Producers Guild of America awards rocket three sci-fi films to the top

Science-fiction blockbusters made a surprisingly strong showing in the nominations for the Producers Guild of America awards, with "Avatar," "District 9" and "Star Trek" among the 10 nominees announced this morning.

The PGA Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year film award is a reliable bellwether for the Academy Award for best picture. Last year's PGA winner, "Slumdog Millionaire," went on to capture Oscar's top prize. In fact, 13 PGA winners over the last two decades have gone on to win the Academy Award for best picture.

This year, the PGA has followed in the footsteps of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' decision to expand the best-film nomination list from five to 10 movies. Their eclectic group of films, which ranges from blockbusters to small independent productions, may mirror the academy's choices, which will be announced Feb. 2.

The other seven nominees joining the sci-fi trio are "An Education," "The Hurt Locker," " Inglourious Basterds," "Invictus," "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire," "Up" and "Up in the Air."

Disney/Pixar's "Up" was also nominated for the PGA's Producer of the Year Award in the animated category. Joining "Up" are "9," "Coraline," "Fantastic Mr. Fox" and "The Princess and the Frog."

Nominees for the PGA Producer of the Year Award in the documentary category are "Burma VJ," "The Cove," "Sergio" and "Soundtrack for a Revolution."

On the TV side, the nominees for the David L. Wolper Producer of the Year Award in Long-Form Television are " Georgia O'Keeffe," "Grey Gardens," "Little Dorrit," "Prayers for Bobby," "The Prisoner" and "Taking Chance."

The nominations for TV series and non-fiction categories were previously announced in November.

The awards will be handed out Jan. 24 during a ceremony at the Hollywood Palladium.

For a complete list of nominees, go here.

susan.king@latimes.com

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