War film 1917 takes top honor at the Producers Guild Awards

Fleabag won the episodic comedy television award.

First World War film 1917 has taken the top honour at the Producers Guild Awards.

The Sir Sam Mendes movie won the award for theatrical motion picture at the untelevised ceremony on Saturday night at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles.

Many in the crowd seemed stunned when Reese Witherspoon announced the winner of the Darryl F Zanuck Award, which has gone on to win the best picture Oscar 21 out of 30 times – including the past two years.

“This film was inspired by my grandfather, Alfred Mendes, and my hope was to honour his experience,” said Sir Sam, who co-produced and directed the project.

He also said it was his first time attending the awards and thanked the guild for recognising his film.

“This was best experience of my professional life,” he added.

Released late last month, 1917 has made a splash during awards season, including another surprise victory in the best drama picture category at the Golden Globes.

At the PGA awards, the war film beat other contenders like Ford v Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Knives Out, Little Women, Marriage Story, Parasite and Once Upon a Time in … Hollywood.

It has now built strong momentum heading into the Academy Awards on February 9.

In other categories, Toy Story 4 took home the animation award, Fleabag won the episodic comedy television award and Chernobyl collected best limited series.

Multiple special honours were given out throughout the evening for production work including to Octavia Spencer, Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos, Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman, the film Bombshell and Plan B Entertainment’s Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner.

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