This story first appeared in the Oct. 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Many in Hollywood grumbled when the Academy in September shortened the pre-nominations period of the Oscar season by 10 days. But amid the complaints, some awards shows are finding themselves the unintended beneficiaries of the date shifts. Last year, for instance, nomination ballots were mailed out Dec. 27 and had to be returned by Jan. 13.
This encouraged attendance at the National Board of Review Awards and Critics' Choice Movie Awards ceremonies, both of which took place before the close of voting.
This year, nomination voting will begin Dec. 17 and end Jan. 3. While this is bad news for the guilds (especially the DGA), which have claimed to influence the Academy but now will announce nominees after the Academy, it would appear to offer a boost for early awards shows that have not always attracted the cream of the crop of contenders.
Last year, BAFTA Los Angeles held its Britannia Awards on Nov. 30 and feted Disney's John Lasseter, Harry Potter director David Yates and actress Helena Bonham Carter -- top artists but not top-tier contenders or A-list toppers. This year, however, its Nov. 7 ceremony has lured, among others, Lincoln star Daniel Day-Lewis, Django Unchained filmmaker Quentin Tarantino and Skyfall star Daniel Craig, who are.
(Kieran Breen, who serves on BAFTA Los Angeles' board of directors and as co-chair of its marketing and PR committee, tells THR, "The BAFTA LA Britannia Awards honor overall excellence in the moving image, and honorees are not selected due to Oscar consideration. Therefore, we have not found the change in date to have any effect on our show.")
Same goes for the Hollywood Film Awards, which has lined up Argo's Ben Affleck, Silver Linings Playbook's Robert De Niro and The Master's Amy Adams for its Oct. 22 event. The Academy's move also will boost its own Governors Awards, which take place Dec. 1.
That's less than three weeks before nomination voting begins, so it's safe to expect a higher star turnout from awards hopefuls.