"In a world … where trailers ruled the imagination … only one could be king."
So might begin a trailer for the Golden Trailer Awards, the annual ceremony honoring cinema's best previews for coming attractions.
This year's show, which takes place at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills on Friday night, pits "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" against "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" in the action category and "American Hustle" against "The Wolf of Wall Street" in the drama category, among others.
Founded by sisters Evelyn Brady-Watters and Monica Brady in 1999 when the two were aspiring indie filmmakers looking for someone to cut their own trailer, the GTAs also feature such categories as the Golden Fleece (the best trailer for the worst movie), the Don LaFontaine Award for best voiceover (named after the famous trailer narrator) and the best trailer for a movie that hasn't actually been made.
Comedian Jay Mohr is hosting this year's show, and the 13-person jury includes "Divergent" director Neil Burger, "Girls" star Adam Driver and "Flight" screenwriter John Gatin.
"Trailers are the engine that drives this town," Brady-Watters said in a phone interview. "Trailers are the promise of the next film you're going to see." The show also represents an opportunity to celebrate the "relatively unsung" people who edit trailers, she added.
The GTAs have been nicknamed "the Academy Awards for the short attention span," and, true to that spirit, the show usually clocks in at about 90 minutes.
"We don't even show the whole trailer, actually," Brady-Watters said. "Our trailer packages are like 25 seconds of the trailer — just enough to give people a glimpse into the movie itself, but not long enough where they're looking for the exit signs."