Art and Experience: In a major surprise, Paramount’s “The Big Short” has won the Darryl F. Zanuck Award from theProducers Guild of America as the year’s top movie.

The comedy-drama — delving into the 2008 financial crisis and starring Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt — won over “Bridge of Spies,” “Brooklyn,” “Ex Machina,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Martian,” “The Revenant,” “Sicario,” “Spotlight” and “Straight Outta Compton.”

“Game of Thrones,” “Transparent” and “Fargo” took the top TV awards in ceremonies at the Century Plaza while “Inside Out” and “Amy” won the other key film awards.

Producers Jeremy Kleiner and Dede Gardner were clearly stunned in accepting the award from Michael B. Jordan, as both took the stage without prepared remarks and thanked director Adam McKay and Paramount profusely. Producer Brad Pitt was not in attendance.

Gardner said she wanted to discuss what she termed “the elephant in the room” and sought to address the diversity issue by noting, “We have privilege in our hands as storytellers. We need to tell stories that reflect our world on every street corner.”

“Spotlight” and “The Revenant” — which has a leading 12 Oscar nominations — had been considered the front-runners for the PGA trophy with “The Big Short,” “The Martian” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” regarded as upset candidates. Alejandro Inarritu’s “Birdman” won the Zanuck and the Best Picture Oscar last year.

The Zanuck trophy is based on voting by the 7,000 members of the PGA. The producers branch of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences constitutes about 8% of the AMPAS membership.

The Zanuck award has become a strong indicator of Oscar sentiment in recent years, partly due to it using a preferential balloting system that’s similar to that of the AMPAS. It’s matched the Oscar for best picture in 19 of its 26 years — including the last eight, with “Birdman,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Argo,” “The Artist,” “The King’s Speech,” “The Hurt Locker,” “Slumdog Millionaire” and “No Country for Old Men.”

The PGA winner last diverged from the Oscar Best Picture in 2006, when “Little Miss Sunshine” won the Zanuck while the Academy opted for “The Departed.”

Seven of the 10 PGA nominees are also nominated for Best Picture, with “Ex Machina,” “Sicario” and “Straight Outta Compton” being left out by the Academy. “Room” was nominated for the Oscar Best Picture but not for the PGA award.

The PGA win for “The Big Short” was the second for Kleiner, Pitt and Gardner, who were producers on “12 Years a Slave” two years ago. “The Big Short” has received Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director for McKay, Best Supporting Actor for Bale, Best Adapted Screenplay for McKay and Charles Randolph and Best Editing for Hank Corwin.

Kleiner, Gardner and Pitt produced “The Big Short” through their Plan B banner with New Regency.

Amy Winehouse documentary “Amy” won for top documentary for James Gay-Rees. “Amy,” the front-runner for the Oscar, topped “The Hunting Ground,” “The Look of Silence,” “Meru” and “Something Better to Come.”

Disney-Pixar’s “Inside Out” won the award for top animated movie for producer Jonas Rivera. “Inside Out,” which explored the mind of an 11-year-old girl and became a surprise hit with worldwide grosses of $856 million, topped “Anomalisa,” “The Good Dinosaur,” “Minions” and “The Peanuts Movie” and is widely expected to win the Oscar.

“We set out to make a movie that spoke to us as parents,” Rivera said in his acceptance speech.

The second season of FX’s “Fargo” won the David L. Wolper Award for long-form television for the second year in a row. Producer Noah Hawley noted in his acceptance that the season had been a challenge partly because “The Revenant” had the snow makers in Calgary tied up.

The fifth season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” took the Norman Felton Award for best drama series and the first season of “Transparent” won the Danny Thomas Award for top comedy series.

Amazon’s transgender skein won the award for producers Jill Soloway, Andrea Sperling, Victor Hsu, Nisha Ganatra, Rick Rosenthal and Bridget Bedard. It topped “Modern Family,” “Inside Amy Shumer,” “Silicon Valley” and “Veep”; “Orange Is the New Black” won the award last year.

“Last Week with John Oliver” won the Live Entertainment and Talk Television award. NBC’s “The Voice” took the competition TV award for the second year in a row. “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst” won the non-fiction TV award.

Lady Gaga dazzled the audience with her performance of “Til It Happens to You” as part of the introduction to “The Hunting Ground” winning the honorary Stanley Kramer Award. The song, co-written with Diane Warren, is up for the Oscar for Best Original Song.

Other previosly announced award included Fox’s Jim Gianopulos receiving the Milestone Award from Ridley Scott and being accorded a standing ovation; “Harry Potter” producer David Heyman won the David O. Selznick Achivement Award, presented by Gary Oldman; Shonda Rhimes received the Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television from Viola Davis; and Industrial Light & Magic was presented the Visionary Vanguard Award by J.J. Abrams.
The diversity issue was addressed by the PGA leadership during the opening of the event. PGA Awards co-chair Michael De Luca noted that Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs was in the audience and added, “No one is working harder to make our world a fairer place.”
PGA co-president Lori McCreary also said in her remarks, “Producers have always served the industry as leaders and we are tonight asking all of you to pledge to make a conscious decision to challenge the status quo until our casts, our crews and our own companies are as diverse as the audiences for which we make this entertainment,” she said.

 

The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures

The Big Short
Producers: Brad Pitt & Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner

Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures

Inside Out
Producer: Jonas Rivera

Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures

Amy
Producer: James Gay-Rees

Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama

Game of Thrones (Season 5)
Producers: David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Bernadette Caulfield, Frank Doelger, Carolyn Strauss, Bryan Cogman, Lisa McAtackney, Chris Newman, Greg Spence

Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy

Transparent (Season 1)
Producers: Jill Soloway, Andrea Sperling, Victor Hsu, Nisha Ganatra, Rick Rosenthal, Bridget Bedard

The David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television

Fargo (Season 2)
Producers: Noah Hawley, John Cameron, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Warren Littlefield, Kim Todd

Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment & Talk Television

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (Season 2)
Producers: Tim Carvell, John Oliver, Liz Stanton

Outstanding Producer of Competition Television

The Voice (Seasons 7 and 8)
Producers: Audrey Morrissey, Mark Burnett, John de Mol, Marc Jansen, Lee Metzger, Chad Hines, Jim Roush, Kyra Thompson, Mike Yurchuk, Amanda Zucker, Carson Daly

Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (Season 1)
Producers: Marc Smerling, Andrew Jarecki, Jason Blum

Outstanding Sports Program

Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel

Outstanding Children’s Program

Sesame Street

Outstanding Digital Series

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee