Tattle: 'Argo' wins big at Producers Guild Awards

COME OSCAR night, the favored "Lincoln" may not be the film making a speech.

Ben Affleck's "Argo," co-produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov, followed up its Golden Globes win by taking the top honor at the Producers Guild Awards on Saturday.

Other nominees were "Les Miserables," "Zero Dark Thirty," "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Django Unchained," "Life of Pi," "Moonrise Kingdom," "Silver Linings Playbook," and "Skyfall" - or basically every good movie that came out this past year.

Disney's "Wreck-It Ralph" won the guild's animation category, beating "Brave," "Frankenweenie," "ParaNorman" and "Rise of the Guardians."

"Searching for Sugar Man" took the documentary prize, beating "A People Uncounted," "The Gatekeepers," "The Island President," and "The Other Dream Team."

"Homeland" won for TV drama series, beating out "Breaking Bad," "Downton Abbey," "Game of Thrones," and "Mad Men."

"Modern Family" took the prize for best comedy series for the third straight year, beating "30 Rock," "The Big Bang Theory," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," and "Louie."

* On the indie side of the entertainment ledger, the dramatic film "Fruitvale" and the documentary "Blood Brother" won over audiences and Sundance Film Festival judges.

Both films won audience awards and grand jury prizes Saturday at the Sundance Awards.

"Fruitvale" is based on the true story of Oscar Grant, who was 22 years old when he was shot and killed in a public transit station in Oakland, Calif., in 2009. First-time filmmaker Ryan Coogler wrote and directed the dramatic narrative.

"This project was about humanity, about human beings and how we treat each other; how we treat the people that we love the most, and how we treat the people that we don't know," Coogler said. "To get this award means that it had a profound impact on the audience that saw it, on the people that were responsible for picking it up. And this goes back to my home, to the Bay area, where Oscar Grant lived, breathed, slept, loved, fought, had fun, and survived for 22 years."

Fox Searchlight founder and Sundance juror Tom Rothman said "Fruitvale" was recognized for "its skillful realization, its devastating emotional impact and its moral and social urgency - and for anyone out there who thinks for one second that movies don't matter and can't make a difference in the world.

"This will not be the last time you guys walk to a podium," he added.

The U.S. documentary winner, "Blood Brother" follows a young American, Rocky Braat, who moved to India to work with orphans infected with HIV.

"This means so much to so many kids," director Steve Hoover said.

Other dramatic winners at the ceremony hosted by actor-director Joseph Gordon-Levitt included Lake Bell, who accepted the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for her directorial debut, "In A World," and Jill Soloway, who won the directing award for her feature debut, "Afternoon Delight."

Cinematographer Bradford Young was recognized for his work in two dramatic films, "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" and "Mother of George."

Documentary winners included Zachary Heinzerling for directing "Cutie and the Boxer" and Matthew Hamachek for editing "Gideon's Army."

The Cambodian film "A River Changes Course" won the grand jury prize for international documentary, and a narrative film from South Korea, "Jiseul," claimed the grand jury prize for dramatic world cinema.


* Canadian immigration officials have denied actor Randy Quaid's request for permanent resident status in Canada.

U.S. officials last year refused to seek extradition of the actor and his wife Evi from Canada to face felony vandalism charges in Santa Barbara, Calif., but authorities in the coastal town say they'll still have the couple arrested if they return to the States.

Quaid has sought to stay in Canada, claiming he was being hunted by "Hollywood star-whackers" who had killed his friends, actors David Carradine and Heath Ledger - neither of whom were whacked.

* "Shark Tank" entrepreneur Robert Herjavec was involved in a wreck in the inaugural Ferrari Challenge event at Daytona International Speedway in Florida.

Herjavec, who was not seriously injured, veered off the 3.56-mile road course Friday after getting hit from behind on the seventh lap.

He earned Rookie of the Year honors in the Ferrari Challenge series in 2012.

Robert Mawhinney, the frontman of L.A. rock band Lights Over Paris - don't worry, we never heard of them either - has been charged in California with fraudulently obtaining more than $6 million in loans to support his career and a lavish lifestyle.

Mawhinney was arrested at Miami International Airport this month and charged with making a false statement in a loan application. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison. He's scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 11.

Authorities said Friday Mawhinney submitted phony brokerage statements to banks that showed he had nearly $8 million in assets. Mawhinney said he needed the money to fund his band and to purchase recording equipment and a luxury tour bus that cost more than $750,000.

Now all the band's fans can ride it to his sentencing.

* The Providence Performing Arts Center in Rhode Island is now setting aside a small number of "tweet seats" for those who promise to live-tweet the performance. Twitter users might offer impressions of the set, music or costumes, or lines from the show that resonate with them.

And that helps the Providence Performing Arts Center how?

- Daily News wire services

contributed to this report.

Email gensleh@phillynews.com.