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The 17th Annual Hollywood Film Festival kicked off the award season on Thursday, October 17. Tonight at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, the festival will host their companion event, the Hollywood Film Awards Gala Ceremony, honoring directors, producers, actors, and breakthrough performances. This year honorees include Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, Jake Gyllenhaal, Matthew McConaughey and Coldplay.

Unlike other award shows, the recipients of these film awards are not competing, rather they’re selected to be honored for their body of work and/or film(s) released during the calendar year. The first ceremony took place in 1997 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and Kirk Douglas took home the “Hollywood Career Achievement Award.” Over the last ten years honorees have landed 96 nominations and 34 Academy Awards. Instead of naming a best film, the Hollywood Film Awards honor producers and ensemble casts. In the last three years, director Tom Hooper (King’s Speech) and the ensemble cast of Argo were honored and would later take home Oscars.

Attendees like Benedict Cumberbatch, Steve McQueen, and Meryl Streep will mark this as their first stop in the award circuit. Dick Clark Productions and Carlos de Abreu are on board this year to produce the event. Although the event has never been televised, knowing the producers at Dick Clark Productions, which are also credited with The Golden Globes, this ceremony may just find its way to air in 2014. Also, People.com will be hosting a live stream of the red carpet beginning at 6pm PST.

The Hollywood Film Festival and Awards are just one stop among many for those seeking the ultimate prize. Below, SSN takes a look at the numerous award shows in past seasons and their correlation to the main event in February.

Award Season to Oscars 1

Diane Panosian

Diane Panosian is an editor for SSN Insider with a focus on financial and awards tracking.

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