published Monday, January 20th, 2014

Producers pick ‘12 Years a Slave’ and ‘Gravity’

This film image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Sandra Bullock in a scene from "Gravity."  (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, File)
This film image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Sandra Bullock in a scene from "Gravity." (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, File)
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

For the past six years, every feature film chosen by the Producers Guild of America for its top honor has gone on to win the best-picture prize at the Academy Awards. Sunday night, “12 Years a Slave” and “Gravity” tied for the guild’s highest honor.

While an Oscar tie is unlikely, the rare PGA split keeps the Academy Awards race wide open in one of the tightest three-way battles in years. While shut out by the producers, “American Hustle” is also very much in the running following a week of big showings at the Golden Globes, Oscar nominations and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Many PGA members belong to the producers branch of the motion picture academy, hence the frequent alignment of the two groups’ top feature film picks, including “No Country for Old Men” (2007), “Slum Dog Millionaire” (2008), “The Hurt Locker” (2009), “The King’s Speech” (2010), “The Artist” (2011) and “Argo” (2012).

Other trophies presented Sunday night at the guild’s 25th annual awards ceremony in Beverly Hills, Calif., included “Frozen” for animated feature, (asterisk)We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks” for documentary film, “Behind the Candelabra” for television movie or miniseries, “Breaking Bad” for TV drama series and “Modern Family” for TV comedy series.

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