Georgia Films Could Be On Oscar Stage

Janelle Monae, Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson and Producers Pharrell Williams and Jenno Topping seen at "Hidden Figures" Live at the 2016 TIFF on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, in Toronto. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Twentieth Century Fox/AP Images)
Credit Eric Charbonneau / Invision for Twentieth Century Fox/Associated Press
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It’s Oscars season. And this year, Georgia  may get its chance to shine. 

According to a report in this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, film production has exploded in Georgia since the state’s most recent tax incentive was established in 2008, with almost 250 films and television shows shot here last year. Not just any movie is Oscar-worthy in the eyes of Hollywood’s elite, but 2017 hopefuls such as Twentieth Century Fox’s “Hidden Figures,” Warner Bros.’ “Sully” and Fox Searchlight’s “The Birth of A Nation” stand a chance of grabbing a nomination when they are announced Jan. 24 — and maybe even a win.

Movies made in Georgia have won Academy Awards before. Memorably, “Forrest Gump,” which was filmed partially  in Savannah, took home six Academy Awards in 1995, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor for Tom Hanks. In 1990, “Driving Miss Daisy” won four awards. Marissa Tomei took home a Best Supporting Actress Award for 1993’s “My Cousin Vinny” and Sandra Bullock won in 2010 for “The Blind Side.”

A strong predictor for Oscar nominations are the Golden Globes, which were held Jan. 8, but the voters behind each ceremony are very distinct. About 90 critics from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association vote on the most acclaimed films and television shows for the Golden Globes, while the Academy Awards recognizes only movies and has a much larger voting pool of about 6,000 industry professionals. 

The score of “Hidden Figures” was nominated for a Golden Globe, as was Octavia Spencer in the Supporting Actress category, but the film didn’t bring home any wins. However, that doesn’t mean it’s out of contention for an Oscar nomination.

“I’d say your chances improve about 40 percent for getting nominated for an Academy Award if you’re nominated for a Golden Globe,” said Craig Miller, executive producer at Craig Miller Productions and chair of Gov. Nathan Deal’s Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Advisory Commission. “I wouldn’t

say it doubles your chances, but it makes you a movie of note and something people are going to pay more attention to.” 

The Academy Awards ceremony will take place Feb. 26.

Ellie Hensley is an entertainment, health care and general assignment reporter at Atlanta Business Chronicle.