With last Sunday's Golden Globes ceremony, the Hollywood entertainment-award season got off to its official start. Nominations for the 82nd annual Academy Awards—the Oscars—will be announced Feb. 2; the awards ceremony will take place Sunday, March 7. In the meantime, many of the movie craft guilds have already announced their Oscar nominations, and critics have been publishing their best-of-2009 lists.
Well, hooray for Hollywood. What about the rest of the world?
Here's a little quiz to see how much you know about major film awards in countries other than the United States. In each case, the awards are considered "the Oscars of __." (I've omitted the obvious ones like BAFTA.) Match the award with the country. Answers after the jump. Extra credit if you can identify the source of the award's name.
1. Ariel a. Germany
2. Blue Ribbon b. Taiwan
3. Bogey c. Spain
4. César d. Romania
5. David e. Canada
6. FAMAS f. Pakistan
7. Filmfare g. Mexico
8. Genie h. South Korea
9. Golden Horse i. Israel
10. Gopo j. India
11. Goya k. Italy
12. Grand Bell l. Denmark
13. LuxStyle m. Philippines
14. Nika n. France
15. Ophir o. Japan
16. Robert p. Russia
Answers: 1-g; 2-o; 3-a; 4-n; 5-k; 6-m; 7-j; 8-e; 9-b; 10-d; 11-c; 12-h; 13-f; 14-p; 15-i; 16-l.
Sources of the names, to the extent that I've been able to discover them:
Ariel: Although the awards are given by the Mexican Academy of Film, "Ariel" was inspired by a series of short writings called El Ariel by Uruguayan writer José Enrique Rodó. (Wikipedia.)
Blue Ribbon: Probably after the English-language associations of "first prize." Based on votes by movie critics and writers. The Japanese name of the award is Burū Ribon Shō. (Wikipedia.)
Bogey: From Box Office Germany. Given to movies seen by at least 10 million people. (IMDb).
César: Named for the sculptor César Baldaccini (1921-1998), who designed the trophy. (Wikipedia.)
David: Named after the sculpture of David by Donatello (c. 1386-1466). The award is a replica of the David di Donatello. (Wikipedia.)
FAMAS: Initials of Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences. (Wikipedia)
Filmfare: Named after a popular Indian movie magazine. Introduced in 1954, the awards were originally called the Clares, after Clare Mendionca, editor of The Times of India.
Genie: Significance unclear; the name was picked by a committee. The awards have been presented since 1949; from 1949 to 1979 they were known as the Canadian Film Awards or the Etrog Awards, after trophy sculptor Sorel Etrog. (Thanks to Canadian journalist Misty Harris.)
Golden Horse: After the statuette, a golden horse.
Gopo: Established in 2007; named for film director Ion Popescu-Gopo. Wikipedia: "The trophy is a sculpture by Romanian artist Adrian Ilfoveanu representing Gopo's Little Man, the main character of Gopo's animation films."
Goya: After the artist Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746–1828). The award is a bronze bust of Goya. (Wikipedia.)
Grand Bell: Unclear; possibly after the statuette. Korean name of awards is Deajongsang Youngwhaje. (IMDb)
Lux Style: Unclear; the Wikipedia entry says the awards "celebrate 'style' in the Pakistani environment."
Nika: The Russian name of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. (Wikipedia)
Ophir: Source unclear. In the Old Testament, Ophir was a region famous for its wealth.
Robert: Named after the statuette's creator, Robert Jacobsen. (Wikipedia)
And what about Oscar? The statuette, which depicts a knight standing on a reel of film and grasping a sword (as if to say, "CUT"?), should by rights have been called Cedric, after Cedric Gibbons, the MGM art director who designed it. Or perhaps George (or Stanley), after George Stanley, the Los Angeles sculptor who rendered the design in three dimensions. (Source.) Its official name, however, is the boring Academy Award of Merit. It was first called "Oscar" in the mid-1930s; origins of the nickname are contested.
Image: César award.