for animated film, while CNN’s “Apollo 11” topped both the documentary and TV movie categories.
Comedian Billy Eichner poked fun at the lack of diversity in the television comedy category — won by “Fleabag” — announcing: “The five white devils nominated are… “.
HBO’s “Succession” and “Chernobyl” won for television drama and limited series, adding to their Golden Globe wins earlier this month.
And the same network’s “Leaving Neverland,” a groundbreaking documentary that shed new light on child sex allegations against Michael Jackson, won the non-fiction TV prize.
But organizers were left red-faced as, after a lengthy pause, nobody appeared to collect the award.
“All seems to be going well so far — excellently produced evening,” joked Mendes.
Pitt, frontrunner for the Oscars supporting actor prize, accepted a career award for his production company Plan B (“Moonlight.”)
“We’ve been at it for about 16 years, going on 17 — I have no regrets, other than sharing our name with an emergency contraceptive pill,” joked Pitt.
“I didn’t see that one coming.”
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