Next year’s Golden Globes promises to be a major relaunch for the eventful awards show as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) continues to look for ways to reinvent the event, said President Helen Hoehne.
Speaking at the Zurich Film Festival on Saturday, Hoehne listed the changes the HFPA has made to address criticism that led to a major industry boycott of the show this year.
The HFPA has truly made diversity, equity and inclusion the cornerstone of our organization over the past year. We changed our board because, as you know, many of the awards are under fire, not just because of diversity issues, but because of corruption, because of all sorts of other things. And we cleaned up.
“It’s been a long time and we’re still working on getting better and making this a very transparent process and really getting people back on award shows and getting them excited about tuning in.”
Hoehne echoed the HFPA’s recent announcement that in addition to 21 diverse members admitted last year, it had added 103 new international voters, bringing the total number of voters to 200, “which we are very happy about. Most of them are female, which I am also very happy with. And the majority are diverse, making our awards the first award show with truly the most women and diverse members.
“We are excited – this is just the beginning. I hope we can increase those numbers next year and next year and really grow as an award show and get better.”
Hoehne added, “We’re thinking of other ways to reinvent ourselves and make the show exciting, put on an exciting host and make it a really fun party.”
John Lesher, president of Le Grisbi Production; Kingsgate Films producer Greg Shapiro; and CEO of the European Film Academy Matthijs Wouter Knol.
Talking about the future of the Oscars, Shapiro, Lesher and Knol underlined the many challenges facing the award show format.
“I have ideas as a viewer, as a spectator, because it’s long and slow and sometimes hard to watch,” Shapiro said. “On the one hand, I know there are a lot of categories that the public doesn’t necessarily understand, but they are really important to the profession and they deserve to be recognized. In several years, the Academy has tried to remove them from the show, and that always upset me a lot. For me it’s part of the process and they deserve the recognition.”
At the same time, the many technical awards may be too much for an audience more interested in the top categories.
“It’s a really hard question to answer because the show would be more popular – more people would watch it if it was shorter and focused on the awards that people really appreciate, which are the actors, the picture and the director. But personally I would be disappointed if the technical awards were no longer there.”
Reiterating the sentiment, Lesher noted that the tricky balance was to make the Oscars as entertaining for the people in the audience as it was for the TV viewers.
“If you can make it exciting and interesting and relevant to people, people will look at it. It must be a good show. I think they fail because they just do what they do and it has a certain format and it’s long.
“It feels old-fashioned,” he added, noting that he often finds it “really tacky, really corny. I want to like it…but why does it look like this? Sometimes I just cry about how bad I am.” find it.”
Knol stressed that the original format of awards shows just doesn’t work anymore in the same way that “regular linear TV doesn’t work that much anymore”.
While discussing the aims of the European Film Academy and the European Film Awards, Knol rejected the idea of imitating American-style shows.
“The European Film Academy has a different purpose. While we also do an award show, that’s not the most important thing we want to do.”
He noted that the European Film Awards show “was never set up as a major TV broadcast”.
“We are concerned that in Europe they are doing exactly the same as here in Zurich: we are talking about the American infrastructure and we have to adapt to that. That’s not what I want and it’s not what the European Film Academy wants.”
In addition to the more low-key awards ceremony, the European Film Academy is undertaking several initiatives to promote European cinema across the continent, such as European Film Month, which showcases and celebrates the best pictures of the year in 35 countries from November to December. , culminating in the European Film Awards, which will take place this year on December 10 in Reykjavik.