Some of us care about award season year-round. There’s a small group at work and we exchange emails almost every day about possible contenders, speculating about how the field will narrow as we get deeper into the fall. While the work itself should always be paramount, needless to say, what generates more or less award season interest is who the players will be. The names. They are stars for a reason.

On Wednesday night the Hollywood Foreign Press Association hosted its annual Grants Banquet, with $2.8 million in scholarships distributed in support of filmmakers and other creatives who, hopefully, will be honoured one day at its marquee event, the Golden Globe Awards. The purpose of the banquet, of course, was to recognise emerging talent. The unspoken purpose of the banquet was to get in front of the members of the HFPA for award season. Scanning the attendance list then gives us some idea of who might be involved in the Golden Globe conversation and, more importantly, maybe, the Oscar conversation, in a few months. 

Perhaps Chadwick Boseman? Chadwick Boseman has been invited to the Oscars once, as a presenter in 2016. He’ll star as Thurgood Marshall in Marshall, opening in October. When the trailer came out a couple of months ago, already there was anticipation that he could be a nominee for his performance. (And maybe one for Sterling K Brown in the supporting category too.) Because of the Winter Olympics, the Oscars are happening a little later and will take place on March 4, 2018. While we don’t know for sure which films will be in play, we will know FOR SURE what the biggest movie on the planet will be at that time: Black Panther. There is no doubt. Black Panther opens on February 9 and Chadwick Boseman will be the biggest deal ever, especially if he’s also nominated for an Oscar at the same time.

I was also very excited to see Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V Gordon at the HPFA event. The Big Sick has been one of the big success stories of 2017. Their attendance means that there is already some strategy in place to position The Big Sick for consideration during award season, particularly at the Golden Globes in the Comedy/Musical category.

And then there’s Armie Hammer who’s representing Call Me By Your Name. Call Me By Your Name came out of Sundance with great acclaim. The film will be released in November. A trailer for the film dropped this week. It looks gorgeous. It looks heartbreaking. I can’t wait to see it. And it means we’ll likely be talking about Armie on Show Your Work this fall. How in four years, he went from The Lone Ranger to a film that many are predicting to be one of the best of the year.