Southern California's Top Entertainment & Media Events 2009

Taittinger's red-carpet stunt at the SAG Awards

Photo: James Sequenzia

1. Academy Awards
In a town cluttered with award shows, the Oscars always end up at the top of the heap, unrivaled for glitter, buzz, and packed after-parties. The 2009 event—the 81st annual—will hit the Kodak Theater on February 22 and will be broad-cast live on ABC.

2. Golden Globes
The 2008 incarnation was canceled on account of the writers’ strike, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s lavish Golden Globes ceremony should pack its usual punch on January 11 at the Beverly Hilton. The show will be broadcast live on NBC.

3. Grammys
The 51st annual music awards took to the Staples Center on February 8, and the Recording Academy’s Branden Chapman oversaw a huge after-party. The Grammy museum at L.A. Live opened just ahead of the 2009 event, which added a televised nomination ceremony for the first time.

4. Screen Actors Guild Awards
The 15th annual SAG Awards took place at the Shrine Auditorium on January 25, and were broadcast on TNT and TBS. Jeff Margolis Productions produced the awards in association with the guild. People magazine hosts an elaborate after-party.

5. Emmys
After a move to the Nokia Theatre, the 2008 show garnered record-low viewership, but the Emmys still bring a glut of production-heavy parties and suites on their heels. The event comes to town in September.

6. Film Independent’s Spirit Awards
The casual ceremony, which honors indie films, will be broadcast live on IFC on February 21, the night before the Oscars. Elle, AMC, IFC, and Netflix are major sponsors of the event, which pays homage to local culture from its beachy Santa Monica setting.

7. Environmental Media Awards
The EMAs have honored the entertainment industry’s environmental efforts since 1991. The party after the ceremony is a green showcase that includes organic food and beverage, an eco-themed auction, and reusable cloth banners and signs.

8. AFI Fest
Los Angeles’s longest-running film festival goes for 10 days in the fall, with screenings, premieres, and international competitions. The Roof-top Village atop the ArcLight Cinemas parking structure—which is decked out with hospitality pavilions, a central box office, lounge, and event space—has been a central part of the event since 2005.

9. AFI Lifetime Achievement Awards
Only the biggest of the big stars scoop up this annual award—which has gone to George Lucas, Gene Kelly, and Orson Wells since its 1973 inception. Warren Beatty was honored at the June 2008 gala.

10. Women in Film’s Crystal & Lucy Awards
This professional organization, founded as an alternative to the industry’s male-centric environment, has grown in influence since its inception. Tickets sold out for the group’s 35th anniversary gala in June 2008 at the Beverly Hilton.

11. Bafta/L.A. Britannia Awards
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts’ L.A. branch draws big stars as presenters and honorees for its awards. The 2008 show took to the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in November, with guests like Sean Penn, Heather Graham, and Tilda Swinton.

12. American Cinematheque Gala Tribute
This annual fund-raiser at the Beverly Hilton supports film preservation and has just one honoree a year—typically an uncontroversial Hollywood star. The 23rd annual award went to Samuel L. Jackson in December.

13. Los Angeles Film Festival
Over 10 days in June, Film Independent’s festival draws about 100,000 viewers to check out close to 200 films in Westwood Village. The Los Angeles Times is the presenting sponsor. In 2008, Target set up a lounge in a temporary space known as the “Target Red Room.”

14. American Music Awards
Five-time host Jimmy Kimmel returned for the 2008 awards, and Beyoncé and the Jonas Brothers were among the record 19 performances. Broadcast live on ABC, the show took place at the Nokia Theatre on November 23. Dick Clark produces the awards.

15. Glaad Media Awards
These awards—also held in New York, San Francisco, and South Florida—honor news and entertainment media for fair and accurate representations of gay community issues. The April 18 award show at the Nokia will be the 20th annual event.

16. People’s Choice Awards
Although the 2008 ceremony was canceled due to the writers’ strike, CBS still aired a taped special to represent the 34th annual People’s Choice Awards. Queen Latifah hosted. This year’s show aired on January 7 on CBS. 

17. NAACP Image Awards
This association has been doling out awards since 1969, so it has a long history within this town’s crowded award show calendar. The 2009 awards aired on Fox on February 12.

18. Hollywood Film Festival
Screenings at this autumn festival take place at the ArcLight in Hollywood, and Starz’s after-party hits the Beverly Hilton to the west. The 2008 festival ran from October 22 to 27.

19. BET Awards
The network’s annual awards recognize black entertainers at a show packed with performances. D.L. Hughley hosted the 2008 incarnation in June at the Shrine Auditorium.

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